Yampa River Core Trail

#1 in Best Things To Do in Steamboat Springs
Yampa River Core Trail picture
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Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
5.0

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

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. 

To get to the Yampa River Core Trail, travelers can drive and park for free in one of several lots by the trail (hourly parking restrictions may apply), walk from downtown or climb aboard the city's complimentary bus. The path is open 24 hours a day and is free to access. You can rent bikes at shops like Wheels Bike Shop and Orange Peel Bicycle Service, both on Yampa Street. Two-hour, half- and full-day, and multiday rentals are offered; half-day rates range from $17 for a kids bike to $67 for a full suspension model. Check out the trail's website to see a detailed map and learn more about nearby activities and facilities.

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#2 Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests

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.

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