Hidden Gems of Colorado-Steamboat Lake State Park

Everyone has one. A vision producing senses in overload.  Warm, sunny love and sweet smells giving the feeling that only the best days of your life can produce.

Your own personal vision of what heaven is like.


For me this place is on Earth in the state of Colorado. It is early summer, when the snow is almost completely melted and the flowers are at their peak bloom. For me, spending time with my family in a place like this is what I live life for. Making memories, learning together and having the time of our lives.


No bugs, no humidity. Everything has renewed and the air feels abnormally clean.

This is the best of Colorado.

From the Rocky Mountain peaks, to her cascading waterfalls to the abundance of wildlife, Colorado has so much to offer the thrill seeking, adventure hunting, lover of all things nature. We know this because over the past six years while traveling in our RV, my family of five plus our furry companion have had the pleasure of spending a combined four months in this gem of a state exploring all that it has to offer.

We’ve climbed the sand dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park, peered from the top of Pikes Peak, kayaked down the rushing Yampa River in late spring, camped under the stars at Lake Dillon and walked under the majestic Garden of the Gods. All of this was absolutely amazing, but we have one favorite place among all of these top stops that is difficult to beat. Twenty plus miles from the city of Steamboat Springs lies a mountain mecca seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Steamboat Lake State Park is so far removed from civilization that the 60 mile road to the state line of Wyoming isn’t even paved. You can take your ATV out on the surrounding hills to hundreds of miles of trails and never see a living soul save a moose or deer. This area encompasses all that we love about Colorado and for this reason it is a must see and our favorite mountain destination.


So it is here at Steamboat Lake State Park that we were able to spend two weeks last summer and we couldn’t get enough. In fact, we got lucky enough to spend so much time here without reservations, which is very difficult to come by. We had to move sites a few times, but that was a small price to pay to get this view and to experience all the activities it has to offer.

As the name implies the park surrounds a pristine lake overshadowed by a dormant volcano named Hahn’s Peak. You can swim and boat in the lake and yes, you can climb Hahn’s Peak! I’m a sucker for an awesome view so this peak had to be conquered before we left. There are also incredible biking trails that surround the lake that were covered with wildflowers while we were there. And if that isn’t enough, the hiking trails were fabulous and their ranger led tours were just what we needed to add to our studies.

When we arrived the first thing we wanted to do was go ride our bikes on one of the trails. DSC00696

This is not a picture of us on our bikes but the view you are treated with on the trail. The scenery was great but the smell of the phlox, tiny white and lavendar flowers, in the air was captivating.

After settling into our campground for a couple of days we decided we had to try our new kayaks we had just ordered from Sea Eagle. We took them to the lake to “get our feet wet”, the next day hubby could wait no longer and he was ready to take it down in to Steamboat Springs to try it on the Yampa River. After some mishaps and a flip over, half of the crew were fans of whitewater kayaking and the other half were scarred for life. Okay, not really, but the girls will have a lot of questions about the intensity of the rapids before they volunteer to go next time.

Next on the list, was to climb the 11,000 foot peak that had been looming above us all week. One of my pint sized crew wasn’t feeling up to it so she stayed behind with daddy as I took the bookends with me. This hike is not for the weiry as it boasts an over 1,400 foot gain in 3.6 miles. But we were up to the task and had a grand time playing in the snow in our shorts and looking from the fire tower at the top.

We did so much in our two weeks here but we still want for more. There is always the winter season where you can enjoy the more than 400 inches of snow that falls per year by snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cross country skiing. We’ll just have to plan another trip. Maybe this time we’ll rent a cabin.

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