Steamboat Springs Travel Guide

USA  #5 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA
Credit

Courtesy of David Epperson/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Steamboat Springs

If you have extra time, Yampa River Botanic Park is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Steamboat Springs
    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. 

    Former visitors loved this trail's picturesque scenery, adding that you'll enjoy views of nearby ski runs, Howelsen Hill and multiple hot springs. Most found it ideal for a family bike ride or a relaxing walk, and some recommended stopping in the city center for a snack or lunch. 

  • #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.

    Overall, past visitors were impressed with the forest's well-maintained roads, especially in the winter, and loved their scenery and hiking trails. For those who plan on snowmobiling, travelers recommend checking out the east side of Rabbit Ears Pass, while the west side is ideal for skiing and snowshoeing. To avoid getting lost while exploring this massive protected area, pick up trail maps at the U.S. Forest Service's visitors center. It can be found approximately 3 miles south of downtown Steamboat Springs and less than 2 miles southwest of Steamboat Ski Resort.

  • #4
    Yampa River Botanic Park
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    #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).

    Recent visitors loved strolling in the serene gardens, calling the attraction a hidden gem filled with well-maintained themed gardens. Many also applauded the free admission, but some suggested wearing insect repellent to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes while exploring the property.

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