Since 1992 the Yampa River Botanic Park has grown from a flat, horse pasture into a six acre gem of over 50 gardens with ponds, benches and sculptures. It is one of the jewels of Northwest Colorado and one of several public gardens in the state.
The Park is on land owned by the City of Steamboat Springs. However, the facility is 100% directed and funded by an independent, volunteer Board of Directors who oversee the Park’s operation and raise funds through donations, memberships, garden sponsorships, user-fees and grants. No public funds are directed to the Park.
Each garden is in a unique setting with its own slope, sun exposure, soil chemistry, trees and shrubs which determine what will grow. Every garden has a different focus allowing everyone to find something which will complement their home garden. Most plants have labels. Many native plants are featured throughout the Park.
The Park is free and open to the public May to October. It serves as a “place of serenity”, as a venue for a summer music festival and theater festival, as a site for weddings and similar events, and a resource for individuals. The Park sits at 6,800 feet above sea level, but through the use of carefully developed microclimates supports plants from the entire Yampa River Basin, which runs from 12,000 feet in the Flattops Wilderness to 4,000 feet where it enters the Green River.