Steamboat Springs is a town in the northwestern reaches of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. It is one of Colorado's premiere skiing destinations known for ‘champagne’ powder snow. Taylor and I traveled to this ski town in February for the WinterWonderGrass music festival.
The bluegrass music festival offers 3 day lift tickets, but those tickets sold out quickly. Single day passes at Steamboat Resort range from $160 to $210. Instead, we found a more reasonably priced alternative and had a blast on its slopes.
Howelson Hill has been operating as a ski area since 1915 and is not only the oldest operating ski area but has also been the training grounds of more international competitors than any other place in North America!
Taylor and I were oblivious to all of this when we stumbled upon it. We excitedly purchased single day lift tickets for $30 each. We had rented all of our gear earlier in the day at a local ski shop, and our total bill for the blissful day of gliding downhill was less than $100.
We decided to stop with a some energy left and head to the WinterWondergrass Festial for the night. Even with the delicious food, hot drinks, and bright music of the festival, Taylor and I couldn’t help but talk about the day we’d just had exploring and learning on Howelson Hill.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs
One of the jewels near Steamboat Springs, Colorado is Strawberry Park Hot Spring. The lodge, spa, and mineral hot springs are nearly seven miles from town and provides late night (clothing optional) mineral soaking.
The Hot Spring costs $15 to enter, and the attendants only accept cash or check. Taylor and I were unaware and unprepared. We luckily found just enough change in Taylor’s car to pay entry for two. Not far from the entrance gate, we saw the signs pointing us toward the hot pools.
At the top of the Hot Spring area, a wooden boardwalk leads past the changing house where we stepped in to strip down. Once our warm layers were removed we continued down the path and crossed Hot Spring Creek before arriving at the patio area where the covered gazebo and restrooms were.
Private, tiny pools sit above the path, and two large pools lay at the path's end. As evidenced by the parking lot, the pools were crowded. Since the spa is clothing optional there are no lights on and we struggled to see one another.
Squinting and listening, Taylor and I entered the largest pool and found a curtain of hot water flowing from a higher source. We floated in our space and relaxed every muscle next to the fall. We looked up at the stars and enjoyed the company of the ones around us for as long as we could.
Too soon, our fingers were pruney, and we were tired. We’d had a long day exploring Steamboat and dancing the day away, and our time spent relaxing in the 100+ degree waters of Strawberry Hot Springs was the perfect way to melt it all away.
Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!