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Steamboat Magazine

Steamboat Springs - Must See Stops

04/01/2009 01:00AM ● By Anonymous

The newly expanded Bud Werner Memorial Library is surrounded by lush lawns and overlooks the Yampa River. 


Four miles east of downtown Steamboat Springs, a 283-foot waterfall pours out of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. This is an ideal spot for a short, handicap-accessible hike to the base of the falls; it is also a jumping off point for miles of unpaved day hikes. From Lincoln Avenue, turn north on Third Street, then right on Fish Creek Falls Road. Follow it to the end. Daily parking fee: $5


Take in the lush tranquility of Steamboat’s native flowers and plants over a pond-side picnic or a stroll at the botanic gardens. From U.S. 40, turn west onto Trafalgar Lane, then left on Pamela Lane, and park at the dead end. Or access the park via bike or foot from the Yampa River Core Trail. Open from dawn to dusk. Free admission


Home of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, this historic 1909 railroad station was converted into a gallery and performing arts venue. A variety of changing art exhibits will be featured throughout the summer and fall. Open Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. 

1001 13th Street, along the Yampa River, 970-879-9008


Visit rotating Western art exhibits at the Steamboat Art Museum, housed in the historic First National Bank building, downtown Steamboat. On the slate for summer 2009 are exhibits  depicting rare and endangered plants and wildflowers of Colorado and a plein air painting show. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

807 Lincoln Ave. 970-870-1755


More than a dozen art galleries blanket downtown and the base of the ski area. Some feature nationally renowned artists, while others showcase the best regional and local painters, printers, sculptors, jewelers and potters. Check out the Yampa Valley Arts and Gallery Guide, found in brochure racks throughout Steamboat, for a detailed tour of Steamboat’s fine art and craft offerings.  


Seven scenic miles of multi-use paved trails wind through downtown and along the Yampa River for walking, running, biking and accessing fishing holes. Dotted with sculptures and natural springs along the way, the year-round trail accesses the Yampa River Botanic Park, Howelsen Hill, prime fishing holes, the rodeo grounds, the Depot, quiet residential neighborhoods and tranquil natural areas. An interpretive boardwalk winds through wetlands near Rotary Park and connects to the Core Trail.



Downtown Steamboat is the heart of this historic ranching and skiing community. Howelsen Hill looms over streets lined with historic buildings, century-old businesses and quaint neighborhoods, plus modern shops, restaurants, bars and cafés.


Check out Steamboat’s pride and joy – a 25,000-square-foot, LEED-Silver-certified expansion of the public library that graces the banks of the Yampa River downtown. In addition to the newly expanded book and magazine collection, there are public computers, library-wide wireless access, a lively children’s section, a local history room and plentiful artistic and architectural details to enjoy.



Visit the museum housed in a 1908 Queen Anne-style Victorian home with turn-of-the-century furnishings for exhibits about local ranching, mining, Native American history and pioneer life – plus a comprehensive history of skiing exhibit. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., at the corner of Eighth and Oak streets.



Once the snow melts, check out summertime at the Steamboat Ski Area. Hiking and mountain biking trails traverse through wildflowers and aspen groves that blanket the green summer landscape. Take a trail starting at the bottom of the ski area, or jump on the gondola for a scenic ride to Thunderhead, where you can take a short loop on one of the nature walks or make a longer trip to the top of Storm Peak. Stop for a relaxing lunch  at Thunderhead, or take in the bungee jump, miniature golf, climbing wall, inflatable children's bounce, Gyro and disc golf action in Gondola Square. In the heart of the summer, the gondola is open daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (opens 9:30 a.m. on Sundays), and weekends in the shoulder seasons.