Camping | Steamboat Springs, CO

There is nothing quite like fresh mountain air and summer sunshine for a refreshing weekend getaway. This quaint mountain town offers a variety of riverside dining, locally owned shops and…most importantly, a breathtaking mountain playground.

Let your computer take a few days off. Trade your oven for a campfire and soak in the sights and sounds of the mountain scenery.

Since there are so many mountain towns closer to Denver, it’s been about 5 years since my last visit to Steamboat. It was just a couple weeks before Oliver was born. I’ve been itching to go back to enjoy some of the experiences that my protruding belly inhibited. Oliver has been flipping through photo books wondering why in the world we would ever go on vacation without him! We tried to explain that he didn’t exist yet…but he refuses to believe that is possible. So to please him…and us, we left early one Saturday morning to make the 3 hour trek from Denver.

To our surprise, we arrived to see the normally quiet main street flooded with visitors and lined with Ford Mustangs. Apparently, it was the annual Mustang Rally. Kendyll and I could have passed up this event, but Oliver was in paradise so we stayed for a bit.

After a picnic lunch we headed to the KOA to select a piece of real estate. Being a scorching hot June day, we setup camp quickly and grabbed our swimsuits! The Old Town Hot Springs was calling our names. I was surprised by the entertainment offered at the springs…it’s more than just a pool. There were long curly slides, rocks to climb, floating animals to lounge on and even an obstacle course.

Back at the campsite we built a fire for our gourmet hot dog dinner. The sunset and cool mountain breeze provided all the entertainment we needed for the evening. A quick stroll at dusk gave us a view of stars and planets over the trout-filled Yampa river. I enjoyed the sounds of birds and crickets and the break from city noise.

We woke up with the warm sun smothering our tent to enjoy a simple breakfast. Knowing we’d be out for the day, we broke down camp and packed the car. Ambitiously, we chose to hike up the ski hill a few miles and envisioned riding the gondola down. About halfway up (and thoroughly sweaty) we realized on this hot Father’s Day hike – it was just too much and we turned back down the hill.

Normally I’d prefer a picnic lunch with my mountain scenery, but being Father’s Day, we treated David to Mexican at the Rio. I think we went through a gallon of water before we even ordered our meals. After devouring lunch, we took one last stroll down main street before we drove back to the real world. It was a refreshing weekend getaway!

resources: Steamboat KOA and Hot Springsspriggs-denver-photographer-70.jpg