Eleven years ago, upon graduating college, I moved to Steamboat Springs to ski for just one winter (as I told my parents). Growing up in North Carolina, I learned how to ski on much smaller and much more icy slopes. Every winter, my parents and I would visit a ski resort in the western United States and every year, I grew more and more attached to the idea of moving “out West” (as I would call it) to ski after college. Now, it was just one winter of chasing the Champagne Powder® Steamboat so frequently has to offer, or at least that was my so-called plan before going back to law school. After an incredible first winter, I stayed for just one summer and just one fall. That was it, the Yampa Valley Curse had a hold on me, and here I am, 11 years later.

Winter in Steamboat Springs is truly amazing. It’s what drew me to Steamboat in the first place. However, if I’m being honest, autumn is my favorite season of all. It’s the season that rejuvenates my soul, that fuels my passion for being outdoors, that deepens my love of Steamboat Springs and the surrounding Yampa Valley. Fall is nothing short of spectacular in Steamboat with the stunning golden aspens, deep blue skies and crisp, fresh mountain air.

Growing up in the mountains of North Carolina, autumn was always my favorite time of year. Wood-burning fires, chilly nights and an incredible array of fall foliage made my hometown of Blowing Rock quite the leaf peeping destination. Simply put, I was spoiled rotten, always being able to enjoy such stunning fall seasons, year after year. Upon a recent trip back to Blowing Rock, my family and I were able to enjoy some beautiful fall color once again.

Blowing Rock, N.C., fall foliage
Blowing Rock, N.C., fall foliage

With high expectations for what autumn has to offer in other parts of the country, I have to admit, I was quite surprised and pleased with my first autumn in Steamboat Springs. While there is not as much color variety as back east, the golden aspen leaves mixed in with the dark green evergreens and set against the deep blue Colorado skies; now that’s hard to beat! My husband and I got married at Fish Creek Falls overlook seven years ago amid the golden aspens, with a flower girl who sprinkled golden leaves down the “aisle” and a wedding cake that boasted fall foliage as decoration. I think it’s safe to say that we love autumn in Steamboat!

Many people already know what an incredible winter destination Steamboat Springs is, but in my opinion, it’s an equally incredible fall destination. Steamboat Ski Resort has built a fantastic network of hiking and biking trails that give you a whole new perspective of what our mountain has to offer. The Sunshine Loop is a local favorite, and a personal favorite, especially in the fall when the color is abundant and simply magical. When it comes to mountain biking, Pioneer is a great ride up, and I particularly love Valley View and Rustler’s Ridge on the way down. The gondola is open for one more weekend in Steamboat before it closes until the beginning of ski season on Nov. 22, 2017, so get out there and enjoy the fall glory our mountain has to offer, because trust me, it’s nothing short of spectacular!

Happy fall and happy Wednesday to all!

 

Erin Campbell, mountain biker

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