The bicycle has come a long way. Adventures have grown deeper and longer into the mountains and forests of this wondrous planet. In Steamboat Springs, CO lucky residents are able to access miles of backcountry singletrack trail straight from their cozy, comfy little town. Steamboat is a river valley town with great people, good food and beer, with even better trails.
Steamboat, being in the Yampa Valley allows us to escape life’s grind and access miles of fluid, flowy, and fun singletrack straight from town. Camping is possible right next to most of the campsites all over the Routt National Forest. Going anywhere east of town puts you on a connector trail leading to the Continental Divide Trail which spans from the Mexico border to the south, all the way north to the Canadian border. This allows us huge access to explore straight from town or loop back to the campsite.
Camping right next to the trailhead is a really special experience. There’s no better way to embrace a long ride than smelling the morning air straight from the tent and waking up to a warming sunrise. Making a breakfast full of eggs, bacon and coffee is a great way to prepare for that climb. Starting from camp which is still lower on the mountain, you can ride miles into the National Forest which can drop almost 4,000ft of descent straight into downtown Steamboat Springs.
These trails take you through granite rock tech, lush christmas tree patches with soft tacky soil, and steep open meadows with fun little rock features to send it off of. The terrain can be a beast of its own but the majority of the trails are consistent fun factories. One trail in particular is the Fish Creek Fall Trail. An uphill and downhill traffic, bike legal trail profound as the gnarliest stuff in town. You’re faced with some crazy rock waterbars followed by endless amounts of chunder on steep, exposed spots. Mountain goating should be in your quiver of skills for this one.
We are beyond lucky to live in such an amazing place. You know you’re in a great place when the town slogan is “Work hard, Play harder”. Steamboat has been such a great learning experience and many of us have a special place in our hearts for The Boat. Having lived here for just a short time, I sometimes take the accessibility of this beautiful town for granted. It’s easy to become spoiled here, but we are reminded of how much we have every time we look at the mountains.
It’s never difficult to find a rad individual to ride or hang with in Steamboat. The town is filled with people who do the same things you like to do. Whether you’re hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, kayaking, working out or wrestling bears….Steamboat has a friend waiting. Everyone greets you with a smile and always wants to know where you’re from, why you came to The Boat, what you do with your life, etc. The medium sized Steamboat feels like a small, cozy, mountain town as soon as you arrive. It is a unique town being in Colorado, where marijuana is legal, we have three dispensaries and breweries so you can enjoy both of your guilty pleasures. The pace here is a little slower than your average city. “It’s all good, man”. There is this thing called a “Powder Clause”, where if it snows 5 inches or more overnight, you are allowed to go and enjoy those freshies before heading into work! A few companies offer lunch break rides to go and rip the pumptrack, trails or DH resort laps for an hour or two. I am so fortunate to call this town home and would love to see you keep a smile off of your face here!
Trail map by mtbproject.com
More information on the trip:
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Words & Photos: Riley Seebeck