Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Text and photo: Madison Slater

A different energy pulses in the air on this particularly cool autumn morning. Like a child waking to presents under the tree on Christmas Day, the residents and tourists alike share the excitement of the first snowfall on Mount Werner.
As the Yampa River slows to a steady, but late season flow, the pace of Steamboat Springs surges. Even though the Aspen leaves are fiery red and glow golden with yellows and oranges, the white outlines on Mt. Werner remind everyone of why they come to the Yampa Valley.
I start my day biking the Core Trail to Smell That Bread where a fresh cup of locally roasted coffee and a wide selection of succulent pastries wait to warm me up. This downtown bakery sits above Soda Creek, a perfect breakfast spot to start any day. With winter drawing near, the autumn days are certainly filled with as many activities as possible.
My friends and I pack a lunch and drive out of town to the Slavonia trailhead. The 13 kilometer out and back Mica Lake hike is moderate in difficulty, but ends with some amazing alpine lake swimming to cool you off. Steamboat Springs has hundreds of incredible hikes; sun or snow, there is always an adventure to be had.
Celebrating another great day, we stop for sunset beers at one of the locals’ favorites, Storm Peak Brewery. These guys recently celebrated their three-year anniversary and a grand-reopening in a larger facility. Whether you are thirsty for a hoppy wheat or a barrel-aged belgian sour, Storm Peak is consistently crafting delicious beers. My go-to is Penny’s Pale Ale. Sitting amongst friends and good conversation, this beer brings me back to the crisp and refreshing morning and the thrilling ski season to come. Storm Peak Brewery is a gentle reminder of why we live here: the genuine people and the great outdoors together in a sanctuary we call home.



Jonas Henningsson

Journalist and photographer, founder and editor-in-chief American Trails.