Cradled in the Willow Creek Valley at 8,000 feet, Steamboat Lake is really a Colorado gem that offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking to spend a day playing on the lake, camping in the wildflowers and under the stars, or fishing for trout, you won't be disappointed with a visit to the park.
In addition to numerous walking trails, there are two campgrounds, a full-service marina, and a general store located within the park. Between the two campgrounds, Sunrise Vista and Dutch Hill, you'll find 188 campsites with a mix of electric, non-electric, and walk-in tent sites. In addition, there are rental cabins at the Dutch Hill Campground.
While spending time at the park, keep your eyes to the sky as there are over 200 species of migratory and resident birds including red-winged blackbirds, downy woodpeckers, western bluebirds, great blue herons, western screech owls, osprey, and northern harriers. Other wildlife that have been known to pass through the park include mule deer, red fox, and the occasional black bear. It's really the wildflowers in early summer that make this park unbelievably beautiful. You'll feel like you're sleeping in a sea of wildflowers if you time it right as the Sunrise Vista Campground and other parts of the park are covered in mule's ear and lupine in July.
If you don't happen to camp at the Sunrise Vista Campground, you can still get your fill of wildflowers on three short walking trails. The Tombstone Nature Trail is a 1.1-mile loop near Placers Cove just below the visitor center. The 2.5 Willow Creek Trail connects the marina and Sage Flats, and the Poverty Bar Trail connects to the Willow Creek Trail and leads out of the park toward to Hahn's Peak. In the winter there are groomed cross-country and snowmobile trails that encompass the lake and run throughout the park.
There are boat and paddleboard rentals available at the marina in addition to fuel, snacks, camping supplies, and firewood. Coin-operated showers are available at the camper services building. For more information and current weather conditions, the visitor center is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and can be reached at 970.879.3922.