Steamboat in Summer

Steamboat Springs is one of our family’s favorite places to visit in the summer. The best way to get there from the Front Range is via I-70 and heading north over Berthoud Pass to Winter Park.  It’s a ski town, but also has a wonderful Old West feel. Our family was in town for the Steamboat Pro Rodeo, something that had been on my bucket list for a long time.  The entire trip was better was anything I could have anticipated!

Steamboat has a different feel than the Front Range or Summit County.  It’s completely normal to see a rancher with a truck full of hay next to you at a stoplight.

rancher hauling hay bales through town

 The bus system will take you all over for free and stops at most hotels/resorts. When shopping downtown make certain you stop in F.M. Light & Sons.

FM Light Store

The store was started by Mr. Light, who arrived by stagecoach in the early 1900s.  He started the store in 1905 and is still ran by his descendants.

FM Light Boots

It’s the epitome of a cowboy store!

FM Light Stetsons

Kids (of all ages) will want a picture with the horse out front!

FM Light Horse

The entire town is full of wonderful shops and restaurants, but our favorite thing is the drive!  If you’re coming from the south make a few stops in the Routt National Forest.  Our newest discovery was Dumont Lake.

Dumont Lake sign

It is a short, easy hike from the parking spot to the lake.

kids hiking to Dumont lake

And the view of the lake was worth it!

Dumont Lake overlook

Our family found a beautiful spot for fishing. If I would have known that it was still frozen the previous week…I might have not waded in to untangle my son’s fishing line! Brrrr!

Dumont Lake

As you’re coming in to Steamboat Springs from the south there are some beautiful views of the valley below.

Overlooking Steamboat valley

The drive north out of Steamboat is why I love this area of Colorado.

Ranch welcome sign

The immensity of the wilderness,

Ranch pasture overlook

the beautiful ranches that have stood for generations.

red barn ranch

I adore all the character!

Longhorn skulls

It’s easy to see why the brave souls who headed West settled here.

cattle grazing

You must stop by the Clark General Store.

Clark Store

It’s a post office, library, local café, grocery, deli, restaurant and bait shop.

Clark post office

You might even see a modern cowboy!

Modern Cowboy

On the recommendation of the guy who sold us bait, we drove past Steamboat Lake State Park and on towards Hahns Peak Lake.

Hahns Peak Lake1

There’s a great trail around the lake for an easy hike.

Trail at Hahns Peak Lake

According to a local we met, this camp area is only open for a short period of time.  Plan ahead if you want to stay here…and why wouldn’t you want to?

Hahns Peak Lake2

My husband had good luck trying out his new fly fishing gear.

Fly fishing at Hahns Peak Lake

And my son caught three fish on his pole…and even more minnows in his net!

catching minnows

My other two boys were more interested in trying to catch a chipmunk…I think they fed him an entire bag of Doritos. (Yes, I know you’re not supposed to feed wildlife…my kids were sneaky.)


This lady and her dog were pretty brave…that water was COLD!

SUP w dog - Hahns Peak Lake

As always, watch out for wildlife, this little guy was hiding beside us at a stoplight on the edge of Steamboat.

deer on side of road near steamboat

I hear the skiing is pretty great, too!  In the summer the trails look like green roads on the side of the mountain.


I later learned the village of Hahns Peak is a former mining settlement turned ghost town.  We’ll definitely explore that on our next trip!

Strawberry Park Hot Springs is another really magical place we love but didn’t have time for.  Make sure you take visit – you’ll never forget this unique place.

Steamboat is a fantastic place to visit in the summer.