The American west is alive and well and living in Steamboat Springs. Working ranches surround the town. Main Street is extra wide - to accommodate cattle drives. And you're just as likely to have breakfast next to a cowboy as you are a tourist. But up here, you'll also find the spirit of the West in the tip of a hat. A genuine smile. An open door. And a light left on.
Our western charm is what makes your summer vacation feel a little more adventurous. It’s what makes you feel like up here, you’ve fully escaped your everyday life. It’s also what makes you feel truly welcome as part of our community. And it’s what'll make you never want to leave.
Best of the West Activities
Steamboat Springs has a long history of working ranches, Western activities, shopping and events to suit the whole family. With so much to see and experience, you are guaranteed to have an authentic western town vacation when you visit Steamboat. Here are our top Best of the West activities:
- Yee haw and giddy up at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series
- Ride like the wind on horseback
- Cowboy up at F.M. Light & Sons
- Hand your hat at a dude ranch
- Head to a working cattle ranch for a day of adventure
Whichever Western adventure you choose in Steamboat Springs, you are guaranteed to leave with a sense of deep appreciation of our Western heritage that will bring you back to Steamboat time and time again.
The West truly comes to life in the cultural heritage of Steamboat Springs. With a long-standing history of rodeos, working cowboys and ranches passed down through the generations, Steamboat and the Yampa Valley stay true to their Western roots even today, with live events, museums, historic buildings tours, the unique old mining town of Hahns Peak, and hot springs that keep alive the legacy of a true ranching community. about the history of the Western culture in Steamboat Springs by experiencing it for yourself.
Experience the rodeo year-round
Not able to attend an actual rodeo performance? No problem. Here’s how to “rodeo” even if you can’t experience the real thing. Whatever you choose to do, just don’t forget to keep the Western hospitality and spirit of Steamboat alive by practicing patience and spreading kindness. Tip your hat, say hello and don’t forget to smile:
- Western History: Learn about Steamboat’s hardy settlers and rugged ranchers (many of whom competed in the rodeo) at The Tread of Pioneers Museum. Hear from a fifth-generation local rancher about her family’s heritage and the history of two iconic barns during “Back to the Barns: Ag Talks at the More and Arnold Barns,” which takes place various dates June-September.
- Western Art: Steamboat Springs boasts a vibrant local art scene. Duck into some of the local galleries (we suggest Wild Horse Gallery for exceptional Western art), as well as the Steamboat Art Museum, an impressive free museum located in one of the town’s most historic buildings on Lincoln Avenue
- Western Rides: See Steamboat’s wide-open spaces the way cowboys from generations ago did and still do today: from atop a horse at one of the local ranches, including Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch in Steamboat’s Elk River Valley; Saddleback Ranch, a fourth-generation working cattle ranch also in the Elk River Valley; or Lucky 8, a family-owned and operated working bison ranch just 30 minutes outside of Steamboat Springs.
- Western Souvenirs: Snag a hat or boots at F.M. Light & Sons or create your own custom hat at Steamboat Hatters, located downtown.
- Western Memories: Snap your photo astride Lightening, the trusty steed outside the F.M. Light & Sons entrance, and share it to the store’s Lightning Rider Gallery.