Your only limit is your imagination…the options of things to do in Steamboat Springs in the summer are endless! Whether you prefer scenic hikes, tubing down the river, mountain biking, spa treatments, Steamboat will always deliver and have activities for all ages.
Fly-fishing in Steamboat Springs is an activity that can be enjoyed solo or with your family. If you are experienced or just a beginner, Steamboat has many lakes, rivers and Tailwaters to match your fishing desires. For more information on fly-fishing trips or locations visit The Bucking Rainbow.
Floating the Yampa River is a great way to spend a hot afternoon with family and friends. Tubes can be purchased at sporting goods stores around town, and used over and over again. Backdoor Sports at Ninth Street and Yampa Avenue is also an option if you are only in town a short time. They rent tubes and help organize trips down the river.
The Strings Music Festival is a summer music festival that features not only classical and chamber music, but also country, rock and bluegrass. These events mostly occur throughout the summer, offering a great live music option between the free summer concert series. The 540 seat pavilion sits at the base of the ski area and overlooks the Yampa Valley.
ATV Tours – One of the most exciting and scenic ways to enjoy the great outdoors is to take an ATV tour at Steamboat Lake Outfitters. Explore Routt National Forest on the mining roads on and around Hahn’s Peak, and ascend to an outstanding Steamboat Lake overlook.
Boat Rentals – If you would like to get out on the open water, you have two very scenic options. About 15 miles south of Steamboat there is a marina at Stagecoach Reservoir, and 30 miles north of town is the Steamboat Lake Marina. Both marinas offer hourly or daily rentals for pontoon boats, canoes, kayaks, and paddle-boats. In addition, the reservoir and the lake are both surrounded by plenty of great hiking and mountain biking paths that you can enjoy on a beautiful summer day.
Hiking – While in Steamboat Springs, you could leave your door at the first sign of daylight and be on hiking trails within minutes. Or if you are looking to travel a bit further to hike at a higher altitude, end your hike at a lake or waterfall, or walk over a causeway only a few feet wide, all these trails and more can be found within a short drive of downtown Steamboat Springs. Hiking in Steamboat is written about in hundreds of pages. The book ‘Hiking the ‘Boat II’ provides all the information on hikes within a few hours of town and is a great resource for locals and visitors as a constant reference.
The Alpine Slide or ‘The Howler’ is a great way to break up hiking with the family when at Howelsen Hill. Using a sled, you are able to race down the 2,400 ft track that winds and curves with the contours of the mountain. While there is a break that can be used to control your speed, the identical track next to you often provokes riders to race family and friends, to see who can arrive safely first at the base.
The Yampa River Botanic Park – An often overlooked gem, this 5 acre park provides a beautiful example of the plants, birds and flowers native to the Yampa Valley. Located right on the Yampa River Core Trail, this park is nestled inbetween downtown and the mountain. Thursday afternoons throughout the summer feature a concert series beginning at noon. Many come during their lunch to take a short break from work and enjoy a a quick bite while listening to the music in the serenity of the Botanic Park.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs – While a popular after ski spot, the hot springs are a great place to relax year round. Naturally flowing hot springs water combined with beautiful masonry, creates a idealistic setting for lazy summer afternoons. With the river flowing right next to the hot springs, if you start to overheat, a short dunk can make you scramble back toward the comfortable 103 hot springs.
Old Town Hot Springs – Differing from the Strawberry Park Hot Springs, the Old Town Hot Springs have other facilities beyond just the hot springs. With an Olympic size lap pool, fitness room, rock climbing wall over the water and two 230 ft. water slides, the Old Town Hot Springs facility has everything and more. A great place for kids and adults alike, the facility stays busy throughout the summer with people looking to enjoy themselves while splashing around in the soothing geothermal heated water.
Frisbee Golf – Steamboat Ski Resort offers a 9-hole Frisbee golf course at the base of Mt. Werner. It is open to the public from dawn to dusk all summer long.
Golf – Steamboat has 3 great public golf courses. Haymaker Golf Course is a spectacular links-style course that was recently selected as one of the top 20 in the state. Then there is the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Club, which is dramatically contoured and was designed by Robert Trent Jones II. And finally, the Steamboat Golf Club is a 9-hole course that is quite affordable and very nicely groomed. All three courses are highly recommended.
Gondola Rides – If you would like to enjoy majestic views from the top of Mt. Werner without the hassle of hiking all the way to the top, Steamboat’s 8-passenger gondola will transport you to the peak in 10 minutes flat! From the top, you can hike or bike either a short loop or a more ambitious trek in order to traverse the many faces of Storm Peak and Mt. Werner. The mountain features a spectacular array of wildflowers in the summertime as well as outstanding views in every direction of the Flat Tops, Sleeping Giant, and the Zirkels.
