There’s more to Steamboat Springs than being a winter destination for skiing, although that is a top activity on my list… But activities thrive year round and you only need to take stock in order to see all the things there are to experience in Steamboat Springs. Following is a list of the top things to do in Steamboat Springs that don’t involve skis.
Things to do in Steamboat Springs…Besides Skiing
1. Photography Tours
There are two types of photography tours you can do in Steamboat Springs – a snowshoeing tour or a driving tour. Both last about two hours, guided by a professional photographer and offer unique photo opportunities. The tours are designed for all abilities of photographers from beginners to advanced with point and shoot cameras to DSLR’s. It’s turely a unique way to see Steamboat at a different angle.
2. Guided Moonlit Snowshoe Tour
On Friday and Saturday’s you can enjoy a quiet, guided moonlit snowshoe tour on Mt. Werner. The tour departs from the Information Center at 6pm where you will ride the Steamboat Gondola to 9100 feet. Then snowshoe about one mile around the nature trail where you’ll learn about the forest, the ski area, and the surrounding community. After an hour, you’ll head back down to dinner at the Hazie’s Restaurant.The tour and dinner is $79 for adults and $69 for children ages 10-12 (minimum age is 10 yrs).
3. Helicopter Tour
Why not soar above the snow capped peaks and marvel at the scenery below in a helicopter. With a Zephyr Helicopter tour you could make that a reality as they will take you above the Yampa Valley and set off soaring over the Rockies. Some of the most majestic views around, this helicopter tour does not disappoint.
4. Horseback Riding
Take it easy and saddle up to try out some of Steamboats Western heritage. The horse riding trails will take you through some of Steamboats most fantastic wilderness areas and also through parts of certain National Forests. Experience wildlife up close and personal and get in touch with nature while your horse sets the pace.
5. Hiking & Snowshoeing
Hiking in the summer is an easy and inexpensive way to get the family outdoors. Everyone can do it and you don’t have to buy any gear for hiking. In the winter, you will want to get some snowshoes but it’s still a fun and inexpensive way to explore the outdoors. With hundreds of trails in Steamboat, it’s not difficult to find one to fit your interests and levels.
6. Old Town Springs
This is a public multi-use facility and is located right in the middle of downtown Steamboat Springs. It’s open seven days a week and features eight spring fed pools. There are also a couple of water slides for entertaining the kids, and of course a leisurely swim is there for the waiting. Be sure to stop in and take a dip in the hot mineral pool as those waters are known to have healing properties.
7. Hot Air Ballooning
Breakfast, champange and fantastic views of the Yampa Valley and the Steamboat Ski Resort – what a way to start the morning. Hot air balloon rides run daily all year around in Steamboat Springs but you have to get up early for the ride. Dress warmly and call ahead for reservations.
8. Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Just outside of town, a short four-wheel SUV drive away, lies a little-known Hot Springs. Strawberry Park features springs that provide a constant warm temperature. They are a hot tub was like no other, and there is always the nice option of jumping in the cold river should you need to reboot a bit. You should go while it is daylight if you are venturing there on your own.
9. Cowboy Downhill
Sponsored by Bud Light, this festival is sure to please. There’s nothing like seeing Cowboys sliding down the mountainside at breakneck speed with their Stetsons on. It is a popular event and features 100 of the best professional grade rodeo Cowboys the competition has ever seen. This is one unique snow rodeo and a winter festival you don’t want to miss. There’s always a concert at the end as part of the festival mentioned earlier , which actually runs through to the spring!
10. Mountain Biking
You can start your adventure at the Steamboat Bike Park and take off from there. There are many trails to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty and endurance levels. The bike park is one of the featured attractions in Steamboat Springs and will have you craving more with each adrenaline filled turn.
11. Rafting and Tubing
In the summer months you can traverse everything from tranquil waters that are lazy and allow you to take in the amazing scenery surrounding you, too advanced rapids that will have you focused on the next downhill splash and sharp turn. Everything from wide broad plains to deep river gorges can be found on one of these ventures. A great experience that is sure to please.
Now you should have plenty to do the next time you visit the sleepy little ski town of Steamboat Springs! Summer and winter fun, festivals, hot springs… Steamboat Springs is loaded with activity!
Have you visited Steamboat? What are some of your favorite things to do in Steamboat Spring?
Elaine Schoch (pronounced the German way – Shock) is the editor and founder of Carpe Travel as well as an award-winning travel writer, wine judge, certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 and certified American Wine Expert. She is married to The Husband and has two kids, Princess One and Two – who’s interest and knowledge in wine is quite extensive. Not to mention the stamps in their passports.