BlogRiver Fest

This year marks the 38th year of the Yampa River Festival!

Started in 1980, the annual Yampa River Festival has become a favorite Steamboat tradition during the spring. This exhilarating event is a testimony to the unique culture of our town as a daring display of sport is put on while our community watches from the banks of the Yampa River. Head down to the library parking lot on 13th Street to sip a beer from a local brewery, peruse the latest in outdoor gear, and watch this spectacle of events.

Over the years this event has evolved into not only an amazing show, but also an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of the Yampa River. Friends of the Yampa, a local nonprofit organization, have been working towards stewardship, advocacy, and education to protect the Yampa for over 30 years. The Yampa River Festival serves as one of their major fundraising events and allows them to organize river clean ups, host education events, and participate in local, regional, and national policy efforts.


Show Stopping Events:

Thursday, May 31st  

State of the Yampa Address:
Hosted at the Chief Theater, the focus of this event is the importance of the Yampa River to our state and educating the community through engaging talks and short films.


Friday, June 1st  

Fish Creek Race:
If you have seen Fish Creek flow during the spring, you will know just how crazy this event is. At 6:00pm participants begin a sprint event down Fish Creek from the Mt. Werner Water treatment facility to Steamboat Blvd. This high intensity event challenges kayakers to speed through the raging rapids of Fish Creek in an attempt to beat out their fellow competitors.


Saturday, June 2nd

Riverside Events at Charlie’s Hole and Fetcher Pond:
From noon to 7:00pm an assortment of events is held including; stand up paddle boarding, Crazy River Dog, raft, kayak, tube, and pack rafting. This is truly an event you will not want to miss. Soak up the sun as locals in crazy costumes attempt to raft through the rapids of Charlie’s Hole without flipping. A fan favorite… the tube rodeo. Brave Steamboat locals grab their tubes (life vests and helmets) and plunge into the rapids while attempting to ride their tube as a cowboy would ride a bull. The rider that is able to remain in the rapids the longest wins!


Sunday, February 11
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Kayak Slalom:
From 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at Rich Weiss Park contestants participate in an event unlike any other. Many are familiar with the giant slalom that takes place on snow with ski racers flying down the mountain around race gates. In this event they’ve taken that same principle and recreated it for kayaking. Race gates are suspended underneath the bridge and the contestant’s goal is to kayak under each gate while also trying to achieve the fastest time. This event requires immense skill and determination and is sure to wow the audience.

For a full schedule of events or tickets for these events please contact The Porches concierge team.