Helicopter Rides – For a once-in-a-lifetime aerial tour of the Yampa Valley, Zephyr Helicopter Company offers customized helicopter tours to the general public. The views are breathtaking!
Horseback Riding – There are more horseback riding options in the Steamboat area than for perhaps any other summer activity. We recommend Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch, Elk River Guest Ranch and Saddleback Ranch, each located 15 to 25 miles outside Steamboat in pristine ranch country, surrounded by wilderness. If you would like a more convenient yet slightly less scenic horseback riding option, Sombrero Ranch is located 3 miles outside of Steamboat.
Just For Kids – There is a good reason why Steamboat is consistently ranked as one of the most family-friendly resort towns. Yampatika offers a wonderful summer program of 2-hour nature activities and week-long nature-themed camps for children 3-11. Steamboat offers the Kids’ Adventure Club weekdays from mid-June to mid-August, giving your kids a wide array of activities to enjoy while you pursue your own Steamboat adventures. At the base of the mountain is the Gondola Square Adventure Zone, featuring the Slingshot Bungee Trampoline, the Shoot ‘n Shower, the Human Gyro, a climbing wall, and a small miniature golf course. Another great kid-friendly activity is Strings in the Mountains’ series of weekly youth concerts, featuring all sorts of fun music-oriented performances.
Kayaking – Both the Yampa River and the Elk River provide excellent water for kayakers of all levels. If you’re a beginner or would like to brush up on your kayaking skills, the Mountain Sports Kayak School offers 3-hour group lessons every day of the summer.
Wagon Ride Dinners – If you would like to go back in time and experience a taste of what it was like to ride in a horse-drawn wagon, you can visit Saddleback Ranch or Elk River Guest Ranch and enjoy a family-friendly wagon ride complete with a hearty home-cooked dinner. And as an added bonus, at Saddleback you will also enjoy kick up your heels with some western musical entertainment and even get a chance to learn the art of calf-roping!
Whitewater Rafting – Among the greatest recreational assets Steamboat boasts are the wonderful rivers in its vicinity. Because of this there are wide-ranging rafting opportunities available. From the easygoing stretches of the Yampa River close by, to the intermediate rapids of Elk River and the Arkansas, and even the whitewater gauntlet of the harrowing Cross Mountain Canyon, Blue Sky West offers many rafting trips of varying duration and difficulty in these and other locations. This is very likely to end up as one of your most unforgettable Steamboat memories!
Massage & Spa Services – If you would like to be taken care of while you’re on vacation, there are many great options for massages, acupuncture, body wraps and all sorts of other spa treatments. Some of our favorite spas are Waterside Day Spa, Life Essentials, and Bear River Spa.
Balloon Rides – When in tropical locations, you might choose the alternative route of parasailing to see the sights from an aerial view. In Steamboat, one of the best ways to fully appreciate the entire valley is in a hot air balloon. The Wild West Balloon is seen almost every morning in the summer skies launching as early as the sun rises. The tour, which includes a Continental breakfast, is a great way to begin your morning.
Pottery Studio – For a relaxing activity that parents and children might enjoy together, The Potter’s Wheel is a do-it-yourself pottery studio where you are the artist. This is a great change of pace if you’ve begun to burn yourself out on all of Steamboat’s outdoor excitement!
Rock Climbing – For summer excitement it doesn’t get much better than rock climbing in the wilderness around Steamboat. You can arrange an expedition through Rocky Mountain Ventures for you and your family or for a large group. They will customize your trip for all skill levels and ages, including children as young as 6. A great way to step outside your comfort zone and rise above your fear of heights!
Rodeo – Steamboat’s very own Pro Rodeo Series is the most successful weekly rodeo in the USA. The series has been the heart and soul of the Steamboat summer calendar since the 70s and has now been expanded to include a rodeo event at Romick Arena every Friday and Saturday evening from mid-June to mid-August. The best family-friendly event in town!
Sporting Clays – One of the most unique diversions available in Steamboat is the sporting clays shooting range just west of town at Three Quarter Circles. The range includes twelve shooting stations that can be modified to accommodate beginners or seasoned sportsmen looking to hone their craft. Sporting clays is great for individual or team play, for camaraderie or competition. 3QC’s property also includes a driving range for golfers.
Swimming – You can take a dip in either scenic Steamboat Lake, the lazy Yampa River, or you can head to Old Town Hot Springs which is the primary rec center in Steamboat. It features an Olympic-sized pool, several jacuzzi’s, and a kiddie pool with fun animal toys.
Tennis – There are three tennis facilities in Steamboat. The most notable is The Tennis Center, one of the finest indoor/outdoor tennis facilities in the country. It is open year-round and offers high-quality court rentals as well as tennis lessons. Steamboat’s main rec center, Old Town Hot Springs, rents out its courts for a more affordable hourly rate. And there are a few free tennis courts next to Howelsen Hill that are first-come, first-served.