Steamboat Springs Travel Guide

USA  #3 in Best Places to Visit in Colorado
Credit

Courtesy of David Epperson/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Steamboat Springs

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Steamboat Springs in both the summer and winter seasons. During the warm weather, travelers can hike or bike the Yampa River Core Trail or spend an afternoon fishing, kayaking or tubing. Meanwhile, the winter season in Steamboat Springs attracts downhill skiers and snowboarders, as well as ice climbers. If you're not schussing the slopes at Steamboat Ski Resort, you can take a sleigh ride, go snowmobiling and dogsledding, or head indoors to The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs to work on your swing. No matter which activity you choose, follow it up with a relaxing soak at Strawberry Park Hot Springs.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated April 3, 2018

  • #1
    Yampa River Core Trail
    View all Photos
    #1 in Steamboat Springs
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The 7.5-mile Yampa River Core Trail, which connects downtown Steamboat Springs to Bear River Park, is a paved multiuse trail for hikers and bikers. You'll find several playgrounds along the path, as well as scenic overlooks and picnic spots. It also offers prime access to the Yampa River Botanic Park and the Yampa River, where you can fish or float in an inner tube. 

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  • #2
    Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests
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    #2 in Steamboat Springs
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests, often called the "Land of Many Uses," encompasses more than 2 million acres in northwestern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming, but the most visited areas are about 3 miles east of Steamboat Springs. The dirt road that travels through the forest and connects the city with Walden, Colorado, which is known as Buffalo Pass (or Buffs Pass), offers basic campsites, as well as snowmobiling, snowshoeing and backcountry skiing trails. The popular hiking paths to Fish Creek Falls also go through the forest, and Rabbit Ears Pass – named for the ear-like buttes visible from the pass – offers bike, hiking and four-wheel drive trails.

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  • #3
    Fish Creek Falls
    View all Photos
    #3 in Steamboat Springs
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The 280-foot Fish Creek Falls is a prime spot for hiking. Four trails are available, including a short walk to the lower falls from downtown Steamboat Springs and a more challenging trail for experienced hikers that leads to Long Lake. The two shorter paths – which are great for families – offer a stunning view of the legendary falls. Spring (when the surrounding mountains' snow melts) is the best time to check out the falls, while winter is ideal for watching ice climbers in action.

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  • #4
    Yampa River Botanic Park
    View all Photos
    #4 in Steamboat Springs
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    What was once a horse pasture is now a 6-acre botanic garden filled with native plants, ponds, berms and more than 50 gardens, including a kids garden that features a playhouse and an amphitheater for special programs. During the summer, you can also enjoy free afternoon concerts (on Thursdays) and complimentary yoga classes (on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays).

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  • #5
    Steamboat Ski Resort
    View all Photos
    #5 in Steamboat Springs
    Recreation, Skiing
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Skiing
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Steamboat Ski Resort is primarily known as one of America's top family ski resorts. The resort features smooth, dry snow called "Champagne Powder" that's spread across 165 trails and nearly 3,000 skiable acres. Winter sports enthusiasts will also find four terrain parks, including Mavericks, the resort's largest terrain park and a popular spot for snowboarders. 

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  • #6
    Steamboat Gondola
    View all Photos
    #6 in Steamboat Springs
    Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Situated at the base of Steamboat Ski Resort, the Steamboat Gondola is one of the area's most popular activities. During ski season, lines can be long for skiers waiting for a ride in the eight-passenger gondola to the top of Mount Werner. In the summer, cyclists use the gondola to transport their bikes to upper bike trails. However, many visitors simply enjoy the scenic ride and panoramic views. Travelers can also grab a bite to eat at the mountaintop restaurant, the Oasis Sundeck, or take a short hike on the Vista Nature Trail, an activity that's covered by gondola admissions.

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  • #7
    The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs
    View all Photos
    #7 in Steamboat Springs
    Recreation, Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If the slopes are crowded or the weather is lousy, athletes head to The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs to work on their indoor game. This tennis facility sits at the base of Mount Werner and Steamboat Ski Resort and offers 14 indoor and outdoor tennis courts, plus eight pickleball courts. The center is nationally known for its Rare Air tennis camp for juniors, but standard court rentals and lessons for adults and kids are available as well.

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Tread of Pioneers Museum
    View all Photos
    #8 in Steamboat Springs
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Housed in a Victorian home with 20th-century furnishings, this museum features exhibits detailing the history of the region's early pioneers and Native Americans, as well as an overview about the city's skiing, agriculture and mining roots. Hands-on exhibits and a kids scavenger hunt make it a popular stop for families.

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  • #9
    Strawberry Park Hot Springs
    View all Photos
    #9 in Steamboat Springs
    Natural Wonders, Recreation, Swimming/Pools
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Natural Wonders, Recreation, Swimming/Pools
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Steamboat Springs was named for its relaxing hot springs, and some of the city's best can be found at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Located less than 7 miles north of the city center, Strawberry Park features 104-degree mineral pools, as well as picnic spaces, a heated changing cabin and private massage areas. Visitors can also stay overnight at the on-site campground or in a rustic cabin, covered wagon or luxurious train caboose.

    ...Read More »
  • #10
    Howelsen Ice Arena
    View all Photos
    #10 in Steamboat Springs
    Recreation, Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Olympic-size Howelsen Ice Arena is a great place to cool off in the summer months and enjoy year-round activities like ice bumper cars, ice skating and ice hockey. The facility is also home to various adult and youth programs, plus summer hockey camps (for a fee).

    ...Read More »

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