Top 3 Pages


Respect the River

The Yampa River is a recreation destination. Whether you float, fish, paddle, or swim, keep in mind this wild, free-flowing river is the habitat of many aquatic creatures. It’s a vibrant, living ecosystem that has been the lifeblood of the Yampa Valley for generations.

Before you head out on any adventure, remember to Know Before you Go. Check current river statistics like streamflow, temperature, and more below.

Tubing Tips & Rules

A local favorite and must-do activity, tubing the Yampa offers a chance to experience downtown Steamboat from a comfortable inner tube while splashing in the refreshing waters of the Yampa River. The float can be as long or as short as you’d like, and there are plenty of riverside stops like parks, restaurants, and bars along the way.

  1. Water levels. The local papers usually share the water levels for the week in Steamboat - a definite resource to check when tubing privately. Normally, the shops close and do not allow tubers if the water level is over 700 cubic feet. Anything over is considered dangerous high waters in the river -- not somewhere you want to be in a $30 inner tube. However, below 700 cubic feet is fair game for you and the gang to hit the river.
  2. Wear water shoes. Many river rental stores offer these for a discounted price, though the locals tend to purchase durable apparel. Consider investing in a pair of Chacos or Tevas, to not only avoid river pollution but to keep your feet safe and look rad doing it! 
  3. Wear sunscreen. Hours out on the river can result in a pretty bad sunburn -- consider waterproof sunscreen beforehand and throwing it in your dry bag to take along. Some even choose to wear a shirt to protect against the mile-high sun.
  4. Depart before 12. If you’re looking for a more peaceful float, you can avoid crowds by getting out on the river nice and early. Avoid floating in the afternoon to sidestep afternoon storms or shops selling out of spots on the river.
  5. Attach your sunglasses. Similar to flip flops, it is easy to lose a pair of sunglasses after a dunk in the river. To defend against river pollution and losing that brand-new pair of RayBans, head to any gas station or convenience store and strap those bad boys on tight. 
  6. Secure a ride home. If you decide to go in on your own, consider parking a car near the James Brown Bridge. Most shops provide transportation for you, and if neither of these options work the local transit can get you where you need to go. However, keep in mind when using public transportation that wet clothes and inflated tubes are not allowed -- so plan ahead!
  7. Trash the trash. If you do bring your own tube, bring it back off the river with you. Take everything from your discarded flip flops to deflated tubes back to your condo or hotel instead of leaving them by the side of the river. When everyone pitches in to keep our riverbank clean, it makes a world of difference!

You now are fully prepared to take on the river and another incredible Steamboat summer. Have fun out there!

Spring Fly FishingFishing

One of the locals’ favorite pastimes in Steamboat is fly fishing the Yampa River. Anglers enjoy several miles of public access in town casting for rainbow and brown trout. The river offers a peaceful setting with stunning views and world-class trout. Connect with a local outfitter to maximize your day on the River.

Paddle Sports

Paddling your way down the Yampa will give you a unique way to experience Steamboat Springs. From kayaking to rafting or stand up paddleboarding,  choose your adventure based on the time of year. The rivers around Steamboat really start flowing in May and the water will be at optimal levels during most of the summer months.  During the earlier months, the spring melt brings about high water levels, making for some of the most exciting rafting of the year, but potentially dangerous conditions for most users. Be sure to check with an outfitter and Know Before You Go.