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Up Here West Is More Than a Direction

04/23/2013 21:23 ● Published by Brian O

Photo by Jim Steinberg

Welcome to the real West, where ranching is a way of life and rodeo goes as far back as anyone can remember. Where the width of main street was determined by the breadth of a cattle drive and where the oldest store in town is the one that sells Stetsons.

Cowboy Up

What would the rodeo be without BBQ? Begin your family’s evening at the rodeo with an old-fashioned Western barbecue, from brats and ribs to beer and wine. Then find a seat – they’re all good — for the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena at Howelsen Hill. Bareback riding, team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and of course, bull riding, are part of the fun. Little cowboys and cowgirls enjoy the calf and ram scrambles, with the winners taking home prizes. BBQ and pre-rodeo entertainment begins at 6 p.m. The rodeo starts at 7:30 p.m., except during Fourth of July weekend, July 4-6, when performances begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, June 14-Aug. 17, plus July Fourth. 970-879-1818/www.steamboatprorodeo.com

Git Along

Saddleback Ranch, a fourth-generation working ranch west of Steamboat Springs, invites would-be wranglers to join four- hour cattle drives on their 8,000-acre ranch. The ranch also offers ATV tours, trail rides and dinner rides. 970-879-3711 www.saddlebackranch.net

aiN’t No BuLL Mechanical or no, there’s no getting around the fact that the bucking bull at Gondola Square Adventure Zone may well get the best of you. Hang on as long as you can to test your riding skills. Then head over to the Slingshot Trampoline Bungee Jump, the East Face Climbing Wall, the Ropes Course, the Human Gyro and the Children’s Mini-Bounce. 970-879-6111/www.steamboat.com

Saddle Up

For an hour, a day or a week, riding a horse is the quintessential Steamboat Springs experience. With settings like the Flat Tops, Mount Zirkel Wilderness, the Routt National Forest and Howelsen Hill, the scenic beauty along the trail makes a memorable experience for the whole family, including children six and older.

Cowboy Boots and County Roots

Featuring homemade apple pie, sheep-shearing contests, 4-H champions, horse shows, funnel cakes, cotton candy and limeade, the Routt County Fair showcases Northwest Colorado’s agricultural heritage in an authentic, enduring fashion. Head to the fairgrounds 25 miles west of Steamboat in Hayden, Thursday- Sunday, Aug. 15-18. www.routtcountyfair.org

Working Dogs

The National Cattledog Association National Finals will be held in Steamboat Springs Wednesday-Sunday, June 12-16. The trial site is within a few miles of downtown. Watch these smart, speedy dogs obey subtle commands from their masters, as they humanely handle their herds. www.nationalcattledog.com

Boundless Landscapes

Roam the historic towns, mesas, plateaus, mountains, forests, canyons, rivers and parks with folklore, history and the forces of nature facts at your fingertips. Northwest Colorado Heritage Tourism offer brochures and self-guided, themed tours throughout the region. www.nwcoloradoheritagetravel.org

Hoedown and Chili Cookoff

Steamboat’s oldest store, F.M. Light & Sons, and MainStreet Steamboat host the eighth annual Downtown Hoedown and Chuckwagon Chili Contest on Sunday, Sept. 1, downtown. Live music, vendors, beer and sodas, children’s activities and a cookoff with chili, salsa and cornbread categories. www.mainstreetsteamboat.com/events/downtown-hoedown-and- chuck-wagon-chili-challenge

Community Steamboat Steamboat Magazine Steamboat Springs visitor guide visitor information chili cookoff national cattledog association routt county fair gondola square adventure zone saddleback ranch steamboat springs pro rodeo

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