Summer Sports & Hiking
● By Christina Freeman
Columbines, Colorado's state flower, bloom in profusion during late spring and summer. Photo by Deborah Olsen
Early Summer Hikes
Though the high peaks are still snowy, there are plenty of miles to cover by foot. Hike to the top of the Emerald Mountain Quarry: the trail is accessible from downtown, gains about 1,000 feet in two miles, and provides panoramas of the whole city. Or drive five miles out of town to the Mad Creek Trail, which climbs steeply above the roaring creek along an exposed hillside, reaching the “Mad House” (an old Forest Service Guardhouse) in 1.5 miles. For a peaceful hike through town, try the Yampa River Core Trail. The 7.5-mile paved trail follows the Yampa River from the mountain area to West Steamboat.
Get to know Steamboat on foot with one of three self-guided walking tours published by the Tread of Pioneers. www.treadofpioneers.org | 970-879-2214 Historic Walking Tour: Stroll downtown to discover buildings dating back to the late 1800s and nine of the area’s more than 150 mineral springs. The tour highlights historic buildings such as the Carver Power Plant (now Centennial Hall), which was built in 1900, making Steamboat the first town in Northwest Colorado to provide residents with electricity; or the Giamboni house, built in 1889 for brothers Henry and Camillo, the first commercial ski makers in Steamboat.
Mineral Springs Walking Tour: Get close to the hot, bubbling waters of seven mineral springs in downtown Steamboat Springs. Like Iron Spring, which was frequented by Steamboat’s founder James Crawford, whose granddaughter described drinking “Iron Spring lemonade” or lemon juice and sugar mixed with water from the spring for fizz.
Olympic Heritage Walking Tour: What makes a three-wire winter? What’s it feel like to ski jump? Who was the Flying Norseman? Learn the answers to these questions while exploring Steamboat’s heritage of Olympians.
Steamboat has three public courses that offer opportunities for seasoned and novice golfers. Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort is an 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones II, featuring big views of the Yampa Valley, greens framed by aspen and evergreen trees, and Fish Creek winding through seven holes. www.rollingstoneranchgolf.com | 970-879-1391 Haymaker Golf Course is an 18-hole links-style course designed by Keith Foster that features at least four sets of tees per hole and 360-degree views of the Yampa Valley and Mount Werner. www.haymakergolf.com | 970-870-1846 The Steamboat Golf Club is a nine-hole course bordering the Yampa River. The oldest club in Steamboat, it is a family-oriented, affordable course with a clubhouse and nearby driving range. www.steamboatgolfclub.com | 970-879-4295
The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, with six cushioned, indoor courts and 10 outdoor clay and hard courts, is a public facility open to children and adults. Open court times are offered daily year-round; league play, lessons and a junior academy are also available. www.10s.com | 970-879-8400
Old Town Hot Springs has three outdoor courts at Third and Oak streets downtown, and Howelsen Hill Sports Complex offers two free outdoor courts, available on a first-come, first-served basis.