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What to do in Steamboat (in the winter) if You Don’t Ski
Steamboat Springs is hands down my favorite place to spend a weekend in Colorado, especially during the summer. Steamboat has it all; hiking, tubing the river, camping, mountain biking, hot springs, the rodeo, great restaurants, shopping and live music – what’s not to love. I enjoy visiting Steamboat in the winter too, even though I’m not much of a winter sports gal, which is exactly what I did this past weekend.
While my boyfriend did spend a day on the slopes, I did not. No complaining here though, I found plenty to do in Steamboat without skiing. I started my day off with a short hike on the Old Town Hot Springs walking trail with my dog followed by a big warm cup of coffee and a savory crepe at Yampy’s Coffee Crepes and Cocktails. After breakfast, I ventured along the river down to the sulfur springs to take some pictures and walk off my breakfast.
After walking all over town and checking out local shops, I searched for the best Bloody Mary in Steamboat. My search brought up three locations; Mc Knights Irish Pub, Creekside Cafe & Grill, and Four Points Lodge. I choose Mc Knights, and they weren’t lying about having a great bloody mary. It was so good I even ordered a second drink. Mc Knights was a little divey but with a great atmosphere and really friendly staff. It’s also located close to the mountain and off the main drag in town so I can see it being a popular spot for those coming off the slopes.
When I picked my boyfriend up from the mountain we went back into town for a beer and some bar food at The Tap House with our friends who were also visiting Steamboat for the weekend. They headed back to where they were staying in Frisco and we headed up to Strawberry Hot Springs, clothing optional after dark. This is such a cool experience whether you go during the day or at night, and I highly recommend you check this out if you visit Steamboat.
We normally stay in a vacation rental or rent a room at the Nordic Lodge when we visit Steamboat. However, this time we slept in our Yukon Denali XL up on a pull-off on Rabbit Ears Pass, a popular spot for snowmobilers. We got this vehicle over the summer and we’ve been slowly converting it into a camper. We removed the third-row bench seat and it fits a full-size mattress in the back. We have plenty of storage and room for the dog too! My only concern about winter car camping was the temperature. Surprisingly, it was nice and cozy in there and we didn’t freeze to death. We bundled up, ate some snacks, and watched a movie on my laptop.
SIDE NOTE – we watched the movie Bright with Will Smith on Netflix and it was awesome. Watch it!
The next day we woke up to a serious snow storm. That didn’t stop us from venturing out on a hike up to Fish Creek Falls. Fun fact; Fish Creek Falls is the waterfall on the front of the Coors beer can and bottle. Luckily the snow on the trail was packed down so we didn’t need snowshoes or Yak Trax. The waterfall was completely frozen but just as beautiful as it is flowing.
Before our drive back to Boulder Clint took a few casts on the Yampa and was able to land a nice brown trout. We made one final pit stop in Dillion at The Dillion Dam Brewery, a frequented spot for us, where we warmed up by ordering Mike’s Ale Onion Soup, highly recommended.