Hiking and Biking in Steamboat

Mtn. Biking Steamboat

Bike Town USA®

As the ultimate destination for all cycling enthusiast and amateurs alike, Steamboat Springs was recently coined Bike Town USA®.   The biking options are enough to keep your wheels spinning for days.

Take a leisurely ride down the Yampa River Core Trail, a 7.5-mile paved trail that follows the Yampa River. It starts near the mountain and continues all the way downtown. There are multiple parks and scenic areas to admire on your journey and you’re sure to see a few fishermen casting their reels. If you want to experience the Core Trail but don’t feel comfortable riding a traditional bike, there’s a solution for that too.  Pedego is a new company in Steamboat that specializes in electric bikes. Check out their website here!

If you like to stick to the pavement but want to feel the burn on a long distance road ride, you’ll love the scenery and rolling hills in and around Steamboat.  Century rides, killer up hill burners, and mileage are all yours any direction you choose to peddle. For an intense hill climb we suggest Rabbit Ears West Summit Out & Back (26.9 miles) or if countryside touring is more your style, try Catamount Out & Back (20.86 miles).

Wanna get dirty? For a more thrilling biking experience head over to the Steamboat Bike Park where there’s no peddling required. Take the gondola up to the top of Mt. Werner at 9,080 feet and explore over 50 miles of downhill bike trails. Wooden bridges, big berms, and tabletop jumps are sure to have your adrenaline pumping.  The Resort staffs experienced bike guides who provide lessons for all ages and ability levels.  More information can be found on their website.   And for those who want to earn their turns, we suggest Emerald Mountain where peddling uphill is as fun as the descent. Choose a trailhead and start sweatin’ all the way to the Quarry overlook.  We promise this view will make the pain worth it.  Emerald is a local’s favorite because it’s free and it’s a blast.

Explore the mountain bike trail systems with this map.

For more information on biking The Boat, check out the most recent Bike Guide!


Here are a few hiking & biking trails to check out on your next Steamboat Vacation:


Taking it Easy Trail

Yampa River Core Trail  is a paved 7-mile trail with fishing and swimming holes, public art displays and open to walkers and bikers.


Steamboat Mountain BikersSuper Scenic Trail

Fish Creek Falls trail is a quarter mile trail that leads to a 283-foot waterfall.


Emerald Mountain Quarry Trail

This is a steady uphill hike on a dirt road (closed to vehicles), past the top of Howelsen Hill Ski Area to an overlook on the Yampa Valley.


Best Road Biking

Twentymile Road Ride is a paved country road through rolling hills and ranchland.  This ride includes three significant climbs.   From downtown Steamboat, turn west on 13th Street and proceed on County Road 33 (Twentymile Road) to the intersection of County Road 27.  Retrace the route for a 40-mile out and back.  For a longer version (46 miles) turn left on County Rd. 27 and continue until just north of Oak Creek.  Turn left on Colorado 131 and ride through Oak Creek Canyon, then left on County Road 14 (River Road), back into Steamboat.


The Emerald loop is a challenging 27.9 mile ride through ranchlands on paved and dirt roads.  Turn west on 13th Street and proceed on County Rd. 33. Take a left onto County Rd. 43, where the dirt begins. Follow around the back of Emerald Mountain and bear right onto County Rd. 41.  After descent to Hilton Gulch schoolhouse, turn left onto the pavement and continue down, merging with County Rd. 35, then left on County Rd.14 and back to town.


Easy Mountain Bike Rides

The Rotary Trail begins with a climb through oak brush and sage until it meets the upper portion of the Ridge Trail.  This trail crosses banks, berms and rollers before traversing a meadow to Cow Creek and back to the trailhead.  From Lincoln Avenue, turn west on County Road 33 and continue seven miles.  Turn left onto 13th Street and proceed on County Road 45 and continue one mile to either of two parking lots on your left.  Follow Ridge Trail for the first half-mile.


Lakeside Trail at Stagecoach State Park is an eight-mile gravel road/paved trail around the resevoir.  There are a few hills, but most of the ride is on level ground. Views of the mountains are highlights.  Take Colorado 131 South from Steamboat to County Road 14.  A Parks Pass is required to park around the lake.


img_1438Get your Hike On

In Steamboat, your new favorite hike is right out the backdoor. These are a few of our favorite hikes:


Fish Creek Falls

This hike has an option and a view for everyone. The magnificent 280-ft Fish Creek Falls located in Fish Creek Canyon is one of the most popular destinations in Steamboat. There are four possible trails to explore. Easiest: The first of the two easier hikes is a paved path leading up to an overlook of the Fish Creek Falls. The second trail follows a gravel path that leads to a bridge at the base of the Falls. Both of these trails are ¼ mile each way. Intermediate/Advanced: Beyond the bridge is a trail that continues gradually uphill for 2.5 miles to a second waterfall. It is the perfect place to stop for lunch and dip your toes in the water. If you’re feeling extra adventurous and want to continue on, follow the trail for another 3.5 miles to reach Long Lake. Completing this hike from start to finish is an all day endeavor totaling 12 miles round trip. You deserve a pat on the back!


Devils Causeway in the Flat Tops Wilderness

About 30 miles southwest of Steamboat is the Flat Tops Wilderness. They are exactly as their name describes them, a flat-topped mountain range. Over 160 miles of trails exist in the Flat Tops but one hike in particular has become rather notorious. It is called The Devils Causeway. The hike is 6 miles round trip or 10.5 miles total if you continue south after crossing the Causeway. Speaking of ‘crossing the Causeway’, did we mention that it’s a 25-yard rocky stretch that starts out about 10-feet wide and narrows to about 4-feet to the end? One misstep could be your last…this stretch is unnerving for even the bravest among the group. #extrasketchy An insiders tip for this hike is DON’T FORGET YOUR BUG SPRAY!