School’s out and summer’s in full swing—sounds like it’s time to get the family outside to explore the best parks in Steamboat! Pack your picnics, sunscreen, and round up the kids early because those sun-soaked slides are too hot to handle by mid-day.

Little Toots Park is located off 12th Street, nestled between Lincoln Ave and the Yampa. There’s a playground, swings, picnic tables, and a gazebo. This location makes for one of the best parks in Steamboat: hop over to Bud Werner Memorial Library for some time to rest, walk a quarter mile to Lyon’s Corner Store for ice cream, or step directly onto the Core Trail to walk along the river. The bonus of all this? Great tree coverage and shade at nearly every hour of the day!

Yampa River Botanic Park
The vibrant gardens, pond, and wildlife are all worthwhile draws to this spot. Grab a map on your way in and watch your little one navigate these flower-filled trails. Outside of the botanic gardens, there’s access to the Core Trail, soccer fields, and a playground for kids to get even more energy out.

Stehley Park — Also known as “Butcherknife”.
While there’s no playground here, there is still plenty for children to explore. Park at the small lot at the corner of Missouri Ave and Diagon Alley. At the entrance is a dog park, followed by the 0.7 mile Butcherknife Canyon Trail. The trail runs along a creek and is flat enough for children to hike or bike. Plenty of shade, dogs, and water along the way.

Whistler Park
An expansive and peaceful playground on the eastern side of town. Whistler is tucked away from town so it is often quieter and you may even spot some wildlife by the stream. There’s a new play structure with good options for all ages. Older kids can enjoy climbing spots and open grass to play sports in. Bring a frisbee or ball to play in the large field, but beware of nearby dogs because there is an adjoining dog park.

Soda Spring Park
Park in the lot off 13th Street and hold your nose past the hot spring if you’re sensitive to the smell of sulfur! The smelly walk to the playground is well worth it. It is a simple park with a slide, instruments, sand box, and swings. The structures are modeled off of nature and truly are a treat from the plastic structures that typically adorn parks. This is yet another park off the Core Trail, but the western location means the trail is less busy on this end of town.

Keep in mind that schools also allow playground use during off hours—Soda Creek and Strawberry Park are top on our list. Check out more summer activities in Steamboat you can enjoy with the family. Make the most of the kids’ time off and enjoy the best parks Steamboat has to offer while you can!