Sunday, October 25, 2015

Steamboat Springs and Strawberry Park Hot Springs


As I mentioned in my last blog post about the Broadmoor Resort and Hotel in Colorado Springs, my husband and I planned to celebrate our anniversary in two parts. We enjoyed the luxury and the history of the Broadmoor, as the first part, and now we were going on an adventure in NW Colorado to Steamboat Springs in Routt County, for the second part. This was a new area that we had not seen before, so our anticipation was high. (All photos and photo collages will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)


It was early October, and we thought we might have already missed most of the autumn color, but we were pleasantly surprised to see there was still many areas that had a beautiful warm autumn glow.  As usual, I snapped photos as my husband drove.


The topography of this area of Colorado was very unique and varied....


...some of it reminded us of the badlands in South Dakota or the Painted Desert in Arizona.


There were long tracks of wilderness...


 ....as well as fertile valleys that contained rivers and large ranches.


We drove over Rabbit Ears Pass towards Steamboat Springs. Although not as high or treacherous as many mountain passes, it is often closed for a time in winter because of heavy snow.


Again, as we approached Steamboat Springs, we saw many ranches and lots of hay making going on.


Steamboat Springs is an internationally known winter ski resort town.


Steamboat Springs contains the Steamboat Ski Resort, which is located on Mount Werner, in the Park Range east of Steamboat Springs, and also the smaller Howelsen Ski Area.   If you click on to enlarge the photo collage above you can see a statue of Carl Howelsen in downtown Steamboat and read why he is called "The Father of Skiing in Colorado," as he introduced ski jumping and skiing to Colorado in 1914.  The Howelsen Hill Ski area has sent more skiers to international competition than any other area in North America and has been the training ground for more than 64 Olympians making over 90 Winter Olympic appearances.


My husband and I enjoyed the town of Steamboat Springs and found so much to do there! We arrived on a Friday afternoon, and after checking into our hotel we walked up and down the downtown main street, looking in the shops, and a few of the many art galleries. We also walked along a portion of the very scenic 7.5 mile Yampa River Core Trail that runs through the heart of town during our stay. During the warm summer months there are often tubers floatimg on the riverThere were many wonderful restaurants in town, and we celebrated the actual day of our anniversary with a gourmet meal at Harwigs--a Steamboat institution for 32 years. If you'd like to see what we ate, you can click on my Instagram on this link and scroll to the LEFT. I often update my Instagram account more timely than my blog, and if you'd like to follow me there I'd appreciate it.

The Steamboat area has 150 geothermal hot springs that were revered by the Native Americans and pioneers alike.  The name "Steamboat" was actually given to the town because a spring there made a sound that reminded settlers of a steamboat chugging down a river. Unfortunately, construction of the railroad in 1909 made the sound go away.  In the heart of town there are the Old Town Hot Springs pools in a very modern facility, but we chose to drive to the more rustic Strawberry Park Springs a short distance away.


Strawberry Park Springs is about a 15 minute drive up a mountain through some beautiful aspen groves.  The last two miles of the road are not paved, so during certain months four wheel drive or snow chains are required. There are also shuttle services that will bring you to Strawberry Park Springs from Steamboat Springs.

The hot mineral springs are open year round and are family friendly during the day but only those 18 years and over are allowed to use the springs in the evening, as wearing bathing suits are optional after dark.


The hot mineral springs are contained in very natural looking pools. The 147 degree hot mineral spring water coming out of the ground is mixed with the cold Strawberry Creek water and channeled into the pools. The top pool is 105-106 degree F, and as the water flows toward the two lower pools it cools two degrees in each one.


