The Rockies: Sights of Steamboat Springs

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A few days in Steamboat Springs offered a variety of fun activities from hiking to tennis and paddle boarding at Catamount to dining out at a choice of restaurants to simply relaxing with friends and family.

My visit started with a hike to Gold Creek Lake along trail #1150. Ellen recalled the hike being mostly flat and pretty. The book of hikes in the area reported the roundtrip was just over six miles. It sounded like a perfect adventure for both of us as six miles is my favorite distance and Ellen needed a flat hike due to a problem with her achilles tendon.

Upon leaving the house, Gary asked if we had our hiking poles since it was “hilly”. I suppose I should have read the description in the book and noticed the 1,000 feet of elevation gain so Ellen didn’t have to suffer through the incline. Certainly none of the hike was difficult, but with an injury that is aggravated when walking up hill, this may have not been the best choice. To Ellen’s credit, with a few times resting her ankle, we followed the lovely trail beneath aspens, pines, and across the creek as we admired wildflowers all the way to a breathtaking lake where we enjoyed our lunch. Our trek down was much faster on this clear day, one of the few we have had this summer.

On Monday, we took a break from hiking and spent the day at Catamount, Steamboat’s Country Club. Ellen and I played tennis with my sister-in-law, Katie, and my niece and nephew, Sam and Mollie. It was so much fun! Tennis may have to replace my recent soccer void. After lunch, we tried out paddle boarding. It was my first time. Nice to try…glad I did it…but not my thing. While we played, my brother Bart was at work and Gary worked on projects at the house as well as dinner. It’s nice that he enjoys cooking, so we got to enjoy a nice dinner on the deck.

My final day in Steamboat called for rain. All morning was overcast and cool. We chose a short hike to Lake Dinosaur. I think it took longer to drive to the trailhead, which is unmarked, on the rough 4-wheel drive road than it did to walk the 0.75 miles to the lake. I’m told on the drive up, it is not uncommon to spot a deer, bear or moose. Today, however, the animals were elusive. They must have been hiding from the looming storm. I think we spotted a chipmunk and a bird.

On the other hand, the meadows of wildflowers were absolutely magnificent! Reds, whites, purples and yellows popped on the lush green slopes. The marshy trail crossed the flat grassy area, making it an easy stroll to the tranquil lake. After a short time by the water, we returned to the car and prepared for a bouncy descent back to the house. What a nice end to a lovely visit to Steamboat Springs! ETB


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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

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