Experience Spring in the Rocky Mountains
The days are getting longer and warmer which means spring is on the horizon. It’s that time of year when, as much as we love the snow, we’re looking forward to enjoying a new season of activities. With so many options for spring and early summer trips to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down for you with seven reasons why a visit to the mountains should be at the top of your list.
1. Biking the Core Trail
Spring is a great time to trade your skis for wheels, but some trails aren’t quite dry yet. For you early season biking enthusiasts, road biking the valley and the Yampa River Core Trail are great options. The Core Trail is a 7.5-mile paved multi-use trail that runs through the heart of Steamboat Springs and along the Yampa River. The Core Trail ties all aspects of Steamboat together: it’s a straight shot from one side of town to the other, but more importantly it brings people of all ages onto one path to enjoy the outdoors.
2. Steamboat Marathon
Speaking of getting out and filling your lungs with that fresh mountain air, why not find out what makes the Steamboat Marathon one of the most scenic runs in the country? If a full marathon isn’t quite your thing, there are half marathon and 10K options as well. Plus the kids get in on the action too with the Honey Stinger Fun Run. This half mile course is open to little stingers 5 years and older and is arguably the liveliest event of the day. Besides the beautiful setting, something that sets Steamboat apart from other race destinations is our natural race-recovery venues: hot springs!
3. Hot Springs
The local springs are such a great way to spend your time that they deserve their own category. Long before Steamboat Springs was known for its world class ski resort, the 150 geothermal hot springs that dotted the landscape were revered among Native Americans and pioneers alike. Regarded as relaxing and healing for the mind, body and soul, it was a bubbling hot spring that even inspired the name of the town. Head downtown to the Old Town Hot Springs, venture out of town to Strawberry Park Hot Springs to relax after a day of exploring, or take a walking tour of the many other springs in town.
4. A River Runs Through It
Ever wonder where all of the winter snow goes after the ski area closes? It melts and heads downstream, and May and June are a great time to enjoy the rushing water. The 270-mile Yampa River, the last remaining major, wild river in the seven-state Colorado River basin, provides myriad opportunities for recreation and one of the best ways to enjoy it is at the Yampa River Festival. The 38th annual Festival promises a fun-filled weekend for the whole family with kayak races, the SUP Cup, crazy river dog contest, raft races and more. If fly fishing is your sport, the spring is a great time to enjoy the solitude of the river. Later in the spring and summer, tubers take to the waters to enjoy a leisurely float through town.
5. Spring Hikes
All of that white winter snow also transforms into lush green valleys in the springtime. Steamboat has a lower elevation than other mountain towns which means our trails open earlier, allowing you to stretch out your trail legs sooner. From family-friendly strolls around town to backcountry excursions, there’s a trail for everyone in and around Steamboat. Check out our list of hiking trails and choose your adventure.
6. Escape the Crowds
It’s no secret that winter and summer are the busiest times in the Rocky Mountains, so if you’re looking to have a quieter stay in our piece of paradise, spring and early summer are the ideal times to visit. After the ski season ends, many stores and restaurants close their doors for a week to recharge. Then locals and visitors alike can take advantage of discounts on dining and retail with special mud season menus and sidewalk sales. The hot springs are quieter, the river is peaceful and it’s a great time to explore the town.
7. End of Year Events at the Steamboat Ski Resort
If your spring vacation plans happen earlier in April, you’ll want to check out the end of season activities at the ski area. The snow is softer, days are longer and the entertainment is world class. From the Pond Skim and Cardboard Classic to free concerts and great deals on lift tickets, it’s a fun time of year to be on the mountain.