22 fun Steamboat Springs summer activities for 2023

Published Date: July 13, 2023

 A wide view of Steamboat Springs, the home of Steamboat Springs summer activities.
Once a tiny hot springs town, Steamboat Springs has now become one of Colorado’s most popular tourist destinations — especially in the summer. While the hot springs are still thriving, a local foodie scene and dozens of outdoor activities have sprung up as well.Read our guide to learn all about the top 22 Steamboat Springs summer activities that are perfect for the whole family to enjoy in 2023, including:

1. Marvel at Fish Creek Falls

Rapids going down Fish Creek Falls, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
If you’re looking for a tranquil adventure in Steamboat Springs, head over to Fish Creek Falls. This scenic waterfall is one of the most popular attractions in the area, and it offers something for everyone. You can hike along the trails that surround the falls, enjoy a picnic at the shaded tables or cool off in the pristine water. The best time to go is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun isn’t too harsh and the crowds are smaller. You can park in the main lot near the entrance for a small fee, or find free spots along the road if you don't mind walking a bit to reach the waterfall wonderland.

2. Stroll through Yampa River Botanic Park

A landscape featuring a pond, red ate and a bench at Yampa River Botanic Park, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
Yampa River Botanic Park is a beautiful oasis of flowers, ponds and trails that showcases the natural beauty of the Yampa Valley. You can stroll through the different gardens, each with its own theme and design, and enjoy the sights and smells of local plant species. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a kayak to explore the Yampa River and a bike to pedal through the park. Or simply enjoy the native birds and wildlife while sitting on a park bench and watching the kayakers pass by. Whether you want to relax or be active, this park is a great place to enjoy summertime Steamboat activities.

3. Relax at Steamboat Ski Resort

A person riding a horse at Steamboat Ski resort, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
Steamboat Ski Resort is a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts, but it also offers plenty of fun activities for the summer season. Take advantage of the mild climate with a round of golf or set out on one of the many hiking trails.This resort is full of amenities that will help you relax and recharge for more adventuring the next day. Book excursions like horseback riding and ziplining, or become a regular at the resort’s nightly sunset happy hours.

4. Take a dip at Old Town Hot Springs

A person being massaged at Old Town Hot Springs, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
This historic recreational facility offers eight pools with healing mineral water, a world-class gym and a variety of fitness classes to sign up for while you're in town. This magical place is so much more than a hot spring — not only can you enjoy soaking in the warm water, but your whole family can slide down waterslides and practice new yoga poses together.  You can also explore the nearby downtown area of Steamboat Springs, which has many shops, local restaurants and attractions to enjoy. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a visit to Old Town Hot Springs is one of the best things to do in Steamboat Springs.

5. Try a new sport at Howelsen Hill Ski Area

A graphic showing someone skilling in summer, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
Howelsen Hill Ski Area is a historic and scenic destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Whether you are looking for a relaxing or adventurous way to spend a summer day, you’ll find plenty of options at this versatile park. Picnics are a popular activity for families to enjoy in the summer, but skiing is also available. Yes, you read that right — skiing in the summer. You can even ski jump in the summer at Howelsen Hill Ski Area, thanks to the plastic surface that covers the jumps. Watch the athletes practice their skills or sign up for a lesson and try it yourself.

6. Become a history buff at the Tread of Pioneers Museum

A person marvels at one of the exhibits at the Tread of Pioneers Museum, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
If you’re looking for a fun and educational way to spend a summer day in Steamboat Springs, you need to visit the Tread of Pioneers Museum. This museum showcases the rich history and culture of the Yampa Valley and its people, from the Ute Native Americans to the early settlers and ranchers. Explore exhibits on local skiing, mining and agriculture practices. You can also see historic buildings such as a pioneer home, a schoolhouse, a cabin and a barn. The museum offers guided tours, special events and interactive programs for all ages. Whether you are interested in learning about the past or enjoying the present, the Tread of Pioneers Museum is one of the top Steamboat Springs things to do.

7. Bike the Yampa River Core Trail

A person biking the Yampa River Core Trail, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
Steamboat Springs is known as “Bike Town USA,” thanks to its many paved trails and some 500 miles of single-track mountain biking trails. For casual cyclists, the 7-mile Yampa River Core Trail is a great place to start. This picturesque paved trail follows the path of the Yampa River through town, connecting one side of Steamboat with the other. On a warm summer day, it’s a popular spot for both cyclists and walkers, many of whom stop along the way to grab a bite to eat or a cold drink. Since the path is mostly flat and you can hop on and off wherever you want, it’s a popular activity for families with kids of all ages.

