Kick summer into high gear at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series
Hiking a 14er. Stand-up paddleboarding at Lake Dillon. Catching a concert at Red Rocks. Camping under the stars. As you begin to fill in your summer-in-Colorado to-do list, be sure to pay tribute to the state’s Old West roots and get yourself to a rodeo.
One of our faves: The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series, where bucking broncs, rope tricks, the adorable kid calf scramble, barrel races and more make this weekly ski resort mountain event one of the most successful—and scenic—in the nation.
For more than 100 years, rodeos have been held in Steamboat, with today’s events sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and a roster that includes legends of the sport, world champions and rookies alike. What makes it so special? The series takes place Friday and Saturday evenings from mid-June to mid-August, and the small, laid-back atmosphere allows you to get up close and personal with the action. Kids can sit perched on a fence right outside the ring where they can pet the horses and chat with the contestants—and maybe even catch a little flying mud. Arrive early for live music and a barbecue dinner.
No Fourth of July plans? The town shoots off an epic fireworks display at Howelsen Hill following the rodeo. Hyah!
WHILE YOU’RE THERE …
Here’s what’s new this summer in the ’Boat:
ESCAPE ROOM: At the Crooked Key, opened late last year, teams follow clues to crack the puzzle and escape from themed rooms in 60 minutes or less.
ZIPLINE ON RABBIT EARS PASS: This state-of-the-art, eight-segment zipline lets you zigzag down a mountainside on the west side of the pass, with amazing views of Lake Catamount, the Flat Tops mountain range and the Yampa Valley.
BULLS AND BANDS: To be held Wednesdays, July 12-26, at the rodeo arena, this new event is set to feature Western-themed extreme bull-riding, American freestyle bull-fight competitions and live music by country and country-rock acts. steamboatchamber.com
OUTLAW MOUNTAIN COASTER: Opening July 15, the coaster, near the Christie Peak Express lift, will descend more than 400 vertical feet with a riding length of more than 3,500 linear feet. steamboat.com
MAVERICK MINI GOLF: Head to the base of the Christie Peak Express and Preview chairlifts for this new family-friendly 18- hole course that incorporates local landmarks like the Steamboat Barn, Fish Creek Falls, Nordic ski jumps and Rabbit Ears Pass. steamboat.com
Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series
WHEN: Friday and Saturday nights through August 12; plus July 2 (WSRRA Ranch Rodeo), July 3 and July 4 (fireworks to follow)
WHERE: Brent Romick Rodeo Arena at historic Howelsen Hill
TICKETS: $20, adults; $10, kids; free, ages 6 and younger; July 4 prices increase by $5