We love the fact that our amazing properties are in the winter destination of Steamboat Springs. This area of Colorado is beautiful and provides everything you may want in a winter destination. What many don’t know is that Steamboat Springs has a rich history to go along with its recognition as a winter sports destination. Here is a brief history of Steamboat Springs.
Settling Yampa Valley and the History of Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs lies in the Yampa Valley, which was the summer hunting grounds of the Ute Indians for hundreds of years. The region was lush with foliage and flowing waters, game for hunting was readily available, as were the fertile lands that abundantly grew crops. These natural features attracted the Yampatika band of the Ute tribe, who enjoyed the bounty of the food supplies available in warmer months. Most Ute people spent summertime gathering food, hunting game, and soaking in the curative mineral springs. The name Steamboat Springs is said to have originated in the late 1820s when three French trappers traveling along the Yampa River heard a “chug-chug” sound. Thinking they had reached a major river, one yelled, “a Steamboat, by gar!” Upon further investigation, they discovered the sound came from a natural mineral spring, to be named Steamboat Springs.
Rapid Growth of Steamboat Springs
By the 1900s, the population surged, and the first city charter was declared, and Steamboat Springs residents elected their first town council. From the earliest times, the town’s greatest attractions have been its natural mineral springs located throughout the city and outlying areas. The Ute Indians came for the “medicine springs,” while the miners traveled 30 miles from the gold mines at Hahn’s Peak to bathe in the hot springs. Once electricity and automobiles arrived to ease the lives of locals, it ended Steamboat’s frontier outpost era. Throughout these first hundred years of development, Steamboat Springs rose from a rough-hewn town to a place of promise with schools, entertainment venues, artistic efforts, and additional churches.
Becoming a Ski Town
By the 1950s, the popularity of skiing fostered the development of another ski area south of town. Storm Mountain was transformed into a world-class ski area, opening in 1961. The ski area was renamed Mount Werner in 1964, after the death of local Olympic skier Buddy Werner. With the booming popularity of winter sports, Steamboat Springs went from small frontier town to booming winter destination. With its roots in Western culture, the history of Steamboat Springs has perfectly blended winter and summer with its combination of culture and vacation destination.