As you can see in the photo above, the different pools are separated by stone walls. The pools have a rocky/sandy bottom and are about 4 feet deep/


The steaming hot mineral water that flows beneath the rocks keeps the area warm, even in cool weather. The pools are drained and cleaned every week.  If you look at my husband standing in one of the pools in the lower right of the collage, you can see how the water is crystal clear.  The hot spring water felt so delightful!  We stayed in the hottest pool for most of our visits as it was so relaxing.  We would stay in for about 15 - 20 minutes and then get out and lay in one of the lounge chairs, repeating this routine many times.  We stayed a few hours during the day over the weekend and did not participate in the bathing suit optional evenings. Facilities include restrooms, heated cabin for changing and picnic areas.  There were private areas for massage and Watsu aquatic therapy. No smoking or alcohol or pets are allowed.


Strawberry Park Springs is truly a beautiful setting and a fabulous experience to enjoy!  It, and Steamboat Springs,  made the second part of our anniversary celebration truly memorable.  We did more activities while in the area, but they will be saved for future posts.  Colorado seems limitless in its beauty and availability for a variety of natural experiences.  I feel very fortunate to now live here after enjoying New York City for most of my life.  It feels as if I've enjoyed the best of two worlds!


Thank you all for your wonderful best wishes on our 41st anniversary.  I sometimes feel like it is impossible that so many years have passed, but I am so pleased that our years together have been happy ones, and I hope and pray we will be blessed with many, many, more!


I'm adding this post to the following blog events:


Thank you to the blog hosts
Bookmark and Share Pin It

45 comments:

Gillena Cox said...

lovely

have a nice Monday

much love...

Weekend-Windup said...

Enjoyed seeing all your clippings. They look very good and amazing...

Rajesh said...

Amazing landscapes. I would love to drive through that road.

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

You two sure know how to celebrate a happy marriage! What a good trip!

Thanks for playing today. Have a Beautiful Blue Monday!

Pamela Gordon said...

That was a beautiful trip Pat. You take such great photos and include wonderful travelogues for your readers! There are so many beautiful places to visit in your state!. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.

La Petite Gallery said...

I would love to sit in the hop spring, my bones hurt all the way through.
You have so many interesting spots to visit. Like Maine little villages in all directions. Great post. Thanks for comment On O'HARA. yvonne

Barbara said...

Hi Pat,

I enjoyed this post about Steamboat Springs. My husband and I have talked up driving up there but have yet to do it. Since we don't ski, we are more interested in what the town has to offer their summer tourists. You answered that question very well. Maybe we'll get up there in another year or so, after retirement begins.

Annesphamily said...

Beautiful share. Thank you for the nice photo tour. Enjoy your week.

SpicingUpIdaho said...

Oh I enjoyed the lovely pictures of your trip to Steamboat Springs, and all the interesting historical information you shared too! Your pictures are amazing, and your collages are wonderful!

From the Kitchen said...

Beautiful and breathtaking! Autumn in all its splendor!

Best,
Bonnie

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, what a beautiful place to visit. It sounds like you went on a nice hike too. The hot spring sound relaxing! Beautiful view of the fall colors and the town. Thanks for sharing your trip! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

Cathy Keller said...

Thank you for another wonderful adventure! Wishing you well!

Ida said...

Oh my gosh there are so many stunning scenes here today. - What a lovely trip this was. - I really enjoyed the gorgeous fall colors. I think going to the Hot Springs would be fun and relaxing.

carol l mckenna said...

What skies, what vistas! What great photography and what a great time you are having!

Wishing you a happy week,
artmusedog and carol

Fun60 said...

The names of the places sound so inviting. I'm pleased you had such an enjoyable anniversary trip. The hot springs sound so relaxing although I doubt I would be visiting in the evening.

Barb said...

I like reading about your anniversary adventures, Pat. You've taken some wonderful photos of your travels. My son and family love to camp in the Steamboat area. I think they were there the weekend after you. I'll have to tell him about Strawberry Park Springs. I've been in a natural river hot springs in British Columbia in the winter, and it was a memorable experience!

Kim ,USA said...

Hi Pat, your photos are fabulous. And I love most is the steam bath. ^_^

Kim,USA

NC Sue said...

