Our third return to Steamboat Lake State Park, and it was as wonderful as the first two times.
We encountered a lot of rain and storms during the first few days. After the skies cleared, we headed out to explore some new trails! Our first trail was called North Fork. We choose it because of it’s location to a stream, unfortunately we were unable to access the stream very much (just at the very beginning) due to the fact that the river flows at the bottom of the hillside. I suppose we could have hiked down the long hill to the river, but my little legs are not made for hoping over all the blowdown scattered all around. So, we continued on the trail for a few miles and had lunch atop of a rock that looked into the canyon. The trail cut through a burned out area, and the grasses and wildflowers are probably amazing during the late spring. We spotted deer from the trail, and another group saw some grouse.
If you enjoy fly fishing the rivers, you can try camping in the Seedhouse Campground.
The next day we decided to hike along Burn Ridge Trail and we followed it to the creek crossing. We caught a couple small brooke trout, and had a very enjoyable picnic along the stream. This trail goes through a couple aspen groves and meadows. It would be a great place to take the kids since there is very little elevation gain/loss. If you care to hike further past the river crossing, do note that it is at least knee high (on me!).
If you have kids, and would like to take them on a simple one mile hike, try the Tombstone Nature Trail that can be found below the Visitor Center.
We went to the Clark Store for lunch one day. Natasha got the hamburger which is made from grass fed, all natural beef. It tastes so different from any other burger we’ve had! Check out the Clark Store and give them some of your business while you are visiting the lake. If you make it there over the summer, they have ice cream on the deck—and it is delicious!
The field in front of the visitor center was constantly full of deer, and two pairs of Sandhill Cranes! During this trip we were able to see them fly to, and from, the field. It was a pleasure indeed! I love listening to them call out in the morning and evenings. You can listen on the Allaboutbirds.com site.
We also had the pleasure of watching many Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Kestrels, and other hawks flying over our campsite. Dang I love the raptors that a lake attracts! We also spied a Dipper while fly fishing in one of the rivers.
One of my favorite times of the day was sunset. The trout were surfacing around 7:30, so I launched the belly boat and enjoyed the sunset while catching a couple of rainbow trout. I could only see my dry fly when casting into the sunset… hard life, huh? 🙂 Eventually the bats forced me to paddle to shore. I certainly did not want to catch one of those!
Our trail camera caught a few deer the first night, during the non-stop rain.
On a serious note, while driving East on 70 into Georgetown, we witnessed a devastating car crash. Someone was speeding down the hill, crossed the median and hit two Westbound cars head on. This was a life changer for all involved. No one passed away, thank goodness. But there was much pain and suffering that occurred because of the carelessness of one person that wanted to speed in and out of traffic.
PLEASE SLOW DOWN! A car accident can easily destroy someone else’s life in the blink of an eye. 🙁
When: Summer 2014
Elevation: 8,100 ft
Reservation: Steamboat Lake State Park, CO
Misc: level, water, dump station