- With over 1,000 square miles of multi-use public lands, including Routt National Forest, and several Colorado State Parks surrounding the Steamboat area, there are extensive recreation opportunities.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
Rabbit Ears Peaks
Over 735,000 acres (47%) of Routt County is publicly owned, the majority of which is located in the Routt National Forest. Steamboat Springs is the largest community and the county seat. The three other incorporated towns in the county include Hayden, Oak Creek and Yampa. Other smaller unincorporated communities include Clark, Hahns Peak, Milner, Phippsburg and Toponas.
Outstanding natural beauty surrounds Steamboat Springs. Hike in the 1.5 million-acre Routt National Forest or Mt. Zirkel Wilderness, that spans 50 miles along the Continental Divide. The Flat Tops Wilderness is a short drive down the valley near the town of Yampa. The Flat Tops Scenic and Historic Byway leads 82 miles from Yampa to Meeker.
There are three State Parks in close proximity to Steamboat Springs:
Steamboat Lake, Pearl Lake and Stagecoach Reservoir State Parks. Camping, fishing, boating, picnicking, bird watching, wildlife watching and relaxing are encouraged.
Spring Creek Reservoir Park located at the edge of town, is a quiet area for nature lovers. Built by volunteer labor, the park provides benches and picnic areas among the scenic spots and water flows. It is handicap accessible and open to pedestrian traffic. The Trailhead Park is the entryway to the 840-acre Spring Creek Mountain Park adjacent to the Routt National Forest. Hike, mountain bike or horseback ride on Spring Creek Trail connecting the two areas.
The Yampa River Trail is a four mile system linking downtown Steamboat Springs with the mountain area. Walking, jogging, bicycling, skating and horseback riding are some of the popular activities easily and safely pursued along the scenic path. Other natural highlights include the Rabbit Ears,Sleeping Giant, Fish Creek Falls and 150 mountain lakes, streams and rivers.
Recreation - Recreation during the summer and winter months supports much of the economy. Visitors and locals alike can enjoy hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, kayaking, rafting, boating, fishing, four-wheel driving and rock climbing. During the winter months downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and backcountry skiing are very popular.
Climate - Steamboat Springs' altitude is approximately 6,700 feet. The alpine climate results in four distinct seasons. Weather records have been kept for over eighty years. During recent years the coldest temperature recorded was -37(F) on 12/23/90 and the warmest was 96(F) recorded on 06/30/90. Snowfall ranges from 170-450 inches per year depending upon location. Annual precipitation in the form of snow and rain averages 25 inches.
Steamboat Springs is located approximately 160 miles northwest of Denver and is an easy and scenic three-hour drive. From Denver, head west on I-70 through the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel to Silverthorne, exit 205, then go north on Colorado Highway 9 to Kremmling (38 miles), turn west on U.S. Highway 40 and proceed to Steamboat Springs (56 miles).