8. Have a ball at Howelsen Ice Arena

A person putting on their skates at Howelsen Ice Arena, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
Howelsen Ice Arena is a year-round facility that offers winter activities like ice skating and hockey, making it one of the coolest things to do in Steamboat Springs in the summertime. If you want to learn how to skate or improve your skills, you can sign up for a group or private lesson with one of the certified instructors. Lessons are available for all ages and levels, from beginner to advanced. You can also join a hockey clinic or camp if you’re interested in playing the sport while you’re in town.

9. Soak away stress at Strawberry Park Hot Springs

A person soaking away stress at Strawberry Park Hot Springs, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
Practice self-care at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. This scenic destination offers a variety of natural mineral pools with different temperatures and sizes, surrounded by lush forests and mountains. After soaking in the healing waters, enjoy a massage or yoga class and explore the nearby trails. Reservations are recommended.

10. Sample the seasonal bounty at the Steamboat Springs Farmers Market

A graphic showcases the seasonal bounty at the Steamboat Springs Farmers Market, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
Come hungry to the Main Street Steamboat Farmers Market. With a friendly and upbeat vibe, the market is the best place to taste locally grown produce and get a sense of the local culture. Taking place every Saturday from early June through mid-September on Main Street, the market gathers vendors offering fruits and vegetables,  fresh baked goods and locally ranched bison, plus crafts by area artisans. Arrive early to shop before the crowds, then stay to enjoy some live music.

11. Hike the Zirkel Circle

A landscape of the Zirkel Circle hiking loop, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
With almost 160,000 acres of pristine wilderness, the Mount Zirkel Wilderness area is a must-visit for outdoor adventurers. While there are some 150 miles of hiking trails in the area, the Mount Zirkel Loop Trail is a perennial favorite for hikers looking for a challenge. The trail spans 10.3 miles and has almost 2,500 feet of elevation gain, leading intrepid hikers through expansive wilderness areas and meadows filled with summer wildflowers, and rewarding them with gorgeous alpine lakes. At the midpoint of the hike, you’ll find yourself at Gilpin Lake — a perfect place for a picnic lunch. Pro tip: The loop hike can be done either clockwise or counterclockwise, but counterclockwise gives you a more gradual ascent.

12. Take a day trip to Steamboat Lake

A birds-eye view of Steamboat Lake, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
The 27-mile scenic drive from Steamboat Springs to Steamboat Lake is nothing short of beautiful, and the lake at the end of your drive doesn’t disappoint either. Pack a picnic and head to the lake for the day, where you can rent boats, canoes and paddle boards. Fishing and hiking are also popular activities at the lake, which is nestled below Hahns Peak. If a day isn’t enough, there’s also on-site camping and cabin rentals.

13. Take flight on a hot air balloon ride

Five hot air balloons float in the sky, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
On crisp summer mornings, look up and you’re likely to see colorful hot air balloons dotting the sky over Steamboat Springs. A hot air balloon ride is a wonderful (and exhilarating!) way to take in the beauty of the whole Yampa Valley from above. Multiple purveyors in town offer hot air balloon rides. Arrive at sunrise and watch your balloon inflate. Then climb into the basket and allow yourself to be whisked away over 1,000 feet above town.

14. Take a day trip to Mount Werner

People hiking up Mount Werner, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
Mount Werner is a popular ski resort in the winter, but it also offers many activities in the warmer months. Take a scenic gondola ride to the top of the mountain, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Yampa Valley and the surrounding peaks. You can also hike or bike on one of the many trails that crisscross the mountain, or try your hand at disc golf. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can zipline through the trees or climb the ropes course or the rock wall.

15. Take a Steamboat Springs food tour

A graphic showcases the benefits of taking a Steamboat Springs food tour, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
If you’re looking for a delicious way to spend a summer day in Steamboat Springs, you might want to consider joining a Steamboat Springs food tour. The guided walking tour takes you to some of the best local restaurants and cafes in town where you can sample a variety of dishes and drinks, and learn about the history and culture of the area. You might even be able to meet some of the chefs and owners behind the local food scene. A food tour is a great way to explore the culinary scene in Steamboat Springs, as well as discover some hidden gems and local favorites you might not find on your own.

