Arts and culture have always had a cherished role in the Steamboat community. The storytellers, authors, and writers who live here draw inspiration from the remote mountain lifestyle, old western history, and majestic landscapes and wildlife. Everything from newspapers to novels are born out of the Yampa Valley. Our community has been a haven for world-renowned authors and a hometown for blossoming creatives. During your next Colorado vacation, you can explore Steamboat’s most famous authors, find your own inspiration as a writer, and support our arts and culture community through your purchases and appreciation.

Yampa Valley’s Historic Literary Arts and Culture

Early settlers in Steamboat were determined to capture the day-to-day happenings of farming and development in the area. From the start of the town’s founding, James Hoyle began publishing the Steamboat Pilot & Today in 1885, which is still in print today. Another local cowboy, John Rolfe Burroughs, provided a valuable collection of famous written work chronicling his experience growing up in the valley in the early 20th century. His writing is a testament to how truly challenging ranching life was for settlers at that time and a unique representative of historical western arts and culture.

Celebrated Steamboat Authors

Steamboat boasts a legendary group of renowned authors including Rita Herold, Harriet Freiberger, Dagny McKinley, Nancy McCormish, and Mary B. Kurtz, who have each shared their perspective on life in Routt County. Children’s author Mary Calhoun draws inspiration for her work from the Colorado landscape and has enjoyed reading her books to local school children for many years. Juvenile author Avi inspires young readers with his fantasy stories set in Colorado. Another representative of local literary arts and culture, Linda Collison, writes fiction and historical novels that captivate audiences globally.

Support Routt County Writers

You’ll find books, short stories, and more from local authors at Off The Beaten Path bookstore downtown. This charming bookstore and coffee shop will warm your spirit with hot drinks and fresh pastries while you browse several rooms full of new and used books. The curators at Off The Beaten Path have an entire section dedicated to local Steamboat authors where you can find something for adults, children, fiction fans, and more. If you are an aspiring writer looking to connect with Steamboat authors, check out the Steamboat Springs Writers Group events hosted at the Depot by Steamboat Creates.

Annual Fall Festival for Literary Lovers

Annually in September Steamboat Springs is host to the Literary Sojourn Festival, a gathering of readers and authors celebrating new and classic literature. More than 550 authors and literary admirers come together for this event. Plan your next Colorado vacation around the Literary Sojourn festival to indulge your inner bookworm and meet representatives of local literary arts and culture.

Stay for the Library

Infamous bumper stickers around town boast, “Came for the skiing, stayed for the Library”. This sentiment is felt by many locals who cherish Steamboat’s enormous, luxurious library. Browse an impressive collection of local Steamboat writers at Bud Werner Memorial Library. Check out the calendar of upcoming events for writer workshops, book clubs, and more.

Visit Sustainably to Keep Inspirational Landscapes Vibrant

One of the most important ways you can help support Steamboat’s arts and culture community is to visit our outdoor spaces with a sustainable mindset. Keeping our pristine places protected from garbage and unnecessary erosion will allow unlimited future generations of authors, painters, photographers, and more to continue enjoying and gathering inspiration from these sights. Take a notebook or a camera with you to document your experience and as the phrase goes, “take only photos and leave only footprints”.

Whether you’re a blossoming writer or just enjoy soaking up literature from a local perspective you’re sure to find Steamboat’s arts and culture scene inspirational during your next Colorado vacation.