Hiking and Biking
By Dan Greeson
Paige Brookstein rides the Beall Trail on Emerald Mountain. Photo by Aryeh Copa.
Yampa River Core Trail – Paved 7-mile trail with picnic spots, fishing holes, public art and beaches.
Park at River Creek Park at East U.S. 40 and ride or walk to Bear River Skate Park on the west side of town on Lagoon Court.
Vista Nature Trail – One-mile, fairly level loop through wildflower fields with scenic overlooks and nature signs.
Atop the Steamboat Ski Area gondola. Requires lift ticket.
Fish Creek Falls Trail – The quarter-mile trail leads to a 283-foot waterfall.
From Third Street and Lincoln Avenue, head north one block to Fish Creek Falls Road and continue to the end. $5 parking.
Emerald Mountain Quarry Trail – A steady uphill hike on a dirt road (closed to motorized traffic), past the top of Howelsen Hill Ski Area to an overlook of the Yampa Valley and an old stone quarry.
Turn south from 13th St. and Lincoln Avenue and go left again on Gilpin Street, winding through a residential neighborhood. Trail starts at Blackmere Road.
PUSH TO THE MAX
Devil’s Causeway – A hair-raising, breathtaking land bridge with precipitous drops on either side and spectacular views of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. The trail passes alpine lakes and fields of wildflowers.
Head south from Steamboat Springs on Colorado 131 to Yampa. From there, follow County Road 7, then Forest Service Road 900 to trailhead at Stillwater Reservoir.
The Zirkel Circle – This 11 1/2-mile hike combines two trails for a rigorous but rewarding hike through Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area.
Go north from Steamboat on County Road 129 about 18 miles to Seedhouse Road, just past Clark, and turn right. Continue about 11 miles to Slavonia Trailhead. Take left fork, following trail #1161 to Gilpin Lake. To complete the circle, continue on trail #1150, past Gold Creek Lake and back to trailhead.
The Carpenter Ranch – Working cattle ranch and educational facility operated by The Nature Conservancy. Prime birdwatching. Open Thursday – Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon, until Thursday, Sept. 1. www.nature.org / 970-276-4926
From Steamboat, head west on U.S. 40 for approximately 20 miles. Ranch is on right side of highway.