Tour de Steamboat Showcases NWCO’s Spectacular Conserved Landscapes

Steamboat Springs is well-known for hosting a wide variety of events and festivals that attract thousands of people to our vibrant mountain town.  Many of these unique events showcase Steamboat’s rugged mountain scenery, its wealth of natural areas and abundance of wildlife – qualities which are undoubtedly a huge draw for visitors and locals alike.  Our organization may not be front-and-center at these events, but YVLT is quietly working in the background to preserve the very best of Northwest Colorado; safeguarding these captivating landscapes and their important ecological qualities.

Among the most popular summer gatherings here is the Tour de Steamboat, a road biking event featuring various signature loops throughout Routt County and its stunning locales.  Returning for its 12th year this July, the Tour de Steamboat is touted as a scenic, non-competitive highway ride which unites roughly a thousand passionate cyclists every summer.  According to the Tour de Steamboat website, participants “are encouraged to ride at their own pace and enjoy the majestic scenery in our part of the world!”  The annual gathering is thus both a celebration of road cycling and a chance to savor the awe-inspiring open landscapes of this region.

Not coincidentally, the featured routes (distances of 26, 46, 66, and 126 miles) pass through areas where YVLT has focused its strategic conservation work in an effort to preserve those incredible landscapes and natural areas.  For instance, the 26-mile “Sidney Peak” loop finishes at Sidney Peak Ranch, a 1,500-acre property under conservation easement with YVLT. 

SMR brochure photo fallStorm Mountain Ranch provides a beautiful backdrop as bikers ride along Highway 40.

The 66-mile “Yampa Loop” brings riders along County Road 14 past the Stagecoach area, a conservation corridor where YVLT has permanently preserved several channel miles of the Yampa River and many scenic upland areas which are visible from the road (below).

Iron Springs Ranch on CR-14: Part of YVLT’s “conservation corridor” near Stagecoach and featured on two TDS loops

Cyclists from near and far flock to Steamboat Springs to participate in this increasingly popular ride; one of the countless events held here that benefits from land conservation.  One website describes the ride as winding “through some of Northwest Colorado’s most spectacular areas” (Kansas Cyclist).  Another promotes the Tour de Steamboat as “riding all over the gorgeous landscapes of Northern Colorado . . . When you take part in this event, you will have the chance to witness the beauty of some of the most popular places in Colorado” (Rocky Peak Productions).

It is evident that riders enjoy the Tour de Steamboat not just because of its fun atmosphere, but also because it takes place in such a spectacular mountain setting.  Without land conservation in Northwest Colorado, these beloved landscapes and scenic vistas would be eroded over time.  With your ongoing support, YVLT will continue to preserve large, connected natural areas and open landscapes across Northwest Colorado – safeguarding our most treasured natural resources and scenery, as well as the health and vitality of annual events like Tour de Steamboat.