The Colorado mountain town of Steamboat Springs is definitely a go-to ski destination, but did you know that it is also a great summer destination? There are so many things to do in Steamboat Springs during the summer that you can easily stay busy for weeks!
Summer in Steamboat Springs is the perfect opportunity to explore not only the awesome downtown area, but also all of the great outdoor recreational opportunities that the city has to offer.
Visiting Steamboat Springs in the summer means that you can tube down the Yampa River, take a soak in one of the fabulous hot springs, or do some hiking and biking on the many trails in the area.
We have visited Steamboat Springs several times in the summer and always find something fun and exciting to add to our itinerary.
Honestly, I think that the town motto sums this up best, “Come for the winter, stay for the summer.” With that in mind, let’s dive into all of the fabulous things that Steamboat Springs, Colorado, offers during the summer months.
1. Hike To Fish Creek Falls
Fish Creek Falls is a fabulous hike that is suitable for all ability levels. The trail to the viewing point for this fabulous waterfall is a relatively easy, quarter-mile walk on a flat, concrete surface. The view from this vantage point is gorgeous and definitely gives you a feel for these incredible Colorado waterfalls.
If you are feeling more adventurous, consider hiking the 2.5-mile trail to the base of the falls. Take note that on this hike you will increase over 1,600 feet in elevation and will be hiking over uneven, natural terrain.
The fact that this hike is just a few miles from the downtown area is an added bonus as it can easily be included in any itinerary! If you are only hiking the trail to the overlook, you can visit Fish Creek Falls in about an hour. Plan for 3–4 hours if you are planning to hike to the base of the falls.
2. Ride The Gondola Into The Mountains
For an incredible view of the Steamboat Springs area, consider taking a gondola ride to the top of Mount Werner. The gondola allows you to gently glide over the treetops as you ascend to the peak of the mountain at 10,570 feet above sea level.
The gondola ride offers incredible views of the treetops and blooming wildflowers below. Once you arrive at the top, take time to have lunch or a cocktail at one of the mountaintop restaurants.
You will walk on a bit of grassy terrain and up a couple of stairs to access the gondola. Once you arrive at the top of the mountain, there is natural, uneven terrain to maneuver.
Scenic gondola rides are offered June 30–September 5. For complete information, visit Steamboat’s website.
3. Relax In One Of The Hot Springs Around Town
Steamboat Springs earned its name thanks to the natural hot springs that can be found throughout this area. These hot springs allow visitors the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing and therapeutic soak after a day of adventure.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs
One of the most popular hot springs in Steamboat Springs is Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Strawberry Park is set in the Colorado Mountains at the edge of the Yampa Valley. Surrounded by the Routt National Forest, Strawberry Park is truly an incredible experience.
Take note that the drive to Strawberry Park can often require a four-wheel-drive vehicle and you must walk on uneven terrain and navigate stairs to access the springs. Visit Strawberry Park’s website for more information. When planning your visit, block off 4 or more hours to fully experience the park.
Old Town Hot Springs
If you want a hot spring in town, then Old Town Hot Springs will definitely deliver. Located on Lincoln Street in the heart of Steamboat Springs, Old Town Hot Springs offers multiple pools, a fitness center, a climbing wall, and more. The eight hot spring pools on-site range in temperature from 98–103 degrees Fahrenheit ensuring that you find the perfect pool for your temperature preference. You can get more information by visiting the Old Town Hot Springs website.
4. Float The Yampa River
Floating the Yampa River is definitely one of the most popular summertime activities in Steamboat Springs. Grab your tube, or rent one from a local company, and head to Rotary Park. Here, you can put your tube in the water and start your float.
The river gets quite crowded in the summer, which makes this a great opportunity to make new friends. Of course, the flow of the river depends upon the snowmelt and the amount of rainfall that the area has received. So to be on the safe side, always check river conditions before entering the water.
Determining where to exit the river also depends upon river conditions. Watch where others are exiting and join them! After exiting the river, deflate your tube and then ride the free shuttle bus back to your car.
The time required to float the river will depend on the flow rate of the river and where you decide to disembark. On average, you should plan to spend a couple of hours on this activity.
