the wandering chick
...Steamboat Springs
and the road that gets you there

Wow! Here's a charming town to live in. Population is right at 12,000; I'm sure the winter months are more croweded as it's a pretty popular skiing town. The main street (Highway 40 and Park Avenue) of the historic downtown district is lined with restaurants and shops.

It's not super touristy because it's off the beaten path...kinda out of the way. But its got some nice attractions that certainly make it a worthwhile trip for a couple of days.

But it was the Highway 40 between Kremmling and Steamboat that really caught my interest. A wonderful and scenic drive with lakes, ranches and stands of aspen trees. Whiteley Peak rules the area, and Rabbit Ears Peak puts a smile on your face.

Whiteley Peak
Whitely Peak can be seen from almost all angles as one travels the Highway 40 between Kremmling and Steamboat Springs. At just under 11,000 feet, it's certainly not one of Colorado's highest, but it captures the eye and dominates the view much of the way.
lonesome barn on Highway 40
This poor barn probably won't survive too many more Colorado winters. I named it Ilean.
Muddy Pass Lake
Mount Whiteley
Muddy Pass Lake, a small lake, and Rabbit Ears Peak in the background
Entering Steamboat from Rabbit Ear Pass
Lots of dirt roads off the Highway 40, and many of them lead to a ranch.
a ranch on Highway 40
A couple of lakes are sprawled out across the valley of the Yampa River as you enter Steamboat from the south, over the Rabbit Ears Pass.
entering Steamboat Springs
Winona's Restaurant
The view as you enter Steamboat Springs from the south
Winona's Restaurant, open for breakfast and lunch, had the largest crowd, so I fugured it must be a pretty good place to eat. I waited maybe 10 or 12 minutes before getting an outside table. Delicious food and a great menu. It's located on the main street of the historic district.
the More Barn
the More Barn
The More Barn is a well-known icon in Steamboat mostly because it's been featured for more than 40 years on the posters that advertise the Steamboat Springs Ski Area.
aspen with touch of fall
The ground cover that surrounded the aspens at Fish Creek Falls had just a hint of fall in its colors.
aspens with touch of fall
aspens with a touch of fall
the path to Fish Creek Falls
Fish Creek Falls
The path to Fish Creek Falls
Fish Creek Falls is a popular destination in Steamboat Springs. Nice views are offered of the 283-foot fall as it drops into Fish Creek. It's an easy 1/4-mile walk to the falls from the parking lot, and there's also a wheelchair- accessible path to the falls overlook. Hiking trails and picnic sites abound in the area as well.
Fish Creek Falls
Fish Creek Falls
Fish Creek
Fish Creek Falls
aspens on the Fish Creek Falls trail
The Yampa River
A tour of the Yampa River Botanic Park
The Yampa River flows through Steamboat Springs.
The Yampa River Botanic Park offers a nice stroll through gardens of flowers and sculptures and...
a pond of water lillies
a pond of water lilies. a pond of water lilies.
a pond of water lilies.
the gardens at Yama River Botanic Park.
a pond of water lilies.
the Botanic Park
On Highway 40, a field of wildflowers
I had a wonderful day in Steamboat Springs, but I couldn't wait to get back to the Highway 40 to see it in the afternoon light. This and the remaining photos were taken on my way back home. A field of wildflowers was found on a little off road that leads to the Meadows Campground in the Routt National Forest.
Muddy Pass Lake
A reflection of aspen in Muddy Pass Lake
Back to Muddy Pass Lake, and what a difference from this morning's view! A nice reflection of Rabbit Ears Peak (in the photo to the right) and a stand of aspen trees were free for the taking, thanks to the position of the afternoon sun.
On Highway 14 toward Walden
Sigh. There's never enough time to see everything you want, but I couldn't pass up this short little jaunt onto Highway 14 toward Walden. I saw the red-roofed barns and, like a magnet, I was drawn.
Off Highway 14 toward Walden
Highway 40 toward Kremmling
The sun was setting fast, and I had to get off the road before the deer, elk or moose started to appear. These are the last shots of the day.
on Highway 40 toward Kremmling
Whiteley Peak
At Grand River Ranch, the Haworth
One last shot of Whiteley Peak
From the road, the Haworth Ranch looked deserted, but well kept. There were a couple of barns and a log cabin, but there were no Private Property or Trespassing signs posted, so I ventured in and took a couple shots.
an old gnarled tree trunk
An old twisted tree trunk off the Fish Creek Falls Trail

To see more photos of my summer in Colorado, please return to the Colorado home page.

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