Cross country skiing, Fireworks, and Hotsprings were the three highlights of our winter weekend trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It’s a pretty easy drive for us and a place we haven’t been to for many years. I always like to find fun weekends during the winter since our summers are so busy on our farm. Getaways are pretty easy in Colorado.
Google identified several different cross country ski resorts in the area, but we found skiing at Rabbit Ears Pass in Routt National Forest the most convenient. There were great trails on both sides of the highway to choose from. Some not so well identified, but we did ok. The third day we decided to pull out our snowshoes instead of the skis. I like that snowmobilers are restricted to the eastern summit of the pass allowing snowshoe-ers and cross country skiers to enjoy the western summit.
Two large basalt stones that stand upright near the summit that look somewhat like rabbit ears. This is where the pass gets it’s name.
When we planned the trip we hadn’t realized that it was Steamboat Sprints Winter Carnival. They do quite an evening show on Howelsen Hill, a smaller ski hill in town where skiers can practice jumping. After dark activities included skiers weaving downhill with red flares, followed by skiers with Roman candles shooting from their backpacks. Watching ski jumpers wearing fluorescent lights flying off the jump was equally impressive.
Local, Tim Borden, had hoped to set a world record for the largest aerial fireworks shell ever detonated. Unfortunately, the firework did not quite make it off the ground. However, he still holds the record for the largest shell ever launched in North America (48 inches). Even though the largest firework launch was unsuccessful, the firework show as a whole did not disappoint. It was quite impressive and I enjoyed it. You can read more about it in this newspaper article.
The third highlight of the trip was going to Strawberry Hotsprings. Strawberry Hot springs is a rustic hotspring, a 20 minute drive up the mountain from the town of Steamboat Springs. Because the parking lot is small, the springs never gets too crowded. There are several different pools that range in temperature from 105F to very cool, so you can go from one pool to another. It was a very cold day when we went which made getting out somewhat difficult, but my body temperature stayed warm long enough to make it the the changing cabin. The springs sit in a beautiful wooded area and the ground was covered with snow; perfect! The hot water soak felt great on my muscles after a morning of cross country skiing. Here is more information on the springs.
Within the town of Steamboat Springs you can take a walking tour past 7 or more different minerals springs within the city. We didn’t have time to do that, but have done it on previous trips. Many of them have different minerals dissolved in them. Here is information about those springs.