CMC student creates Steamboat Springs hiking challenge
Most people don’t need a reason to get outside, breathe among the trees and hike or bike a few miles. But for those who do, Carsen Coleman, a student at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs, has created a brand new incentive and motivator for area hikers with the Steamboat Springs 6’er challenge.
The challenge consists of six hikes all within 30 miles of Steamboat Springs. Upon completion, people can submit a registration form to become an official SS 6’er member and earn a sticker and roster number.
Coleman, 19, grew up in Lake Placid, New York, in the heart of the Adirondacks, where there are many hiking challenges. There’s the Saranac 6’er and the 46’er challenge all in Upstate New York.
“When I was a kid, my Dad would drag me on hikes and I was never into it,” Coleman said. “When he showed me one of the hiking challenges, the Lake Placid 9’er, it definitely motivated me to get that sticker and get that certificate. Ever since then, I fell in love with hiking. I’m hoping for some local kids to do the same.”
Coleman came to Steamboat to work for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. as a lift operator after graduating high school amid the pandemic. He now attends CMC, where he’s a nursing major.
When Coleman moved to the Yampa Valley, he noticed and was surprised to learn that Steamboat had no such challenge. Inspired by the names of the hiking challenges back east, Coleman came up with the Steamboat Springs 6er and created an Instagram and website at SteamboatSprings6er.com.
The challenge includes Creekside, the Uranium Mine Trail, Blackmer on Emerald Mountain, Rabbit Ears Peak, Hahns Peak and Thunderhead trail.
“I wanted something for both the tourists and the locals,” he said. “There’s six of them so they can be completed in a pretty short amount of time. I just wanted people to get out and see the great views Routt County has to offer.”
The challenge is extremely accessible because all trails are near Steamboat and easy to reach via a car, if not a bus, bike or short walk. The routes range from 2.3 to 6.6 miles round trip.
Coleman picked trails that are already pretty well known and on most people’s radar, so as not to bring additional feet to some more hidden gems.
“I thought about adding some more underrated hikes that not many people know about,” he said. “But I was a little worried about the backlash. Not to mention, the six that I chose are just classics in the Steamboat area.”
Any hikes prior to May 25, 2022, or the birth of the challenge, do not count. When someone completes all six, they need to fill out the registration form found at SteamboatSprings6er.com and mail it in along with the $10 registration fee.
The fee goes toward making the certificates and the stickers. Any leftover money will be donated to Friends of the Yampa.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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