5. Visit The Yampa River Botanic Park
The flowers at the Yampa River Botanic Park bloom beautifully this time of year. The Yampa River Botanic Park is located on the edge of the Yampa River and is a fabulous place to explore. Wander the paved trail to see the gorgeous blooms and the interesting statues and artwork throughout the park.
You can easily stroll the park in an hour or so. Of course, if you plan to take a lot of photos, or just want to sit and relax, then you will want to add in more time.
For operating hours and other information, visit the Yampa River Botanic Park’s website.
6. Play Some Golf
Summer is the perfect time to play a few rounds on one of the many golf courses located in Steamboat Springs. Of course, playing golf at this altitude can pose some challenges for people used to playing at sea level, so give yourself a break if it is a little harder than you thought.
Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club
If you’re up for the challenge, then consider making a tee time at the Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club. Surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains, this 18-hole course offers gorgeous views of the Yampa Valley.
Haymaker Golf Course
If playing golf under the incredible Mount Werner is on your list, then head to Haymaker Golf Course. Nestled in the Flat Top Mountain Range, Haymaker offers an incredible course that includes open fairways and native wetlands to ensure you have a fun but challenging experience.
7. Check Out The Local Breweries
Steamboat, and really all of Colorado, has a thriving craft beer scene. Take advantage of this during your summer trip to Steamboat Springs by checking out the local breweries. A couple of our favorites include Mountain Tap Brewery and Storm Peak Brewing. Both of these Colorado breweries offer some fabulous local beer while welcoming guests in a fun, laid back atmosphere.
Mountain Tap is conveniently located in the heart of Steamboat Springs on Yampa Street. Here, you can not only taste the beers on tap, but you can also enjoy some fun food that is locally inspired and made in their wood-fired oven. Trust me, it’s delicious!
8. Explore The Historic Downtown
Downtown Steamboat Springs is a little gem in the city. The charming downtown area offers loads of photo ops, fun shopping, and some great bars and restaurants all with the gorgeous mountains serving as the backdrop.
During your time in downtown Steamboat Springs, check out the boutique shops and spas on Main Street before hitting up the local restaurants and breweries on Lincoln Avenue. Of course, you would be remiss to not stop on Yampa Street as well. Here, you will find one of my favorite summer spots, the Main Street Steamboat Farmers Market, where you can find vendors selling fresh produce, meats, flowers, and more!
9. Take A Scenic Drive
There are so many fabulous scenic drives in and around the Steamboat Springs area for you to enjoy. Some of our favorites include Buffalo Pass, Flat Tops Trail, and Rabbit Ears Pass. Each of which will offer you a different vibe to enjoy.
Buffalo Pass takes you up a gorgeous summit reaching elevations of over 10,000 feet, allowing you to see the alpine meadows of the Yampa Valley below. The drive is beautiful as you navigate through the Colorado Mountains.
Flat Tops Trail
The Flat Tops Trail allows you to enjoy exploring a portion of the Routt and White National Forests as you drive the 82 scenic miles that make up this trail. You will find yourself winding through the mountains passing lush meadows flanked with fabulous rivers. Be sure to pull over at various points along the route to ensure that you get to experience the fabulous views that surround you!
Rabbit Ears Pass
Finally, Rabbit Ears Pass is the scenic drive for you if you are interested in conquering the Continental Divide. Head east on US-40 from Steamboat Springs to reach the summit.
10. Slide Down The Mountain
If you are looking for a bit of adventure, then you definitely want to add the Howler Alpine Slide to your list of things to do in Steamboat Springs this summer.
After taking the chairlift to the top of the mountain, visitors get to hop onto their sled to start their descent down the 2,400-foot track to the bottom of the mountain. The slide down is so much fun. All you have to do is sit there and control the brake if you feel that you start to move too quickly.
You will walk on grassy terrain to board the chairlift. Once on top of Howler Hill, there is some uneven terrain and stairs are necessary to board the sled. If you are choosing to add the Howler Alpine Slide to your itinerary, you should plan to spend about an hour on the activity.
Honestly, the chairlift ride is almost just as good as the sled as the views on the way up Howler’s Hill are great!
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