Flashes of gold have started to appear on the foliage around the ‘Boat. It’s hard to leave another glorious summer, but if you’ve ever been to Steamboat in the fall, you’ll know there is plenty to celebrate.
Here are our favorite things to do in the valley before winter shrouds us with snow.
Wild West Air Fest
Nationally renowned aviators take to the skies of Steamboat Springs, performing thrilling aerobatic stunts and formation flying during Labor Day weekend. Take a ride in a plane or helicopter, listen to presentations by retired military pilots and check out the war birds and vintage aircraft on display. Saturday, Sept. 2.
Labor Day Sidewalk Sale
Stock up on outdoor gear and clothing at the end-of-season Sidewalk Sale, when Steamboat’s downtown boutique-owners display an abundance of bargain items outside their stores.
Yampa Valley Crane Festival
Celebrate the incredible migration of the greater sandhill cranes through the Yampa Valley by attending guided crane viewings, live raptor presentations, in-depth workshops, nature walks and a community picnic at the Carpenter Ranch. Speakers include George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, and Ted Floyd, editor of Birding magazine. Thursday – Sunday, Aug. 31 – Sept 3. www.coloradocranes.net
Run Rabbit Run
With steep terrain, elevation changes and frequently cruel weather, the 50- and 100-mile Run Rabbit Run ultra marathons are not for the faint of heart. Those who choose to partake in these well-marked and extremely challenging races will be rewarded with up-close-and personal views of the Yampa Valley’s autumn colors and – for the winners – the highest purse of any trail ultra marathon in the world. Limited to 350 entrants for the 100-mile race and 200 entrants for the 50-mile race. Friday-Saturday, Sept. 8-9. www.runrabbitrunsteamboat.com
Annual Mustache Ride
Hundreds of mustachioed (and faux-mustachioed) bikers donning wild costumes pedal from pub to pub in the Mustache Ride. All proceeds from this exceptional pub-crawl go toward the Routt County Humane Society. Saturday, Oct. 7. www.ssmustacheride.com
Scenic Drives and Rides – Scenery and Photo Stops
Routt County’s scenery explodes in spectacular reds and golds during autumn – take to the roads around Steamboat Springs by car or bike to witness the panoramas in all of their majesty. Follow the flow of the Yampa River with a ride on River Road and travel onto The Flat Tops Wilderness Area Scenic Byway from Yampa over Dunkley Pass and Ripple Creek Pass. Drive up Rabbit Ears Pass to Muddy Pass, which despite the name offers breathtaking photo opportunities. Head north of Steamboat to pass historic ranchlands and their fields of gold along Elk River Road and Seedhouse Road, stopping for homemade treats at the Clark Store. Ride further north, where Hahn’s Peak and Steamboat Lake offer essential viewing of the autumn landscape.
Play a Round
There are deals to be had on the links as the air temp. begins to drop. Play nine or 18 holes at the city owned Haymaker Golf Course. The Keith Foster links-style course is celebrating its’ 20th anniversary this year. Kids under 12 years, play for free with a paying adult. Kids 12 years and over, pay their age. Rental clubs are free for juniors. www.haymakergolf.com
Downtown Halloween Stroll
Just before the snow falls, join a throng of ghosts, ghouls and goblins at Steamboat’s beloved downtown Halloween celebration. Downtown Lincoln Avenue is closed to traffic and businesses open their doors to an army of trick-or-treaters. Dress up for the event, or opt for a bite at one of the Lincoln Avenue eateries and vote on the best getups as they pass by. Tuesday, Oct. 31, 5-7 p.m.