Yampa River Festival


The Yampa river festival, hosted by the “Friends of the Yampa” has been a staple since 1980 to support and raise awareness for the Yampa River. A great festival for all ages, the Yampa river festival has recreational activities from crazy river dog to a traditional kayak slalom. Starting on May 31st and ending on June 3rd, the four days of events will surely give you and the family plenty to do during your summertime Steamboat vacation! This festival is free and for all to enjoy, no tickets or passes needed! All of the festival events will take place in downtown Steamboat Springs, and most will be based by Bud Werner memorial library riverside, or better known as “Charlie’s hole” on the river. Along with free festival activities, there will be plenty of vendors and restaurants there serving up various items, food, and drinks.

The Yampa river festival is a great way to see just how popular the Yampa river is, and how many locals hold it very near to their hearts.The main goal of the festival is to raise awareness of the Yampa River and to remind all users that it is a living and delicate ecosystem that must be respected and conserved.If you decide to head up and decide to join us, just keep a few things in mind if and when you are on the water; the water will be high, fast, and COLD, dress appropriately and always wear a PFD. Do not bring any loose items on the water, it becomes trash down river. Always rig your watercraft to flip, make sure all items are strapped and secured to the boat, and always be courteous and do not interfere with any wildlife. The Yampa River is their home and we are just guests! 

High Water Fish Creek

Class V Whitewater on Fish Creek

Volunteer to help with the Yampa River Festival – You don’t need to be a local to volunteer but you will be welcomed as one. You may just make friends and connections for life.


Thursday, May 31: State Of The Yampa Address At The Chief Theater
  • Engaging talks, slideshows and short movies about a variety of topics regarding the importance of the Yampa River
Friday, June 1: Fish Creek Race
  • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm – a sprint event from the Mt. Werner Water treatment facility to Steamboat Blvd road on Fish Creek
Saturday, June 2: Riverside Events, Based At Charlie’s Hole Near The Bud Werner Memorial Library And Fetcher Pond
  • Noon till 7:00 pm – an assortment of stand up paddle board, crazy river dog, raft, kayak, tube and pack rafting events, vendors and beer garden
Sunday, June 3: Kayak Slalom Event At Rich Weiss Park
  • 11:00 am – Noon – a classic kayaking slalom
Water Lab

See all event details here