Tales from the Tread: New Iconic Steamboat tour offered

The new Iconic Steamboat Walking Tour starts at the historic Depot Art Center on 13th Street at noon every Friday from Dec. 18 to March 26, except for Christmas Day. (Courtesy photo/Tread of Pioneers Museum)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Join the Tread of Pioneers Museum and Steamboat Creates for a new, free guided walking tour of Steamboat’s most iconic historic and cultural sites in downtown Steamboat Springs.

The tour starts at the historic Depot Art Center on 13th Street with free hot cocoa and a guided tour of this storied landmark and the newly refurbished art studio caboose. Then stroll through the downtown area for a specially curated tour of Steamboat’s history including mineral springs, historic buildings, cultural sites, hidden surprises and art murals. The tours are offered at noon every Friday this winter from Friday to March 26, excluding Christmas Day.

“The Tread of Pioneers Museum and Steamboat Creates wanted to collaborate on this tour to celebrate the fascinating history, heritage and arts that have been tied together since the earliest days,” said Candice Bannister, the museum’s executive director. “Digging deeper into the history of the area is sure to grow your love of Steamboat.”

The tours are led by local author Dagny McKinley who has written several books, two of which are focused on the local mineral springs and the history of Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, the oldest continually operating camp of its kind in the West.

“I never thought of myself as a historian, but my love of this place lured me to want to learn more,” McKinley said. “You don’t have to be a history lover or art lover to enjoy this tour. All you need is a curiosity about Steamboat.”

If you go

What: Iconic Steamboat Tours

When: Noon every Friday from Dec. 18 to March 26 (no tour Christmas Day)

Where: Starts at the Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

Cost: Free; visit for more information.

The tour ends at the Tread of Pioneers Museum where participants can continue to discover the history and heritage of Steamboat Springs through its exhibits and historic homes. Half-price museum admission is offered for all tour participants, and Routt County residents get in free.

At the museum, guests can discover the people and events that shaped this once wild Western frontier outpost into a beloved Rocky Mountain destination resort town. The museum conveys the stories and ways of the Native Americans, early settlers, miners, ranchers, skiers, outlaws, and lawmen. Featured exhibits include World War II, The Springs of Steamboat and the Photography of John Lanterman.

Reservations are not required for the tour, but spots are limited due to COVID-19 guidelines. Participants are advised to dress warmly to walk and stand outside. The tour follows all COVID-19 state and county regulations and protocols, including masks and social distancing.

The Tread of Pioneers Museum is located at 800 Oak St. in downtown Steamboat Springs.

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