City to create new access point at popular river takeout location |

City to create new access point at popular river takeout location

Scott Franz

Colorado lottery proceeds will help the city of Steamboat Springs construct another Yampa River access point and improve aquatic wildlife habitat at Stockbridge Park.

The creation of a formal river put-in and take-out point at Stockbridge will replace an informal access point city officials and river users think is slippery and unsafe.

The informal nature of this access point also has led to riverbank erosion.

As early as August, crews with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps will work to improve about 300 feet of riverbank near Stockbridge Park.

The improvement project, which is being funded by a $47,500 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, will also construct a 10-foot-wide river access point with grading, steps, toeholds and erosion control.

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An eddy will also allow for the safe takeout of rafts, kayaks and tubes.

The proposal received strong community support when the city applied for grant funding.

“One of the most challenging parts of tubing or paddle boarding on the Yampa is getting in and out of the river,” Routt County residents Kelsey and Paul Kuntz wrote in a letter supporting the project. “Currently, at this site, there is no formal access, and it becomes difficult getting out of the river without slipping and falling, especially with small kids in tow; this can become extremely challenging.”

The Kuntzes said they enjoy using the Stockbridge area as a place to exit the river, because it is adjacent to a large public parking lot, the Yampa River Core Trail and the Steamboat Springs Transit bus line.

Here, the family can quickly board a bus and get back to their vehicle upriver.

Yampatika, a local non-profit that focuses on environmental literacy, also strongly endorsed the project.

Leaders of the program said it could become a new learning site during summer camp programs.

“Yampatika is excited about the prospect of new education opportunities that will come with safe and easy access to the Yampa River …,” Program Director Kellie Gorman wrote.

The city will invest a $40,000 grant match for the project.

The Stockbridge site is one of several areas the city has invested in riverbank improvements.

In the downtown area, the new Workman Park includes public river access consisting of stone steps that terrace down to the Yampa.

According to a news release, GOCO has now invested almost $50.2 million in lottery proceeds in Routt County projects, while helping to conserve more than 56,000 acres of land.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10