There’s a park for you in Steamboat Springs

March 1, 2021

Whether you’re a parent with kids in tow, have a four-legged friend who needs some exercise, want to soak away the stress of the day, need an accessible option, or are visiting the area for the first time, there’s a park for you in Steamboat Springs.

Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat Springs

A young child stops for a picture next to blooming flowers in a botanic park.
The first flowers after the snow melts are always a welcome sight. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Reznicek.

What started as a flat horse pasture and is now comprised of six acres of ponds, berms and more than 50 gardens, Yampa River Botanic Park bursts with colors and fragrances each spring and summer.

The park is set up in “neighborhoods,” each with its own story. Plants are labeled by common name, genus and species, plant family and whether they’re native to northwest Colorado. The park’s design is devoid of straight lines, which encourages visitors to wander through each area at leisure.

Botanic Walk Wednesdays and Sundays are guided tours that offer a bit more information about the park and its flora. Music on the Green, a partnership with Strings Music Festival, is a fun outdoor concert series that takes place during the summer.

  • Location: 1000 Pamela Lane in Steamboat Springs. Parking is available near Emerald Park. Access is also available via the Yampa River Core Trail.
  • Hours: Open from dawn until dusk, from early May through the end of October, weather dependent.
  • Admission: Free
  • Learn more: YampaRiverBotanicPark.org

Rita Valentine Park in Steamboat Springs

Two dogs enjoy playing at a dog park on a sunny day.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Fonger.

When Stella needs space to run and Fozzie wants to relax in the grass, they head to Rita Valentine Park. This grassy open space offers plenty of room and an off-leash policy for dogs. In the past year, additional trees have been planted for shade, and work has been done on a soft surface trail.

Dr. Rich Weiss Park in Steamboat Springs

A picnic table sits in a park overlooking the Yampa River.
Weiss Park in Steamboat Springs is a perfect vantage point to watch river enthusiasts try their luck on inflatable tubes and paddleboards. Photo courtesy of the City of Steamboat Springs.

In the summertime, you’ll find picnickers and river enthusiasts scattered about Weiss Park. With access to both the Yampa River Core trail and the Yampa River, it’s a gathering place for many. Picnic tables, plenty of shade and close proximity to downtown make this park a favorite among locals and visitors. It’s a great place to watch river tubers float by, and there’s even a natural spring next to the river, which can provide a quick warm-up upon exit from the river.

Little Toots Park in Steamboat Springs

Little Toots Park in Steamboat Springs features a playground, swings and a gazebo.
With a large playground and swings, kids of all ages will have fun at Little Toots Park in Steamboat Springs. Photo courtesy of the City of Steamboat Springs.

Located in downtown Steamboat Springs, Little Toots Park offers plentiful shade and easy access to a number of amenities. There’s playground equipment, picnic tables and barbeques, and lots of space to let the kids play.

Like the Botanic Park, Little Toots is along the Yampa River Core Trail. Go west, cross a bridge and you’ll find the Bud Werner Memorial Library. Go east and you’ll find yourself among shops and restaurants and at the base of Howelsen Hill, North America’s oldest operating ski area.

  • Location: 55 12th Street in Steamboat Springs. Parking is available nearby. Access is also available via the Yampa River Core Trail.
  • Hours: Dawn until dusk.
  • Admission:
  • Learn more: City of Steamboat Springs Little Toots Park

Strawberry Park Hot Springs near Steamboat Springs

People enjoy swimming at a natural hot springs surrounded by snow, a park near Steamboat Springs..
Strawberry Park Hot Springs outside of Steamboat Springs. Photo courtesy of Steamboat Chamber.

Located about seven miles from downtown Steamboat Springs, Strawberry Park Hot Springs offers natural hot springs nestled amidst the trees. Thermal pools temperatures range from 101-105 degrees. Cabins are available to rent year-round, with camp sites are available in the summer. In the summer and for more of an adventure, consider hiking the Hot Springs Trail before or after your soak.

  • Location: 44200 County Road #36 in Steamboat Springs. 4-wheel drive with snow tires/chains is required Nov. 1-May 1. Two-wheel drive vehicles are prohibited Nov. 1-May 1.
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. every day.
  • Admission: Pool admission $20/person, all ages. No youth under the age of 18 allowed after dark.
  • Learn more: StrawberryHotSprings.com

 

Please check local guidance related to COVID-19 mitigation efforts and precautions that may need to be taken while visiting parks, including masking requirements, etc.

About the author

Lindsey Reznicek is a communications specialist at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She has spent the last eight years working in marketing and communications in health care, an industry she never considered but one to which she's contributed through her work in media relations, executive messaging and internal communications. She considers it an honor to interact with patients and write about their experiences; it’s what keeps her coming back to work each day.

A native of Nebraska, Lindsey received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, with a focus on public relations, from the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University – she bleeds purple.

She could see a Broadway musical every week, is a huge animal lover, enjoys a good shopping trip, and likes spending time in the kitchen. Lindsey and her husband have two daughters and enjoy hiking in the summer and skiing all winter long.

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