The closing of the mountain here in Steamboat means one thing, Mud Season. Mud season refers to the times of the year between the big tourism booms, summer and winter. As the crowds leave and the seasons change, the pace of life slows and entertainment possibilities seem to shrink. However, with a little investigation, mud season in Steamboat offers recreational opportunities for all.
Frolf (Frisbee Golf)- While I myself am not a frolfer, (due to my horrendous accuracy)it is a very popular sport here in Steamboat. The dorms at CMC sit right below the town’s frolf course, so I have a perfect vantage point of the masses that have been congregating their since the snow has melted. Frolf is perfect for those who love the easy-pace of golf but dread the money and practice required to master the sport.
The Yampa River- Mud Season is the perfect time for kayaking and fly-fishing, so long as you have a wet suit or waders. The frigid waters of the Yampa deter tubers and swimmers from crowding your river space. This is the time when the run-off allows for water levels high enough to kayak for the first time of the year.
The Mountain- While the lifts may be closed, the mountain itself is not. Mud season is a great time to explore the mountain sans crowds. This means better wildlife spotting. On my own investigative mission on the post-season mountain, I witnessed bear tracks, vultures, songbirds, chipmunks, and the beautiful vistas offered by the mountain. It was a surreal view looking down Storm Face, white with snow, with the green Yampa Valley sitting in the background. There was also a surprising amount of snow for those dedicated enough to make the 3-hour trek to the summit.
Overall, mud season is a great time to try something new. Without skiing, or your normal array of summer activities, it takes a little extra thought to enjoy mud season. However, Steamboat and the surrounding area provides ample opportunity for an amazing time. Check back in later this week for an update on the last days of “winter” here in Steamboat, including my post-season trek up Mt. Werner. What are your favorite mud season activities? Leave it in the comment section below. Thanks to Liam Connelly for the pictures!