Steamboat Springs, home of over 15 Olympic skiers including Billy Kidd and Johnny Spillane, is widely known for its champagne powder skiing, but the town makes for a great getaway year-round.
This northern Colorado town sits about 3 hours west of Fort Collins and is a delightful mix of outdoor adventure, cowboys, and history. The fall months bring migrating sandhill cranes, changing aspen leaves, hunting and fishing trips, and plenty of opportunities to sit back in the autumn sunshine and soak up the western warmth.
1. Relax at Strawberry Park Hot Springs.
Here you can relax in the rustic natural hot springs at the foot of the Routt National Forest along Hot Spring Creek. If you have truly overdone it, massage packages are also available.
2. Explore the extensive trail system by foot or by bike.
For a nice, easy day hike, consider a trip to see the spectacular Fish Creek Falls. Your choice of a ¼ mile ADA-accessible route to the first overlook or a 13-mile trek to view Long Lake.
For an invigorating mountain bike adventure, check out the Nipple Peak Loop for 30 miles of hills, rocks, and amazing vistas.
Steamboat Springs has an interactive trail map showing mileage and trail information for trails around the town. Clicking on any of the dozens of trails will give you an idea of its difficulty, allowable uses, and any other information that may pertain.
3. Work a herd of cattle by horseback at Saddleback Ranch.
Learn how to move cattle by horseback and basics of livestock husbandry as you help with everyday tasks on the 4th generation working cattle ranch. Much more than a standard trail ride—this is a truly unique way to experience the ranch at cowboy pace.
4. Try your hand recreating the daring 1897 jailbreak of Harry Tracy and David Lant with an Escape Room game at the Crooked Key.
This Escape Room provides family-friendly physical and mental challenges to find clues, solve puzzles, and work together to orchestrate your escape in under an hour. A dollar from every Escape goes toward the Museum of the Northwestern Colorado to help preserve local history.
5. View the fall foliage from above with a hot air balloon tour with Wild West Balloon Adventures.
It is one thing to do scenic drives to see the fall color change, but a whole different experience to witness the fall foliage from above! The Steamboat Valley is surrounded by stunning vistas, from Rabbit Ears to Hahns Peak. The relaxed pace and quiet peace of a morning hot air balloon ride is the perfect way to take in the landscapes from the best vantage point around.
Don’t forget to tour the shops and galleries along Lincoln Avenue to find the perfect souvenir, discover what the latest outdoors trends are, enjoy a tasty treat, or unwind with some serious retail therapy. Also, check out the annual Steamboat OktoberWest celebration in Mid-September to celebrate the end of summer and all things beer and beef!
There are a number of RV-friendly campgrounds in and around Steamboat Springs. Dispersed camping for boondocking can be found in the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears district of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.