Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Yampa River Botanic Park
On my way into Steamboat Springs on US 40, traffic slowed to a crawl. A big construction project in the middle of downtown Steamboat was causing the problem. As I inched along, I noticed a sign for the Yampa River Botanic Park. With hopes that the bottleneck would ease up after a while, I turned down a side road and headed out to see the flowers.
I was visiting in early June, just at the beginning of the growing season for Colorado's flowers, and not everything was in full bloom. At an elevation of 6,900 feet, and with a frost-free growing season of only about 60 days a year, growing a garden in Steamboat Springs is a challenge.
The Yampa River Botanic Park covers 5 acres, and features more than 40 gardens, most of which are sponsored by the public. It opened in 1997.
In the middle of all the flowers, there's Peter's Pond. That's Peter, overlooking the lake. Next to the water, there's a large, open green space, where concerts and other events are held.
Yampa River Botanic Park is located in a residential neighborhood on the south side of US 40. Turn on Trafalger Drive, then follow the signs. The park is located on the opposite side of the ball field, but there's a path that connects it to the parking area. The city website has more information.
If you have a bike, or just want to take a walk, look for the Yampa River Core Trail next to the park. This 7-mile trail runs along the edge of the river, and is open to bicycles and pedestrians, as well as dogs on a leash.
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