Sightseeing04/01/2011 01:00AM ● By Anonymous
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. This is where you’ll find arts festivals, the farmers’ market, rodeo and more.
After the snow melts check out summertime at the Steamboat Ski Area, where hiking and mountain biking trails traverse wildflower meadows and green aspen groves. Follow a trail from the bottom of the ski area or ride the gondola up. At Thunderhead, you can take a short loop on one of the nature walks, have lunch, or make a
longer trip to the top of Storm Peak. 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), plus weekends in the shoulder seasons.
Fish Creek Falls
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 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
Home of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, this historic 1909 railroad station was converted into a gallery and performing arts venue. Changing visual art exhibits are featured throughout the summer and fall, plus free foreign films on the third Friday of each month, and kids’ visual and performing arts workshops. Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Weekend hours vary, so call to check. Located at 1001 13th St., along the Yampa River.
Steamboat Art Museum
Visit rotating Western art exhibits at the Steamboat Art Museum, housed in the historic First National Bank building, downtown Steamboat. Exhibits this summer feature Scott Christenson’s landscape paintings and the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and noon-4 p.m. on Sundays. Located at 807 Lincoln Ave.
Bud Werner Memorial Library
Steamboat’s newly-expanded LEED-Silver-certified public library has book and magazine collections, public computers, library-wide wireless access, a lively children’s section, a local history room and plentiful free programs.
Tread of Pioneers Museum
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, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Located at the corner of Eighth and Oak streets.
Yampa River Botanic Park
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.
Howelsen Hill Ski Jumps
Ski jumping is a year-round sport in Steamboat. Green plastic mats on Howelsen Hill’s K-68 ski jumps enable local athletes and U.S. Ski Team members to train throughout the summer. Spectators can cheer them on at daily practice, the annual Fourth of July Ski Jumping Extravaganza and other summer Nordic jumping events.970-879-0695 www.sswsc.org