Routt County’s scenery explodes into a backdrop of spectacular reds and golds during fall. Take to the roads and leave plenty time to pull over and take photos. Favorite drives include: The Flat Tops Wilderness Area Scenic Byway from Yampa over Dunkley Pass and Ripple Creek Pass; Elk River Road to Hahns Peak and Steamboat Lake; or Rabbit Ears Pass to Muddy Pass.
Spot an array of wildlife on the hillsides or roaming in the valley floor. It’s a busy time for our resident moose, elk, deer and bears. Keep a safe distance and use binoculars or telephoto lenses to watch them. Never approach a wild animal and make sure dogs remain on a leash.
Keep track of local bird sightings and document your own by using the popular app, ebird.org. For instant identification from a database of 650 North American birds, try merlin.allaboutbirds.org
Plan for cooler air temps in the mornings and evenings. Dress like a local and opt for layers. Several of the nations biggest players in outdoor recreation clothing and gear started out right here in Steamboat. Check out sidewalk sales throughout fall where last season’s gear can be a steal. You’ll have to race to the rack to grab anything from Smartwool or Big Agnes.
It’s not just beer and brats on the menu this season, although you can find both in abundance at Steamboat’s OktoberWest festival on September 14 and 15. Sip local brews and pedal from pub to pub, while raising money for a great cause in the annual Mustache Ride on October 6.
Dine for less during ‘mud season’ when some of the town’s best eateries will be offering specials. Hunting season brings elk to the table in tasty stews and steaks. Homegrown apples, plums and the last harvest of peaches bubble inside cobblers and pies. Get a taste of local flavors at the first ever Yampavore dinner on October 11 at Harwigs Restaurant. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the Community Agriculture Alliance.
We’re serious here – if you come on Halloween, you will need one. The downtown stroll is one of the community’s most cherished events. For two hours, Lincoln Avenue is closed to traffic and open to ghosts, ghouls and goblins. Join the throng of locals wandering from store to store on a trick or treat quest. Dress up and take part, or kick back with a cocktail and watch from the sidelines. October 31, 5-7 p.m.