Steamboat Springs, Colorado is probably one of my favorite mountain towns in the Rockies. With over 12,000 full-time residents, it feels homey, not touristy.
Nature is incorporated quite well in the city making it easy for any outdoor enthusiast to get his/her outdoors on. The Yampa River runs through the town and there are paths everywhere throughout making biking, hiking, or walking easy. National Forest access is everywhere.
Not to mention, there are a bunch of great restaurants serving good food and microbrews. Plain and simple, what more could you ask for?
Strawberry Park Hot Springs, that’s what. Maybe one of the best hot springs I’ve visited to date is nestled in the mountains just outside of the city center. You have to drive almost 3 miles on a 4WD dirt road to get there, but it’s worth it.
I’ve never been in a hot spring with steam actually emitting from the falls in summer. These springs were hot tub hot, about 104 degrees. Though it is summer, the springs felt amazing and soothed my achy, weary travelling bones.
Jon and I paid our $10 fee and made an afternoon of jumping in and out of the water. There is also access to the cold stream if you need a quick dip in to cool off. Because it was June and there was still mountain run-off fuelling the stream, we opted for the hot pools.
From the springs, Jon and I cruised into town on a mission to find a cheap lunch for under $20. Somehow, Jon has a knack for finding just such deals and we wandered into Sunpie’s Bistro and had an absolute blast. To our luck, it was happy hour. So there we sat, in the sun, rested next to the Yampa river, sipping our microbrews and taking in the view.
We also had some $1 tacos at happy hour. When they say their salsa is hot, believe them. They chalk them full of habanero peppers. I like to think I’m a girl who can handle my heat, but I was sweating after that salsa.
An amazing afternoon was had by the two of us in Steamboat Springs. We liked it there so much, in fact, we decided to go back and try to find work for the summer (although that didn’t pan out). Anyone looking for a place to recharge the batteries in the Rockies, Steamboat’s the place to do it.