Mud season offers its own activities | SteamboatToday.com

Mud season offers its own activities

It's mud season in Steamboat, but options still abound in the area. One of those is rafting, like a few locals who like to go on the Grand Canyon, a trip full of picturesque views.

— Mud season has arrived.

Steamboat Ski Area is closed, and most visitors have gone home, giving the town a barren, deserted look.

It can be tough. Many shops and restaurants shut down, and biking and hiking trails are still covered with slushy snow that seems to melt at a glacier's pace. The weather is a tease: One minute, it's spring, and the next, you're left wishing you'd brought your puffy jacket.

Fear not. There is still plenty to do. Avoid the mud season blues this year with Explore Steamboat's guide to getting through and even enjoying mud season.

Biking, hiking

Now is the time for what some might refer to as the "Desert Rally." It's a time when a significant percentage of Steamboat Springs locals head to the desert.

Full of canyon vistas that leave visitors speechless, the four-and-a-half hour drive to Moab, Utah, is well worth the time. Get there early to reserve a campsite before the crowds. The area offers plenty of hiking and biking trails for all levels, and for hiking outside the parks, visit discover

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moab.com.

As stellar, but a bit closer, Fruita is another great biking option for all-level cyclists, with camp sites located near the bike trails and plenty of amenities. It's ideal for a quick weekend trip for weekend warriors who don't have the luxury of taking a full week to go play in the desert.

Other warmer options — besides Mexico or Hawaii — include Dinosaur National Monument, only a two hour and 10 minute drive; Gooseberry Mesa, west of Zion National Park; Vernal, Utah, which boasts plenty of great bike trails; and the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, which is about a four and a half hour drive.

Rafting

Rafting season is almost here. After the rain predicted for this weekend, the Yampa River is expected to be ripping, as any esteemed river rat will tell you.

A few nearby areas that are also flowing well include Duffy and Juniper Canyons, near Maybell; the Pumphouse section of the Colorado River; and the Blue River, or Cross Mountain Canyon, which was running at 3,500 cubic feet per second earlier this week.

Music, entertainment

Schmiggity's is closed until May 3, and Sunpie's is also closed. But don't forget about the locals specials we all know and love.

On the Front Range, events include the Cannabist, which will kick off 420 Week at the Denver Post today with acts such as Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, George Clinton, Collie Buddz, Method Man, Redman and Wiz Khalifa. Shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre include the Infamous Stringdusters on May 6 and Elephant Revival and My Morning Jacket, both of whom will perform later in May;

There's also the 16th annual BeaconFest Boomer and Senior Fair on Thursday in Grand Junction.

Back home in Steamboat, get ready to see Turkuaz and the Nth Power, a nine-piece powerfunk oufit from Brooklyn, New York, at Schmiggity's on May 8.

Skiing

For all of those powder-hounds who are not quite ready to say goodbye to ski season, there are plenty of options to get some turns in throughout Colorado.

This weekend, head down to Vail for the closing day festivities and the final day to ski Sunday.

Copper Mountain will have its Sunsation closing festivities this weekend with the Red Bull Slope Soakers, a progressive pond skim contest and a free outdoor performance by Far East Movement. On April 17, the Eenie Weenie Bikini Contest will get underway, followed by a My Brothers Keeper concert. Copper Mountain will also reopen Friday, April 22 through April 24.

Both Breckenridge and Winter Park are scheduled to close April 24, but Winter Park’s Mary Jane life will be open through May 7.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1