While most people head into the mountains during ski and snowboard season to hit the slopes, the off-season offers just as much opportunity for adventure. Not only are the roads less treacherous, but they are also less crowded. So before ski season starts up, consider taking one last trip into the mountains—to Steamboat Springs. Unlike most Colorado destinations, Steamboat Springs is still a relatively hidden gem that is well worth the out-of-the-way drive.
With mountain walls providing privacy, Strawberry Hot Springs is a must-visit. Just like the drive to Steamboat Springs, it takes a windy drive up an unpaved road. Unfortunately, an all-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle is required in order to make it up the somewhat precarious road to the warm oasis. The hot springs does provide a shuttle for those without the appropriate vehicle, which transports visitors from town up to the pool and back.
Keeping in tune with the rustic vibe of the unpaved path, the set up of the pools was homely. As if entering a large family gathering, all of the visitors were genuine and friendly. The community-style set up was juxtaposed against the seclusion of being tucked away in the mountains.
It is impossible to appropriately quite capture the specific majesty of the this hidden watering hole. The lake, reflecting the clouds and trees, is mesmerizing. The hot waterfalls, filling the pools and providing us with warmth and ability to untangle ourselves from our daily lives, were entrancing. An uncomplicated paradise is the only way to describe it.
I should not have been surprised at the sheer force of my hunger after soaking in hot water for nearly two hours. Thankfully, Steamboat Springs has no shortage of amazing dinning establishments. My mood for Italian led us to Mazzola’s, a casual underground eatery. While I did scarf my food down in what was probably record time, I did manage to taste and appreciate the distinct flavors and subtle creativity. My favorite part was the soft bread served with fresh hummus in oil and garlic. My taste buds were dancing as I ate.
It may be a little bit of a longer and windier drive, but it is worth it to experience the specific majesty that is Steamboat Springs.
Until next time,