New series offers free walking tours to explore history of Steamboat Springs |

New series offers free walking tours to explore history of Steamboat Springs

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Marianne Capra has guided tours on foot, on snowshoes and in canoes from Yosemite National Park to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Capra now will be leading a new “My Place, My Home” series of tours in downtown Steamboat Springs to fundraise for the school history programs she provides at Soda Creek Elementary School to kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

“There’s something about Steamboat that has these colorful, rich stories,” said Capra, a local historian who will lead each tour. “Yosemite is larger than life, and yet, the history here is just as spectacular and riveting with these nuances and layers.”

For five weeks starting in January 2019, she will offer four different walking tours that tell the history of Steamboat. The tours are free, but donations will be accepted.

This pilot program is launching in partnership with Main Street Steamboat under the name “Steamboat Tours4Tips.” The tours are also supported by Steamboat Creates, Big Iron Coffee Co. and the city of Steamboat Springs.

Each tour’s story will build on the next, Capra said.

Stories that evoke the town’s character are written in the street signs, the trees and even artifacts found throughout town.

“Whether you’re a history buff or not, knowing the history and stories behind it helps us see it with fresh eyes,” she said.

The story of Steamboat starts on the west end of downtown where the Utes originally camped out.

“It’s like time traveling,” Capra said. “We’ll walk the downtown streets, finding clues and artifacts of the past, then connect them to the stories of today.”

For the past 18 years, Capra has been leading private programs and tours for various organizations like Community Agricultural Alliance, Yampatika, Main Street Steamboat, BookTrails, Boys & Girls Club, Vista Verde Ranch and many more.

“Look for me in period costume, bring the whole family or treat yourself to something different in 2019,” Capra added.

“My Place, My Home”  historical tours of Steamboat Springs schedule 

“Springs & Things: Birth of Town Tour”

1 p.m. | Meet at the Depot Art Center parking lot, 1001 13th St.

Learn about the landscape that inspired the founding of this town — both its natural and cultural history. Visit mineral springs, the train depot and pioneer homestead sites. The first tour will be held Thursday, Jan. 3.

Upcoming: Jan. 10, Jan. 17, Jan. 24 and Jan. 31.

“Downtown Lowdown: Steamboat hiSTORY Tour”

1 p.m. | Meet at Big Iron Coffee Co, 635 Lincoln Ave.

Explore the heart of downtown — the architecture, artifacts, infrastructure and art — to see the rise of the marketplace. Visit the original town square, power plant and jail/courthouse as the tour goes from Seventh Street to 10th Street. The first tour will be held Friday, Jan. 4.

Upcoming: Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 18, Jan. 25 and Feb. 1.

“Sinister Steamboat: Dark hiSTORIES Tour”

1 p.m. | Meet at Big Iron Coffee Co, 635 Lincoln Ave.

“Sinister” is an adjective meaning “portending evil, harm, or trouble; ominous.” Does evil lurk below the surface of this quaint ski town? Dive into local murders, ghosts, mayhem and supernatural creatures. The tour will span from Fifth Street to Ninth Street. The first tour will be held Saturday, Jan. 5.

Upcoming: Jan. 12, Jan. 19, Jan. 26 and Feb. 2.

“Secrets of The Hill: Ski Free Sundays at Howelsen Tour”

1 p.m. | Meet at Howelsen Hill Lodge entrance, 401 Howelsen Pkwy.

Hear the story of the hill’s namesake and his cultural and economic impacts and learn about the geologic forces that shaped Howelsen Hill as well as Steamboat’s Olympic heritage. The first tour will be heldSunday, Jan. 13.

Upcoming: Jan. 13, Feb. 3 and Feb. 10

No reservations are required. All tours run for two hours, regardless of the weather and require walking outdoors on variable surfaces.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

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