Absolutely stunning!
Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-visit-to-madame-tussauds.html

Donna said...

Oh what a trip...perfection and the gold leaves against the blue is just stunning....takes my breath away.

NC Sue said...

Great shots!
Please come link up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-visit-to-madame-tussauds.html

Michelle said...

Such beautiful scenes. Colorado is just a gorgeous state!

Lorrie said...

A truly lovely place, as you've said, so varied in the landscape. Hot springs are wonderful places for relaxation. Hope you had lots of fun!

Karen said...

Beautiful scenery and gorgeous skies!

Jim said...

Great shots
Sydney – City and Suburbs

Photo Cache said...

Wow, the landscape is so beautiful. I also love all the road shots.

ladyfi said...

Wow - the scenery and your photos are all stunning!

Marja said...

Beautiful photos painted with warm autumn colours. Love the strawberry park and these hot springs look so attractive. We've got them here in NZ as well so I know they are like heaven

Margaret Adamson said...

fabulous views, skies adn lovely reflection in the water.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Happy Anniversary to you both! That's a nice long time to be married to your sweetheart....you are both very blessed. And when we lived in NM, we would go to the ski resorts in the Fall. That's a beautiful time to visit! Hugs, Diane

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Great photos from the car, Pat. I would love to jump in those springs for a while as you did. I was going to ask if you went for the evening "Clothing optional" but you answered for me! Happy Anniversary.

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

So so beautiful! Looks like a great place to vacation!

Mary Cromer said...

So, so beautiful my friend. Loved every one of these beauties. Have a great week~

Al said...

I've only been to Steamboat once and we didn't get to those hot springs - it looks like we missed some fun. You'll love the Cog up Pikes Peak, we did it late last year and it is incredible.

Powell River Books said...

Lovely surroundings for hot springs pools. I vaguely remember swimming in swimming pools fed by hot springs in Banff National Park. As I recall it was raining at the time and I thought that was so neat. - Margy

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What a great road trip!

happywonderer.com said...

Another lovely road trip! Love that second photo...

Retired English Teacher said...

You are really making some wonderful memories for your anniversary. Good for you. I haven't been to Steamboat Springs or over Rabbit Ears for years. I imagine it has been at least 35 years. We went there a lot when I was a child. I bet I wouldn't even recognize the place.

One of my favorite things to do is to visit hot springs. I will have to put this trip on our "to do" list. Have you been to Pagosa Springs? They also have a wonderful hot springs, but the one near Steamboat seems more secluded. Mt. Princeton near Buena Vista is also a nice secluded place to go for the hot spring experience.

Thanks for sharing your lovely trip with us.

Debby Ray said...

Pat, your photos are just stunning! I have never been out west but would love to visit there one day. You have certainly captured some marvelous fall beauty!

Marie C said...

What an incredible trip for your anniversary! Sounds so wonderful! We considered going up to Steamboat Springs last year but decided not to take that route. So good to see your photos!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Loved this Pat! What a wonderful place.... Adding it to my wish list! So many beautiful places in this world and you are so right about Colorado! ! I loved your last paragraph! We count our blessings in that same way ( after quite a few more years of marriage! ...

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

Happy belated Anniversary! You certainly celebrated in style, my friend. That hotel you stayed at was gorgeous and the hot springs looked like fun :)

xo,
rue

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Both parts of your anniversary celebrations sound wonderful. One part pure elegance and the other enjoying the beauty of nature. I hope the two of you have many more delightful days ahead of you.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

How nice to have an 'up close and personal tour' of Steamboat Springs. We have friends that go their often...so now I know what the drawing card is (besides that their son lives in that area!). It looks like you had a wonderful anniversary celebration...both parts!

diane b said...

What a fabulous way to spend an anniversary. The hot springs look like so much fun. We did a similar thing in Victoria once.

the cape on the corner said...

gorgeous, the springs look so fun!
b