Steamboat A to Z: Hot Springs |

Steamboat A to Z: Hot Springs

H Hot springs!

Few resorts let you soothe weary muscles in natural hot springs after a day of outdoor adventures. Steamboat Springs earned its named from early pioneers for the “chugging” sound of its springs, and you can experience them yourself in the area’s natural pools (there are approximately 150 different springs in the region).

Old Town Hot Springs at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue (970-879-1828,, which recently underwent a $5 million expansion, provides the most convenient option, complete with waterfalls, a pool-plunging climbing wall and a pair of 230-foot waterslides for the kids.

For a more rustic setting, Strawberry Park Hot Springs (970-879-0342, 7 miles out of town lets you change in a teepee and experience the healing powers of the hot springs just as the Utes once did. A variety of different-temperature pools, complete with shoulder-caressing waterfalls, sit beside a creek you can plunge into to cool off. Just heed the sunset curfew with your kids; clothing is optional after dark.

Sidebar: Hiking!

Steamboat’s undulating, mountainous terrain lends itself perfectly to hiking with the whole family. While a wealth of hiking trails already exist in Steamboat for all skill and fitness levels, there are soon to be even more as town recently voted to allocate more than $5 million in tax proceeds toward future trail building. Choose from day hikes on classics such as the Spring Creek and Emerald Mountain trails downtown to more wilderness-oriented hikes in the high country of the Mount Zirkel and Flat Tops wilderness areas (see page TK for highlighted hikes). Hiking hints: Bring map, sunscreen, water, food and appropriate clothing; let someone know where you’re going; and hike early in the day to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.

Sidebar: Howelsen Hill

Not sure what to do? Head to Howelsen Hill across the river downtown, a city-owned park with more recreation offerings packed into a square half mile than perhaps anyplace else in the world. Here’s a sampling of what you can do (and that’s only in the summer): tennis, volleyball, horseshoes, playground, mountain bike, BMX bike, Alpine Slide, softball, baseball, Frisbee, soccer, skateboard, basketball, ice skate, rodeo, horseback ride, hike and more.

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