A Steamboat Springs Interlude

In June we left our RV resting comfortably in the state park, and took an overnight trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. All I knew about the town was that it is a very popular winter skiing destination. We headed out on I-70, turned off, and took state route 40 all the way up. It’s a two-sometimes-three-lane road with some mountain passes, and part of our plan was to see if it was OK to traverse with the RV on some future trip. The interesting thing is that as I am writing this now, a portion of the I-70 highway is currently closed because of mud slides due to a large forest fire. Route 40 northwest, and another road back south, is the designated detour for the highway. It adds 4-plus hours to a trip. I’m sure we wouldn’t want to be on Route 40 now!

Berthoud Pass, on the Continental Divide, was the gateway inside the beautiful Rockies.

There was amazing scenery to behold around every turn. The picture below shows our very scenic lunch spot.

Steamboat Springs got its name, so the legend goes, from 3 French trappers who found the spring. As it was spouting, it made a “chugging” sound, which reminded them of the sound a steamboat makes. Ironically, although the town carries this name, you can no longer hear the spring. When the railroad was built, changes to the area around the spring obliterated this sound. The spring is still there, though, along with a sulphur spring, and both feed into the nearby Yampa River.

Steamboat Spring
Black Sulphur Spring was a little bit stinky
It looks like the sulphur spring flowed directly into the Yampa at one time, and may even have come straight out of this big rock.

Far from being a sleepy town in the summer, Steamboat Springs was bustling. We had a difficult time making our way down the main street at the dinner hour because of all the traffic. Tourist shops, restaurants, ice cream parlors and breweries were all doing a brisk business. Maybe it was because of all the pent-up isolation from Covid. But also, there is so much to do here. In the picture above, you may see a bridge on the upper left side. That is a biking and walking trail that went all through town alongside the Yampa River. There are trails up in the mountains for hiking as much as anyone would want. There are also fishing and other water sports in the river. The town has a couple of interesting-looking museums, but we didn’t get to those in the short time we were there.

An evening stroll took us to Fish Creek Falls, which descends at a height of 280 feet.

A stand of aspen trees in a glade on the walk to the falls

We paid a visit to the Yampa River Botanic Park. For a small town with a short growing season, the garden was beautiful with many blooming flowers.

I know, I can go a little crazy with the flower pictures. But the lupines are my favorite, always.
I was very tempted to join this yoga class as we walked through the park. Maybe another day.
This osprey nest could be seen from the gardens. I had to use my longest zoom on this one.
I didn’t know ospreys would attack drones. Good for them, I say.

We enjoyed a short walk on the trail before heading home. I love Steamboat Springs’ bike culture-there were numerous bikes parked outside of the garden for the yoga class, and many on the trail. People were using them to get from one place to another instead of cars. I’d love to live in a town like that, but I wouldn’t like the winters here!

A backyard on the trail with a ski fence
More aspen trees, and a bike basket flower garden

Next time – we head off on a journey north

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