Steamboat has a lot to offer and, if you only have three days, you want to include all of the epic adventures possible. Buckle up for a jam-packed time full of sports, views, good food and beer. It can be hard to visit Steamboat Springs on a budget but with the outdoors and a variety of options it doesn’t need to be!
Stop at Mountain Brew for fair-trade coffee and homemade baked goods. This quaint cafe, modeled from a former home, offers a laid-back environment to read or hang with friends. Upstairs offers additional seating if the patio and downstairs are busy.
Drive up Buffalo Pass to scope out the best camping spot. The pass is typically open after June 30th, and high clearance vehicles are recommended. From town, follow RCR 36 and turn right on RCR 38 after the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. Continue on 38 up Buff Pass. Camping is first come first served, so getting there early is paramount on a Friday or Saturday.
Your days of epic adventures have already begun, and the road travelled will be telling of this. Fifteen minutes from town, Dry Lake Campground has 8 site options for $10/night. As the name suggests, Summit Lake Campground is located further, at the summit of the pass. Only 13 miles up RCR 38 to Summit Lake, the route may seem short, but factor in the bumpy road to result in at least a 45 minute drive.
Not too tired from setting up camp? Gear up to hike and explore the legendary area you’re staying in. Buffalo Pass hiking trails are plentiful and gorgeous. Aspen, columbines, moose, and rock formations are abundant along the way.
Before the sun sets, head to Summit Lake lake for an alpenglow-filled view and picnic dinner. Take time to plan for the next two days ahead and rest up.
Cook up a champion camper’s breakfast to start a busy day…or opt to stop back at Mountain Brew on your way back into town!
Enjoy Yoga on The Green at the Yampa River Botanic Park. Sessions are open to the public and held throughout the summer on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9-10am. This hour includes outdoor yoga amidst vibrant gardens. A $10 donation is suggested to support the park and instructor. Be sure to leave time to stop and smell the roses after!
You can bike along the Core Trail—directly from yoga—to the base of Emerald Mountain. There are endless options depending on your skill level and how long you want to be out. Check out Emerald Mountain biking trails to plan your route.
Are you more into hiking? Check out Emerald’s trails by foot too—no bike needed!
After your ride, bike a few minutes to Mountain Tap Brewery located right on Yampa Ave. Order a pint of their Passionate Pedal if you’re looking to keep the bike theme going.
It’s been a full and active day: Grab Clyde’s Pies for wholesome and fresh wood-fired pizza and walk down to the Yampa River to enjoy it.
It’s always a Creekside breakfast kind of morning, but especially today. Creekside is delicious AND local. Be sure to arrive early enough to avoid the wait, or plan to put your name in and go for a walk about town. It’s busy for a reason!
Interested in giving your legs a break and opting for the water? Bucking Rainbow offers different rafting or tubing trip options depending on your ability, timeframe, and the time of year. Rafting options include the Yampa River, Colorado River, Elk River, Eagle River, North Platte, and Cross Mountain. Give them a call to see what trip would be the best fit for you and your crew.
If you would like to give fishing a try, Bucking Rainbow also offers fly fishing guides who can take you to the best spots around.
It’s been a big three days. A little retail therapy to remember the trip couldn’t hurt. Grab some food and drinks at Mahogany Ridge (their happy hour is one of the best in town), stroll Main Street, and walk along the Core Trail.
Savor the last bit of your epic adventure and start making plans for the next time you have a few days off!