Can you visit Steamboat Springs without a car? Yes, of course you can. But how convenient is it?
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Here is a full guide to getting to and getting around Steamboat Springs, Colorado without a car.
While a car makes it the most convenient, some travel budgets are a little more relaxed when you don’t add a rental car as a line item. Or perhaps the budget can take it, but you just prefer to not drive around in a new area.
Both are totally understandable.
So do you need a car in Steamboat Springs? Going carless can be done, it’ll just take a little more planning.
Here’s what you need to know about going to Steamboat Springs without a car.
Getting to Steamboat from the Airport
There are two airports you can arrive at to conveniently get to Steamboat Springs.
Yampa Valley Regional Airport (Hayden)
The first is Yampa Valley Regional Airport located in the neighboring town of Hayden. This is only about a 40 minute drive away from Steamboat.
To get to Steamboat from the local airport, you’ll need to either book a shuttle or grab an Uber or taxi.
Shared shuttles are often the most affordable option, especially if you are traveling with family.
Shuttles that run between the Yampa Valley Regional Airport and Steamboat include:
Steamboat Mountain Town Rides (private car)
You’ll most likely find better fares flying into Denver International Airport. It’s a main hub for many airlines.
However, you’ll still have about 3 to 3-1/2 hours of a drive to get to Steamboat after that. It’s not too bad of a drive though, as it’s quite scenic and direct.
There are plenty of shuttles that run from Denver to Steamboat. Here are a few-
Shuttles that Run Between Denver International and Steamboat Springs Include:
Shuttles that Run From Either Airport to Steamboat
Shuttles that run between BOTH Yampa Valley OR Denver International to Steamboat Springs include:
That is the first step to visiting Steamboat without a car. Now that you’ve arrived at your hotel, here is how to get around Steamboat carless.
Getting Around Steamboat Springs without a Car
Depending on what hotel you stay at, many lodgings in the area have hotel shuttles that will drop you around town.
We usually stay at the Steamboat Grand hotel. In additional to being a great place to stay, it’s really convenient to hop on their shuttle and get dropped downtown.
Steamboat Springs offers a free bus that will take you around town. There are various stops in the downtown area, as well as the ski area, condo area, and the campground on the western side of town. Here is the route map to plan ahead.
You can pretty much get anywhere you need to be in Steamboat’s main corridor. Enjoy all of Steamboat’s shopping and restaurants downtown. It’s nice to stroll downtown from one place to another, but if it’s too cold or you’re too tired, you can hop on the free bus.
If you need to get to the Mount Werner area or ski area with the gondola, hop on a bus!
The shuttle is really convenient and I love that it is free.
Getting to Strawberry Hot Springs
The exception to using the free town shuttle is if you need to get out of town and up the mountain toward the hot springs.
However, even the hot springs offers its own shuttle transportation options ($) that include hot springs admission. You can reserve your shuttle ahead of time and have them pick you up at your lodging.
Getting to Fish Creek Falls without a Car
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to get to Fish Creek Falls without a car. The bus routes do not drive up here, nor is it very walkable.
You can check with your hotel’s concierge or front desk to see if they happen to shuttle up there (unlikely), or you could take a chance on a ride share.
Grab a RideShare in Steamboat
If the bus doesn’t run exactly where you need it to, or you just can’t wait for the bus schedule, you can always try to grab an Uber or Lyft. It may not be the most economical option, but if budget isn’t a worry, then it can be more convenient getting you to exactly where you need to go.
Be aware, though, that RideShares in Steamboat aren’t as common as other cities. So if you get a ride there, it may be more difficult finding a ride back.
Walk or Bike
The best and most rewarding way to get around Steamboat without a car is on foot.
The Yampa River Core Trail runs all the way through the downtown area. This is a safe way to get around from one side to another, even with kids.
For a quicker transfer, bring or rent some bikes and ride along the trail.
We have walked the trail many times from our hotel into the downtown area.
If you are not in a rush, this is a beautiful way to be carless in Steamboat Springs.
Can You Visit Steamboat Springs Without a Car?
As you can see, YES, it’s quite easy to visit Steamboat Springs without a car. Thanks to the free and frequent shuttle, it’s easy to get around town. The trail makes it easy to walk from place to place if you’ve got the time. And there are many options to get yourselves from the airport to Steamboat.
So it’s quite easy to go carless in Steamboat Springs. Even with a family in tow, it’s a fairly easy process to enjoy Steamboat without a car.