Located in the Northwest area of Colorado, Steamboat Springs is a great city to visit anytime of year. However, we think it’s especially delightful to visit in the summer, when the wildflowers are blooming. Steamboat has lots to offer families who enjoy camping and outdoor recreation.
There aren’t a lot of camping options close to town, but if you don’t mind the beautiful and scenic drive up highway 129, you’ll find 2 great options at Pearl Lake State Park and Steamboat Lake State Park. Pearl Lake (pictured below) is much smaller and features primitive sites. There is water available and there are bathrooms, but that’s it. These sites don’t have electric hookups and aren’t huge. They’re better for small travel trailers, pop-ups, tents and truck campers.
At Pearl Lake you can fish, hike, kayak and paddleboard. Swimming is not allowed but there are often paddleboard rentals at the boat ramp area. There is a nice wooded trail to hike as well.
Steamboat Lake State Park is much bigger. It does offer campsites with electric hookups and even some cabins for rent. Steamboat Lake has some biking and hiking trails and a huge lake for boating, kayaking, fishing, etc. This is also where the dump station for both state parks is located.
Back in town there is SO much to do! Spend a few days at the lake, but make sure to take some time to come into town to mountain bike at the Emerald Mountain trails or tube on the Yampa River. You can also hike or bike at the Steamboat Springs ski resort, though this year the lift-accessed biking has been cancelled. The trails are still there though, they just require more lung capacity to get to the top.
You’ll find plenty to do in and around Steamboat Springs. It’s not too far of a drive from Grand Junction, but you’ll probably want to stay for 3 or 4 days once you get there.
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