Hiking in Steamboat Springs

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of May 8-14, 1997
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Hiking in Steamboat Springs
Question: In July, I am heading to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Can you please recommend the top hiking or mountain biking trails?

Tom Armstrong
Portland, Oregon
[email protected]

Alpine scenery accompanies
any climb in Colorado

Adventure Adviser: Steamboat is a truly awesome place to hike and bike. You can head down virtually any Forest Service road and find challenging climbs and wicked downhills accompanied by high alpine scenery. I'd recommend that you stop at the Steamboat Springs Visitor Center (970-879-0882) located across from McDonalds at 1255 South Lincoln. Here they have a knowledgeable staff and a large selection of books and maps that will give you a better idea of what hikes or bikes are suitable to your abilities. But here are a few ideas to get you started:

To acclimatize yourself, start with the Spring Creek Trail, an 8-mile round-trip easy hike that is a steady climb on a well-graded trail. You can pick up the trailhead at the corner of Amethyst Drive and East Spring Street. The trail follows County Road 34 and meanders up to the Spring Creek Reservoir and Dry Lake Campground. You can also mountain bike here.

The second option is the Mica Lake Trail about 20 miles north of Steamboat off County Road 129. From 129 take a right on Seedhouse Road and drive until you get to a parking lot. The trail starts at Slavonia Trailhead, where you keep to the left until you see a sign a quarter-mile farther that is marked #1162. Follow that trail, and you'll find classic alpine beauty, with fields of wildflowers, tiny alpine lakes and views of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. The trail is 8 miles, round-trip.

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