A Steamboat Summer

4 reasons to visit the Yampa Valley this summer

Known for its champagne powder and hot springs, Steamboat Springs offers the summer visitor a plethora of activities, plus, this Northwestern Colorado town is beautiful during the warmer months.

I’ve been asked to judge a food contest this summer in “The Boat” and you can be sure I’ll write about it here. I am looking forward to what’s new on the restaurant scene and revisiting the town after a two-year hiatus.

Here are some of my favorite reasons you should be considering a trip to Steamboat Springs this summer.

Strings Music Festival

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

This 569-seat music pavilion has been a Steamboat tradition for 30 years and I’ve attended everything from opera to theatrical performances at Strings. They host 60 free events during the summer from June through August, including Music on the Green at Yampa River Botanic Park.

Musical performances range from jazz, country, bluegrass and classical performances. There is something for every musical taste, and a visit to Strings will enhance your visit to Steamboat Springs.

Yampa River Botanic Park

At the height of summer, the Yampa River Botanic Park is my favorite spot in Steamboat Springs. Hidden in plain sight along the Yampa River Core Trail, this botanic park is free to the public. During the summer it is a riot of shapes and colors. The park hosts yoga, weddings, theater and musical performances but I visit to shoot the flowers with my Canon.

At 6,880 feet above sea level, it's amazing that anything grows here but many plants and flowers do. The Yampa Botanic garden features meandering stone paths, ponds, waterfalls and colorful perennials. A nature lover will want to spend a little time here.

Steamboat Lake State Park

Photo courtesy of Steamboat Springs Chamber

One of my most memorable Steamboat experiences was renting a couple of pontoon boats with friends at Steamboat Lake. I won’t tell you the stories here but believe me, they were epic.

Steamboat Lake State Park is located about 40 minutes northwest of the Steamboat Springs. The area offers boating, fishing and camping at the base of Hahn’s Peak. If you’d like to get out on a trail, the scenery here is stunning. Cabin rentals are available and two yurts are available year-round at nearby Pearl Lake.


Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo takes place Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer. It happens just two blocks from downtown and features an array of rodeo competitions. There’s a bar area that opens early with live music. Ryan and I shared a huge plate of barbecue and drank margaritas when we attended in 2016. We had the best time.

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

Whether you are traveling with family, friends or just your life partner, this two-hour event is a great way to spend a warm summer evening in Steamboat Springs.

For more information on summer in “The Boat” visit SteamboatChamber.com.

Categories: The Heidi Guide