Looking for a shoulder-season escape? Here are 5 small-town getaways in northern Colorado
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Things tend to quiet down a bit during the shoulder season. Is it too quiet for your liking?
If you’re feeling adventurous, here are a few places just north of Eagle County to get out and go explore.
Where: Southern Routt County; head north on Colorado Highway 131 from Wolcott
For any history buffs, step back in time on your venture to the town of Yampa. After the scenic drive north from Eagle County, Montgomery General Merchandise is first on the list. Open since 1890 and run by the Montgomery family since 1947, the establishment is referred to as one of the “last true general stores left” by Ken Montgomery, according to daughter Lisa Melinda.
The hardwood floors, adding machine, cash register and store credit account are a few of the striking elements of the store’s history. Items sold at the store include just about everything from kitchen tools, hunting gear and licenses, camping gear, T-shirts, lapel pins and VHS films, to a fresh-cut steak, sausage, sandwiches and even candy like “Cherry Mash or “Idaho Spud.”
The old-fashioned feel of the store adds a certain novelty to an already quaint town with a population of about 430 residents.
For more history, walk over to the Crossan’s M & A Market and peak inside the windows to get a glimpse of the ongoing renovation project at the historic building.
End your day at the Antlers Café & Bar for a delicious meal or drinks at the bar. The restaurant offers a unique western flair with antlered trophy animals mounted on the walls of the historic building.
What to do: Drive the Flattops Scenic Byway (an 82-mile stretch of roadway from Yampa to Meeker) or hike the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Or explore the Montgomery General Merchandise store and stop by Antlers Café & Bar for a bite to eat.
Never Summer Nordic Yurts
Where: Colorado State Forest State Park, 247 County Road 41 outside of Walden
Price range: from $85 to $120 per night during weekends May through November. Rates slightly increase on winter weekends December through April.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Never Summer Yurts and Cabins are the perfect place to stay after a day of adventures. Upgrade your tent camping to the Never Summer’s 13 yurts and cabins where backcountry adventures abound along the seemingly endless system of old roads and trails for hiking and mountain biking or fishing the mountain streams. Open year-round, the yurts also provide the perfect place to enjoy a winter adventure.
More information: neversummernordic.com
Glen Eden Resort
Where: 54737 County Road 129, Clark
Price range: $160 to $340 per night
Located just 20 miles north of Steamboat Springs, Glen Eden Resort recently incorporated a variety of property updates, landscaping and renovations including the recent opening of their onsite restaurant, The Glen Restaurant & Bar, open daily from 4 to 9 p.m.
The restaurant’s family-style dining, freshly prepared food (homemade sesame buns, in-house ground sirloin and slow-cooked pork) and inviting atmosphere were crucial elements when opening the restaurant, according to owners Chris and Lydia Lotz. A Steamboat local, Chris Lotz is a classically trained chef and thrives on crafting delicious menu items that bring people together.
What to do: Trout fishing, horseback riding or tour nearby trails in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area.
More information: glenedenresort.com
The Cabins at Historic Columbine
Where: 64505 Routt County Road 129, Clark
Price range: $180 to $420 for two nights
Open year-round, this rustic getaway offers an outdoor oasis equipped with a wood-fired sauna, authentic general store and 14 log cabins. The town, on the National Register of Historic Places, will give you a chance to unwind and unplug from reality at its location at the base of Hahn’s Peak in northern Routt County near Steamboat Lake, Pearl Lake, Hahn’s Peak Lake and the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.
More information: historiccolumbine.com
Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Where: Routt County Road 36 just outside Steamboat
Price range: $70 to $175 per night
Few places have the historic, rustic charm like the Strawberry Park Hot Springs just seven miles from downtown Steamboat. Although most people experience the hot springs as a day or evening trip, it’s also fun to make a weekend getaway out of this local oasis. Camping is taken to another level of luxury with the year-round accommodations of six total cabins — two large ones and three small — including the train caboose and three covered wagons. All you have to bring is your sleeping bags, headlamps, lantern, food, warm clothes along with swimsuits and towels.
The details: Weekend reservations require a two-night minimum stay, holiday weekends require a three-night minimum stay.
Hiking: Take Forest Service Trail 1169 (Hot Springs Trail) from Elk River Road and Mad Creek Trailhead (hiking and biking only).
More information: strawberryhotsprings.com