The Routt to Adventure: Discover disc golf
There’s no better time to get out and explore Routt County and the Yampa Valley than summer. The Routt to Adventure is a series of short guides to popular and maybe some not-so popular activities and destinations around Steamboat Springs. I love to be prepared, so I’ll offer a breakdown of what to bring, what not to bring, things to remember and any tips to get the most out of your day. If you have any suggestions for places or activities for me to explore, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — I paced methodically through knee high grasses, scanning the ground. My eyes darted back and forth, trying to catch a glimpse of neon green in a field of, well, green.
I was looking for my golf disc on hole No. 9 of the Thunderhead Disc Golf course at Steamboat Resort. My playing partner and I were both confident we knew where it landed, but clearly, we were wrong. Or, the disc was evading us, buried deep in the grass or simply blending in well.
Making matters slightly more stressful, there was a large bull moose sitting in the marsh 100 feet away. He was clearly cozy, his antlers barely visible above the grass, but I was still hyper aware of his presence.
After 15 minutes of pacing, we decided the disc was lost. It was not the first, and will certainly not be the last, flying circle of plastic lost on the slopes of Steamboat Resort.
The course at the ski area is beautiful but rough. It’s wild and full of dense shrubs and tall grass. Honestly, it was exhausting to track where my disc went. That might just be me, though. I’m incredibly average at frisbee golf. Other than that, the course is extremely well-marked, easy to navigate and requires just a little bit of hiking.
To get there, head up Burgess Creek Road all the way to the lot at the top. The sign for the course and the trail to hole No. 1 is at the base of all the trails underneath the lift.
If you’re a beginner or would rather spend more time playing than searching for your disc, I suggest the Hayden disc golf course at Dry Creek Park. It’s in a wide-open park in which your only obstacles are a small patch of large bushes and a fishing pond. The park is flat and the grass is short and mowed, and the course is easy to follow.
To complete nine holes, complete one lap counter clockwise around the park. For 18, go around again, but use the 10 to 18 tee boxes, which are slightly different distances from the holes than the 1 to 9 boxes.
There are two other courses in Steamboat Springs, one between the Silver Spur and Steamboat II neighborhoods and a nine-hole course up on the Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs campus.
The Silver Spur course is peaceful, just outside of town with rolling hills and medium height grass. To get there, take Routt County Road 42 off of U.S. Highway 40, then take a left on Silver Spur Street. At the break in the houses, park on the side of the street and take the path on the left, or south side of the road.
Shortly down the path there will be a tee pad on the left for hole No. 1. The hole is straight ahead. From there, it’s a little bit harder to detect where the course goes. Most of the holes are in sight though, so if you head the wrong direction, it’s not hard to backtrack and try the other way.
More details on disc golf courses around the country can be found at pdga.com/course-directory.
Things to bring
A bright, warm-colored disc: I cannot stress this enough: do not use a green or a yellow or even a brown disc. It’s impossible to find. Red, purple, orange or even pink are the best bets.
An extra disc: I assure you, it’s possible to lose a brightly colored disc. You might be able to see a pink disc all the way up in a tree or at the bottom of the pond, but it’s still lost.
A bag: You need something to carry your additional discs and your water, sunscreen and snacks — three things I won’t include in this list since they apply to all summer activities. Most places that sell discs will sell bags as well.
Things to leave at home
Open-toed shoes: This isn’t a necessity. I know how people love their hiking or water sandals. At courses like Steamboat Resort, though, it’s probably best to wear some good old-fashioned sneakers. You never know what terrain you’ll have to trek through to retrieve a rogue disc.
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