Mineral Springs Walking Tour
Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts at the Depot (1001 13th Street)
2 Hours (Wednesdays)
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Starts at the Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts at the Depot on 13th St. Find out about the curative properties of the springs and why Steamboat was slated as a world-class spa destination. Join a Yampatika naturalist on this easy walking tour to find out which salty spring the animals loved, how the Steamboat Spring was named, and much more. Co-sponsored by the Tread of Pioneers Museum and Yampatika. www.yampatika.org
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More than 100 mineral springs, said to contain every known variety of medicinal and curative water, have been identied in the Steamboat Springs area. Most are small, unnamed and located in the city parks at the west end of town. Following are among the best known:
The spring from which the town takes its name, is located on the south bank of the Yampa River just east of the depot. Once known for a geyser which made a chugging noise, the spring is quiet today. Some blame the cut made when the railroad was laid just above the spring; others claim youngsters threw rocks in the spring to watch the geyser spit them out.
Black Sulphur Spring:
Next to the Steamboat Spring, it is also known as the Ink Springs, runs at 45 Fahrenheit and has the strongest mineral content of any spring in the area.
Across from the Bud Werner Memorial Library, used to provide a favorite drinking water sometimes added to soft drink mixes by local youngsters. In 1906, after a pavilion was erected over the spring, a group of Steamboat Springs youngsters spearheaded by Bob Swinehart, put a hay wagon on top of it as a Halloween prank. The spring has subsided in both volume and carbonation in recent years.
Located 200 yards off County Road 33 west of town, it was originally called Milk Spring because of its color. The ow is estimated at 1,500 gallons per hour and the temperature is 680 Fahrenheit. Some oldtimers swear by its healing qualities and drink the water daily.
One half block south of Lincoln Avenue at Thirteenth Street, it still has a watering hole for horses that especially like the sulphur water.
On the north side of Lincoln Avenue at the west end of town, it is extremely high in iron content and was the site of the log homestead of the Crawford family, the area’s first year-round residents.
Also known as Bath House Spring, the largest spring is located behind the Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Association swimming pools at the east end of Lincoln Avenue. Its mineral waters, which surface at 103 Fahrenheit and ow at a constant rate of 300 gallons per minute, feed the swimming pools. Originally the spring was a four-foot deep gravel bottomed pond several yards wide and surrounded by willows. Legend maintains that the cottonwood grove above Bath House Spring was used as an Indian burial ground.
Located on a small knoll just west of the Howelsen Hill jumping complex, the cave has always prompted mysterious and exciting stories, most unfounded, and remains impossible to explore because of its strong sulphur fumes.