Steamboat Springs Recreation

Taking Advantage of Conditions in Rocky Mountain National Park

imagesDepending on the location, totals from the April 15-17 storm dropped close over two and a half feet snow on various parts of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Weather recorder John Gulliksen reported close to 28 inches of snow from his location in Prospect Mountain and the Bear Lake area in Rocky Mountain National Park was reporting 36 inches of new snow as of Wednesday morning with more falling. Cold temperatures accompanied the snow, with thermometers dropping to single digits Thursday morning.

The snow in Rocky Mountain National Park enhanced backcountry snowshoe and cross country skiing opportunities. “Backcountry ski conditions and snowshoe conditions are excellent,” said Rocky Mountain National Park public information officer Kyle Patterson. The heavy snows have also enhanced the avalanche danger.

Park officials report the avalanche danger is high on northwest through north to southeast aspects near and above treeline. The danger is considerable in other locations. Spring storm such as the one that slammed northern Colorado this week are not uncommon. Late-season storms like the most recent are “unusual, but not extraordinary,” said Mike Baker, meteorologist with the Nation Weather Service based in Boulder. “Storms tend to move slower this time of year, so they have time to intensify.”


Colorado Fun!

Alpine Slide-LEADWhen it comes to winter thrills, Colorado ski resorts offer nearly everything snow lovers crave. But just because skis and boards have been mothballed for the summer doesn’t eliminate reasons for visiting slope-side resorts.

Here are 33 summer adventures to be found around Colorado’s top ski communities. Like the trails and terrain, we’ve categorized activities by difficulty—family-friendly easy greens, more-challenging intermediate blues and adrenaline-infused advanced black-diamonds. Pick a pursuit and have some fun.

Click here to read the entire article.

Rocky Mountain National Park

imagesRocky Mountain National Park is located in north-central Colorado in the United States. The park holds 265,761 acres of protected land and is bordered by Routt National Forest in the northwest, Arapaho National Forest in the southwest, and Roosevelt National Forest in the east and west. The park is separated into two areas by the Continental Divide, giving the west and east areas different climates and habitats. It holds 450 miles of streams and 150 different lakes, as well as 72 mountain peaks that reach elevations over 12,000 feet. The northern area of the park contains smaller mountains that are part of the Mummy Range.

The climate of Rocky Mountain National Park varies greatly depending upon the season. The summer season brings high temperatures that can peak in the eighties and thunderstorms are common. The winter season often occurs between the months of October to April and brings heavy snows. This snow melts quickly at low elevations, but can persist at higher elevations, causing closings of some hiking trails. The spring season brings light snows and rain showers.

Rocky Mountain National Park can be accessed by State Highway 7 and U.S. Highways 34 and 36, although U.S. Highway 34 is the only road that runs throughout the entire park. This road is known as Trail Ridge Road within the park and offers a popular scenic view of the area. Visitors can partake in many activities including winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, and other activities like camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, and mountain climbing. Hikers can choose from 349 miles of trails that vary in length. Popular tourist attractions include mountain climbing on Longs Peak, hiking near and to Bear Lake, and visiting Paradise Park, which does not have any trails leading to it.

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Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs…Rated Top 10 in the World

imagesWinter Carnival starts soon (Feb 6-10)! National Geographic Traveler and Good Morning America rates Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival in the Top 10 Winter Carnivals in the World!!! Don’t worry about getting bored because these 4 days are jam-packed with a variety of activities everyone can enjoy, such as, ski jumping competitions, the Diamond Hitch parade (which features our High School band performing on skis!), street events, and the Night Extravaganza at Howelsen Hill which includes a brilliant fireworks display and the famous Lighted Man, among much much more! You don’t want to miss out on one of Steamboat’s longest and greatest traditions…come join the fun!

Click here to see the entire Winter Carnival Lineup.

36 Hours in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

09HOURS1-articleLargeSteamboat Springs evokes an era when cattle ranchers roamed its streets and locals preferred Stetsons to ski vests. But in recent years, Steamboat has sought to shed a bit of its family-friendly image as a cowboy theme park and embrace its inner Breckenridge. The town, nestled along the Yampa River in northwest Colorado, has installed an array of new après-ski bars, haute cuisine restaurants and late-night haunts, as well as upscale lodgings, like One Steamboat Place, that can rival anything at Vail or Aspen. The centerpiece of Steamboat’s face-lift, which coincides with the resort’s 50th anniversary, is a redeveloped promenade at the base of its gondola, with a heated walkway, a musical stage and a three-tiered ice castle. Families still flock to Steamboat for its dude ranches and hot springs. But after the children are put to bed, its downtown comes alive with an impressive night life and innovative culinary scene. “It’s still a cowboy ski town,” said Gerry Verdoner, bar manager of Sweetwater Grill. “But now there’s more balance.”

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Steamboat Running Series Stretches out Saturday with Mount Werner Classic

080113_RunningFILE_t670Emily Conjura puts up with long nights, stressful days and zero financial compensation to put on a running race. Though to her and many runners, the 50-kilometer Mount Werner Classic is more than that; it’s a chance to give back. “I think what you realize is you not only need to take from the running community, but you also have to give back,” Conjura said. “I can’t run that far anymore, but when I could, I appreciated that there was someone to put on a race like that for me.”

The Mount Werner Classic, planned for Saturday, caught on to the running world’s ultramarathon trend last year when it switched to a 50-kilometer course — about 31 miles — that climbs to the top of Storm Peak and back down with 5,100 feet of elevation gain. “I think ultramarathons are kind of the up-and-coming thing like the marathon was in the 1980s,” Conjura said. Conjura credits the change in course length, along with talk floating around the running community, for an increase in out-of-town participants. She estimated about 75 percent of the runners are coming from outside of Steamboat, and she’s hoping they can help fill out the field.

