Surrounded by National Forest lands, high mountain lakes and breathtaking views, Steamboat Springs is a popular destination for hiking, trekking, and backpacking. The Gondola allows hikers and bikers access to 30 miles worth of scenic trails on the Steamboat Ski Resort. For a gentle ride or walk with the kids, take the 5-mile Yampa River Trail, which connects the ski area to downtown Steamboat Springs. Other trails close by include the Howelsen Hill loops, Red Dirt at Mad Creek, The Hot Springs Trails, and so many more!
Bella Vista Favorites:
Hike to the Rabbit Ears in early summer to mid July for wildflower viewing. (3 miles each way) ~ From the Bella Vista, drive 8 mile south east up Rabbit Ears Pass and turn left at the Dumont Lake sign. Follow this section of the old pass road for about a mile and park at the gate. Walk up FR 131 about 1/10 of a mile until you see the 291 post marker on the right. The trail begins here on an old jeep road and pas through meadows blanketed with more than 80 species of wildflowers. The last part of the trail climbs a steep grade for several hundred yards before ending at the base of the western rock. A narrow, precarious causeway will take you to the actual Rabbit Ears. Enjoy spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of the Flat Tops, Gore Range, Mt Zirkel Wilderness and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Hike to Strawberry Park Hot Springs (3 miles each way) ~ This is a single tack trail that follows along Hot Springs Creek through a beautiful, forested and cool canyon up to the Strawberry Park Hot Springs. It is about 1.5 hour gentle climb with the reward at trails end a soak in the famous Strawberry Park Hot Springs. For a one way hike hikers can be dropped off at the trailhead at the west end of town. The non-hikers can drive up to the Hot Springs via a seven mile dirt road accessed from downtown. The two groups can meet for a soak and drive back down together. To get to the trailhead: Drive west out of town and turn North at the Airport/Clark turnoff, Rout County Road 129. Drive 5.5 miles and park in the Mad Creek 1100 trailhead parking lot on the right. Walk along the highway south 400 yards to FDR128. Walk up the dirt raod about half a mile, closing all gates behind you until you see the hot springs trail on the right. Yield to any mountain bikers heading downhill. The trail dead ends at the springs. Enjoy the hot springs!