16. Gaze over the town atop Emerald Mountain

Two people hike Emerald Mountain, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
​​Emerald Mountain is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Steamboat Springs. If you enjoy hiking, you can choose from several trails that range from easy to challenging. Some of the trails offer panoramic views of the Yampa Valley and the Steamboat Ski Resort, while others take you through lush forests and meadows. You can also hike to the historic Howelsen Hill ski jump, where many Olympic athletes have trained. There are also horseback riding and biking opportunities available. Whatever you choose to do on Emerald Mountain, you will have a memorable summer day in Steamboat Springs.

17. Tube down the Yampa River

A person floats in a tire down the Yampa River, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
One of the best ways to enjoy a summer day in Steamboat Springs is to go tubing down the Yampa River. The Yampa River is a scenic and refreshing waterway that flows through the heart of the town. Tubing is a simple and inexpensive way to experience the river, as you just need a tube, a life jacket and some sunscreen. The most popular section of the river for tubing is from 5th Street Bridge to James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge — a 2-mile stretch that takes about an hour and a half to complete. This section has gentle rapids and waves that add some excitement to the ride, but nothing too challenging or dangerous. You can also extend your trip by starting from Fetcher Park or ending at Rotary Park, which will add another mile or two to your journey.

18. Explore King Solomon Falls

A picture of water going down King Solomon Falls, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
If you’re looking for a thrilling way to spend a summer day in Colorado, you might want to check out King Solomon Falls near Steamboat Springs. This hidden gem is a spectacular waterfall that plunges into a deep pool surrounded by cliffs and rocks. It is a great spot for swimming and fishing — even cliff jumping for the risktakers in your group.After about a mile of hiking, you’ll be greeted by a stunning sight of water cascading down from about 70 feet into a clear pool. King Solomon Falls is a unique and beautiful destination that offers a lot of fun and excitement for those who are willing to make the effort. It is also a well-kept secret that not many people know about, so you might have it all to yourself if you go on a weekday or early in the morning.

19. Camp under the stars at Routt National Forest

A person sets up a tent on top of their car at Routt National Forest, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
Routt National Forest is a hub of activity for travelers coming to Steamboat Springs and seeking adventure. Hiking, horseback trail rides, fishing and more are a short walk away when you camp in the forest. Some popular trails include Fish Creek Falls, Mad Creek and Rabbit Ears Pass. You can also kayak, raft or tube on the Yampa River that flows through Steamboat Springs. After a long day of thrills, cool off in one of the many nearby creeks and prepare yourself for a gorgeous night under the stars.

20. Fly over Steamboat Springs in a helicopter tour

A graphic encourages thrill seekers to Routt Fly over Steamboat Springs in a helicopter tour, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
For an unforgettable way to experience the beauty of Steamboat Springs in the summer, consider taking a helicopter tour. This tour will give you a bird's-eye view of the stunning scenery, from the lush green valleys and meadows to the majestic peaks and ridges of the Rocky Mountains. You’ll also get to see some of the landmarks and attractions of Steamboat Springs, such as the Steamboat Ski Resort, the Yampa River and Fish Creek Falls.You can choose from different tour packages and durations, depending on your budget and preferences. Some tours even offer landing options, where you can get out of the helicopter and explore some of the scenic spots on foot. A helicopter tour is your opportunity to see Steamboat Springs from a different perspective.

21. Dance the day away at a concert

A person stums their guitar at a free concert, one of the top Steamboat Springs summer activities.
If you’re looking for some entertainment in Steamboat Springs, you might want to check out concerts that are held throughout the year. Whether you enjoy rock, jazz, bluegrass or classical music, there is a genre for everyone at these events.Music on the Green is held at Yampa River Botanic Park, Steamboat Free Summer Concerts are performed at the Howelsen Hill Amphitheater and the Strings Music Festival hosts artists at different venues across Steamboat Springs for a small fee.

22. Two-step at the local rodeo

A person rides a cow at the rodeo, one of the top places for Steamboat Springs summer activities.
One of the most popular events in Steamboat Springs is the Steamboat Pro Rodeo, which runs every Friday and Saturday night from late June to late August. The summer rodeo in Steamboat Springs is a thrilling spectacle that showcases the skills and courage of cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country. You can watch bull riding, barrel racing, team roping, bronc riding and more. The rodeo also features entertainment for the whole family, such as clown acts, mutton busting, a calf scramble and live music. The rodeo grounds are located just a few minutes from downtown Steamboat Springs, where you can enjoy shopping, dining and nightlife.Although Steamboat Springs' summer activities are full of adventure, it’s also  enjoyable year-round, making it an ideal location for a second homeIf the breathtaking views, relaxing hot springs and adorable downtown keep you coming back for more, then consider co-owning a luxurious second home in Steamboat Springs

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Jen Lyons


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