Click here for the full article and the full Steamboat Springs Competitive Run Schedule.

Colorado’s Top 13 Family Vacation Ideas for Summer 2013

indexSummer is just around the corner and you don’t need to look far to have a world-class vacation with your family. From theater hikes to Outhouse Races to free events galore, we have the inside scoop on All Things Colorado.


It may be summertime but Snowmass has returned to the Ice Age with the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Center that features the most significant Ice Age ecosystem find in Colorado history (and it’s free). Touch a mastodon tooth, marvel at a half-sized 6-foot Wooden Mammoth Skeleton, do a dig of your own or a daily Ice Age Discovery Hike by  Environment Studies.  Visit the Snowmass Rodeo on Wednesday nights (June 12- August 28) and sign up your kids for the Calf Scramble and Mutton Busting. Ride the Elk Camp Gondola up Snowmass Mountain where the Elk Camp Restaurant will open for activities including downhill biking, dinner, campfires, live music, movies, Stryder Park and Kid’s Playground on Friday evenings. Try your hand at some slopeside bowling at the new bowling alley below Venga Venga Cantina featuring eight full-sized lanes, a lounge area with full bar, wood-fired oven pizzas, upscale bar food and more. Then, get inspired at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, a stellar place for kids of all ages to take workshops that include sculpture, photography, painting, beading, and mask-making.

Click here to read about all the other fun Colorado towns.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado: Five HOT Summertime Activities

IQ2A2110-141x200This charming resort town, also known as Ski Town, U.S.A.®, was originally just a summer destination, owing much of its allure to the 150 natural hot springs that dot the landscape.  Travelers as far back as 1880 came here to partake of the waters as well as the abundance of outdoor activities. The name of the town, in fact, was given by French fur trappers who thought that one of the springs sounded like a steamboat engine.

Summertime is still one of the best times to visit, and hot springs are just an appetizer in the smorgasbord of available activities. So here is my short list of the top five things to see and do.

Located just a short drive from the center of town, Fish Creek Falls is currently ranked as the #1 attraction on TripAdvisor. There is a $5.00 parking fee that provides access to a couple of hiking trails and the overlook trail is an easy, paved affair that is ideal for families with strollers or anyone using a wheelchair. This walk is quite scenic among the aspen trees and natural foliage and ends with a grand view of the 283-foot falls after about a quarter of a mile.

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28 Hours in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

pools-signs-steamboat-springs-strawberry-park-hot-springs-colorado-300x168You know what I love about Steamboat? It can be the lazy man’s mountain town. You can lounge in their hot springs, float down their river or cool your feet off as you admire their waterfalls. (You can also, of course, hike, bike, climb, ski and/or snowboard the mountains.)

For me, Steamboat has the remote feeling everyone loves about Telluride, the pace of a small town that has no interest in overzealous developers and a beauty that can and does hold its own. Unlike many sought after mountain towns around the world, Steamboat still has a main street that staves off the t-shirt shops, small bungalows with Hondas in the driveway and people with a ready and easy smile.

David’s friends from Spain were traveling around Colorado. They had seen Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, Telluride, Ouray and Crested Butte. We had to make sure they saw another of Colorado’s gems before leaving and told them we must meet in Steamboat.

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Pot Votes in CO Raise Specter of Weed Tourism

Hit the slopes — and then a bong?

Marijuana legalization votes this week in Colorado and Washington state don’t just set up an epic state-federal showdown on drug laws for residents. The measures also open the door for marijuana tourism.

Both marijuana measures make marijuana possession in small amounts OK for all adults over 21 — not just state residents but visitors, too. Tourists may not be able to pack their bowls along with their bags, but as long as out-of-state tourists purchase and use the drug while in Colorado or Washington, they wouldn’t violate the marijuana measures.

Of course, that’s assuming the recreational marijuana measures take effect at all. That was very much in doubt Friday as the states awaited word on possible lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice asserting federal supremacy over drug law.

So the future of marijuana tourism in Colorado and Washington is hazy. But that hasn’t stopped rampant speculation, especially in Colorado, where tourism is the No. 2 industry thanks to the Rocky Mountains and a vibrant ski industry.

The day after Colorado approved recreational marijuana by a wide margin, the headline in the Aspen Times asked, “Aspendam?” referring to Amsterdam’s marijuana cafes.

Colorado’s tourism director, Al White, tried to downplay the prospect of a new marijuana tourism boom. “It won’t be as big a deal as either side hopes or fears,” White said. Maybe not. But many are asking about marijuana tourism.

Ski resorts are “certainly watching it closely,” said Jennifer Rudolph of Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade association that represents 21 Colorado resorts.

The Colorado counties where big ski resorts are located seem to have made up their minds. The marijuana measure passed by overwhelming margins, with more support than in less visited areas.

The home county of Aspen approved the marijuana measure more than 3-to-1. More than two-thirds approved marijuana in the home county of Colorado’s largest ski resort, Vail. The home county of Telluride ski resort gave marijuana legalization its most lopsided victory, nearly 8 in 10 favoring the measure.

“Some folks might come to Colorado to enjoy some marijuana as will be their right. So what?” said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director for the Colorado marijuana campaign.

Marijuana backers downplayed the impact on tourism. Aldworth pointed out that pot-smoking tourists wouldn’t exactly be new. Colorado ski slopes already are dotted with “smoke shacks,” old mining cabins that have been illicitly repurposed as places to smoke pot out of the cold. And the ski resort town of Breckenridge dropped criminal penalties for marijuana use two years ago.