It’s time to hit the road, and Steamboat Springs is the perfect destination for a 3-day escape. Bypass the crowds and experience our wide-open spaces, tasty dining scene, and endless adventure.
ACTIVITY: Explore Rabbit Ears Pass
When you turn from Colorado Highway 14 onto U.S. Highway 40, you will start the ascent of Rabbit Ears Pass. The pass is known for its false summit, a crossing of the Continental Divide, and the distinctive “rabbit ears” rock formation that creates one of the nearby peaks. Rabbit Ears Peak Trail, located in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness, is a moderate out-and-back trail featuring gorgeous wildflowers during the summer months, and exceptional views.
ACTIVITY: Yampa River Botanic Park
Check out this six-acre gem home to 50 gardens, 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 free and open to the public from May to October. It serves as a place of serenity for visitors, a venue for a summer music and theater festivals, and a natural resource to residents.
ACTIVITY: Hike the Morning Away
Gas up the car for a scenic drive out towards the Zirkel Wilderness Area and North Routt. Choose from many of the trail options for all levels and spend your day winding through trails with aspen groves, wide-open meadows filled with wildflowers, steep canyons, and lush fern forests.
[INSIDER’S TIP: Stay off the beaten path]
The Zirkel Wilderness Area offers spectacular sights of our beloved valley! Find some space by opting to hike here instead of in town.
LUNCH: Small Town Lunch
The Clark Store is a proud general store, eatery, coffee house, and community hub. The Clark Store deli, with a menu designed by celebrated Colorado chef Clyde Nelson, is the jewel in the Clark Store's crown. In summer months ice cream is served on the newly remodeled deck with tables facing a spectacular view of Sand Mountain to the west.
[INSIDER’S TIP: Take Your Lunch To-Go]
Stop at the Clark store in the morning before your hike and order your mouth-watering sandwiches to-go to eat on the trail like a local. Remember to pack out all your trash!
ACTIVITY: Enjoy the Lake
North Routt is home to many lakes you can access by hiking to them or hopping in the car for a drive. Steamboat Lake is a great place to relax under the blue sky. Bring a paddle board or your fishing gear for more fun!
[INSIDER’S TIP: Beat the Crowds]
The early bird gets the worm. If you want to experience the hot springs without the crowds, we recommend waking up early and being there right when they open.
ACTIVITY: Experience the Steamboat Brew Trail
The Steamboat Brew Trail will take you from downtown Steamboat to the West end of town. The Brew Trail is made up of four local breweries serving some of the finest beers around Colorado and one distillery offering up small-batch whiskey, vodka, gin, and moonshine. Getting around the Steamboat Brew Trail has never been easier. Pick your adventure and walk or bike the Brew Trail on the Core Trail.
[INSIDER’S TIP: Bike Like a Local]
Steamboat locals are all about getting outside and being active. Opt for biking the Brew Trail. Don’t have a bike? Check out these local gear shops in town that will rent you a cruiser or an e-bike.
LUNCH: Specialty Pizza
How Ya Doin’ Pizza is located next to Storm Peak Brewery and is along the Brew Trail, making it the perfect lunch stop. They have a passion for fresh, natural ingredients and an extensive menu of pizza, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers.
ACTIVITY: Tour the Trails
Enjoy miles of seamlessly connected multi-use trails in and around town. Bike the G.E.M. trail, accessed from Flash of Gold, dubbed an “aspen-peeper’s and single-track-lover’s dream” by the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Is gravel more your style? Check out the Emerald Circuit ride instead.
[INSIDER’S TIP: Don't Let Gear Stop You]
Several Steamboat shops and outfitters offer curbside gear pick up, as well as repairs and tune-ups. Check out the Shop Local page for details.
LODGING: Camp on Buff Pass
For an alternative lodging choice, opt to camp on Buff Pass. You can see spectacular views and access some of the best trails Steamboat has to offer. Camping is free and a great option for you to experience our wide-open spaces. Check out additional camping options in Steamboat Springs.