Outdoor Enthusiasts Should Expect to See Needed Improvements to Steamboat Springs this Summer
What will you find that’s new and notable in Steamboat Springs this summer? There are several changes outdoor enthusiasts should expect to find this year.
Continental Divide Trail 40th Anniversary & Gateway Community Designation
Outdoor Enthusiasts will be happy to hear Steamboat Springs/Routt County is under consideration as a gateway community by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. This would be the third CDT Gateway Community in Colorado and the seventh official gateway on the trail. Plans for the designation include mobilizing many pre-existing “trail angels” in the community, like homegrown brands Point6 and BAP/Big Agnes/Honey Stinger. In fact, 65 employees from Big Agnes recently embarked on a 740-mile trek along the Colorado portion of the CDT for a month long “staff meeting” where there will be at least four employees on the trail together at any given time. The idea was sparked when the gear outfitter sat down to come up with a name for their new line of sleeping bags and they settled on 1101, which is the designated name for the Colorado section along the CDT. UPDATE: Five Big Agnes employees started the hike from the Colorado-New Mexico border on Monday, June 11. The team had to turn around after just seven miles due to a wildfire closure of the 1.8-million-acres San Juan National Forest. Employees plan to pick up the trail again with the fourth section on June 29 (Spring Creek Pass to Lujan Creek). They hope to complete the sections of trail inside the San Juan National Forest before the planned end date of Aug. 24 if the closure is lifted.
Additionally, local champions from the Steamboat Chamber, the U.S. Forest Service, and several community organizations are working with the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp to increase signage and offer the Steamboat Resort Gondola as a unique way to shuttle into town (also the quickest way to get to town from the trail). The Gateway Community designation will be announced in fall 2018 in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails Act, and celebrated with a trail maintenance day led by groups in town who are stewards and supporters of trails.
Run Rabbit Run Adds $100K Prize Purse – September 14-15, 2018
The Run, Rabbit, Run 50 and 100 Mile Endurance Runs recently announced the creation of the inaugural $100,000 “Rabbit Cup.” Paired with the Run, Rabbit, Run’s existing $65,000 purse, the combined $165,000 prize package makes this – by far – the largest trail ultra purse in the world. The Rabbit Cup also is the first event of its kind in the world. Run, Rabbit, Run was introduced in 2007 as a 50-mile ultra, with the 100-mile race coming online in 2011. The event has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since. In fact, organizers included a charitable component – “Bunny Money” – for favorite organizations. This year’s list includes: The Boy Scouts; Girls on the Run; The Jenna Gruben-Morrill Memorial Fund; Partners in Routt County; Routt County Search and Rescue; Rocky Mountain Youth Corps; Routt County Humane Society; The Scott Blair Benefit Fund; South Routt Education Fund; The Steve Maloney Memorial Fund; The Steamboat Springs Amateur Radio Club; The Steamboat Springs Running Series; and The Teaching Tree. Run, Rabbit, Run returns Sept. 14-15, 2018.
Downtown Debuts Major Improvements
For decades, Steamboat Springs’ residents, business owners and city representatives discussed the need for improved safety, connectivity and walkability in the downtown core, and the potential for Yampa Street, which parallels the Yampa River. In July 2015, the City of Steamboat Springs embarked upon a three-year, $11 million Downtown Improvement Plan based upon specific projects on Yampa and Oak streets and side streets between 3rd and 12th street. Improvements include a new park with put-in/take-out river access, riverbank improvements, a large promenade, bike lanes, a riverside amphitheater and Core Trail improvements. The promenade is expected to become a unique destination along the river, functioning as a linear urban park. The completed projects debut in spring/summer 2018.
Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund Supports Sustainability
Resident riders and trail-focused guests to Steamboat Springs continue to benefit from new trails created using public funding from initiative 2A, approved by voters in 2013. Another notable result is the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund. This permanent funding source supports specific non-motorized trail and trailhead maintenance projects on public lands within Routt and Moffat Counties. A diverse board determines trail maintenance priorities annually based upon need, and land managers use funds to fuel projects. This is a 10-year fundraising campaign with an annual goal of $100,000. The success of Steamboat’s new trails and sustainability of current trails is directly related to the sustainability of this fund. The Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund is managed by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.
The Taco Beast Cometh
Outdoor enthusiasts will be happy to know there’s a new “restaurant” debuting at the Steamboat Ski Area this summer that’s likely to draw a lot of attention. The Taco Beast, an on-mountain, roaming snowcat food truck, serves up carne asada and al pastor trail tacos – the resort’s interpretation of street tacos, as well as breakfast burritos, esquites (Mexican street corn-on-the-cob) and Mexican-style beer. The Taco Beast is open daily throughout the summer from 11 a.m. until the Adventure Zone closes each evening. The Taco Beast will continue to offer trailside service on-mountain this winter, redefining the term “fast food.” Guests can find more information about the Taco Beast, including expected locations, dates and times of operation, and how to track the Taco Beast online at Steamboat.com/TacoBeast. Please note: there is construction at the base of the mountain in Gondola Square this summer.