Summer in Steamboat Springs: 7 Ways to Play

One of the great joys of summer is getting outside and enjoying the sun. With its 300-plus days of sunshine, Colorado summers are as long as the mountains are tall, and one place to enjoy the blue skies and mountain highs is in the town of Steamboat Springs.

We’ve gathered a list of seven cool things to do when the weather gets hot for visitors in Steamboat Springs.

1. While some may hike or bike through the scenic beauty of Steamboat Springs, others can choose to roll through it instead. The Howler Alpine Slide is a 2,400-foot track that winds down the mountain landscape of Howelsen Hill. Riders take a chairlift to the top, taking in views of downtown Steamboat and the natural landscape, then roll down the track on a sled, controlling the pace from moderate to thrilling speeds.

Howler Alpine Slide

2. For some western mountain fun, visitors can check out the weekly Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series in the Brent Romick Arena. What began as the Friday Night Jackpot in the ‘70s has grown to become a full weekend of broncos, cowboys and spectator excitement.

The gates open at 5:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday for the community barbecue. By 6:30 p.m., spectators grab their seats of choice to enjoy the two, hour-long rodeo competition.

As a special treat for Steamboat’s Fourth of July visitors, the rodeo becomes the Cowboys’ Round Up Days that kicks off with a community pancake breakfast, followed by live music, a parade and, of course, the rodeo.

Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series
Brent Romick Arena
501 Howelsen Parkway
Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80487

3. For visitors who want to participate in the western tradition, the Saddleback Ranch, south of Steamboat Springs, offers the cowboy experience. Hop on a horse and do a cattle drive, a four-hour ride that gives participants first-hand experience in running a ranch, including rounding up and moving cattle. Cattle drive rides begin at 8 a.m. and cost $90 per person (ages 10 and up).

Saddleback also offers two-hour photo opportunity horseback rides in the afternoon that afford a more leisurely view of the ranch and its scenic mountain surroundings. Camera-toters begin their journey at 1:30 p.m. for $55 per person (ages 6 and up).

The ranch also offers two ways to do dinner with 30-minute horseback and wagon rides to its Double Dollar Lodge. Visitors get to sip drinks, eat dinner (steak, grilled pork, salmon or chicken) and squeeze in some calf roping before the ride back into the mountain sunset. The ride and dinner cost $75 per person ($65 ages 6 to 12) for horseback and $55 ($35 ages 6 to 12, and $20 5 and under) for the wagon ride.

Saddleback Ranch is open Tuesday–Saturday. Dinner rides run Tuesday–Friday, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Saddleback Ranch
37350 RCR 179
Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80487

4. For something more relaxing, Steamboat visitors can check out the local hot springs-fed pools. With eight pools kept at a warm 96–104 degrees and two 230-foot waterslides, the Old Town Hot Springs have something for everyone to enjoy. The pools include a zero-depth kiddie pool, lap lanes (kept at a lower 80 degrees) and outdoor mineral pools. The complex also includes a climbing wall, fitness center, massage rooms and childcare.

Pool admission is $15 for adults, $10 for ages 13–17 and seniors, $7 for ages 3–12 and free for kids under 3. The slides cost $2 per ride or $5 for unlimited access.

Old Town Hot Springs is open weekdays 5:30 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., Saturdays 7 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. and Sundays 8 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. The slides are open noon to 6 p.m. Check the website for a day-by-day schedule.

Old Town Hot Springs
136 Lincoln Ave.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80487

5. For more water fun, visitors can take their own boat (or rent one) onto the 1,100-acre Steamboat Lake north of town, nestled in Willow Creek Valley at an 8,100-foot elevation. Visitors can enjoy the peace of the State Park Range with Hahn’s Peak in view while boating, fishing, swimming at Dutch Hill swim beach or camping.

There are two accessible docks for those who bring their own boat, and the marina rents out a wide range of water vessels, from paddleboats to motorboats.

Steamboat Lake Marina
61450 County Road 62
Clark, Colorado 80428

6. After the spring melt-off and the hot springs warm up the Yampa River, locals and visitors alike put air in their tubes and get ready to float in the summertime event of Tube the Yampa. The river offers a fun and relaxing activity, as well as a unique view of Steamboat Springs, running right next to the town.

This activity is free for those with their own tubes. However, Backdoor Sports offers a tubing package for $17 per person that includes the tube, water shoes, a launch into the river from the shop’s backdoor and a shuttle ride back when the one-hour ride is over. This runs 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (although coming before noon is recommended), June through September depending on water levels and conditions.

Backdoor Sports recommends tubers be 5 or older, with those ages 12 and under accompanied by an adult.

Backdoor Sports
841 Yampa St.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80487

7. Steamboat Springs also offers the surrounding Colorado, Eagle, Elk and Yampa rivers for those wanting to get wet on a rafting adventure. Steamboat has several rafting guides and trips can be a half-day to full day for beginning to advanced levels.

Check out more summer activities in Steamboat Springs.