Outside of Steamboat Springs, about 3 hours northwest of Denver, nestled in the Routt National Forest, stands a cozy cabin. Since 1933, the Seedhouse Guard Station has provided a place for the avid outdoorsmen to rest and recreate.
The cabin is available for overnight stays year round, but there is an added adventure of visiting during winter months. The forest is a snowy wonderland and the trail to the cabin is only accessible via cross-country ski, snowshoe, or snowmobile.
Depending on how far you live from Steamboat Springs, a retreat to this cabin is the perfect weekend getaway. We drove up on a Saturday morning and hiked in for a 1-night stay. The cabin is only about 3 miles from the trailhead, which meant we didn't have to leave Denver at an ungodly hour and that we had plenty of time to relax, explore, and enjoy our time in the cabin. It also makes for a relatively cheap trip; renting the cabin is only $74 per night (that's including fees!). The only additional costs would be gas, food, and snowshoe rentals.
- 2 bunk beds with mattresses
- Table and chairs
- All the cooking utensils and cookware you could ever need
- Paper towels, disinfectant wipes, toilet paper, garbage bags
- Fire ring and firewood
This cabin has it all. The only things one would need to bring are a sleeping bag, pillow, flashlights and food. Everything in the cabin runs off propane - a.k.a. there is no electricity. During the winter, the water is shut off so the pipes don't freeze, which means the faucet/sink and indoor bathroom are unusable. Thankfully there is an outhouse and plenty of snow to melt on the stove - and boil to purify of course.
Two things you won't find at this cabin in the middle of the forest: light pollution and cell service. Which means you can peacefully stargaze and turn off the digital world for a little bit.
Our time at the cabin was simple and so enjoyable. We played hours of eukre, kemps (my midwesterners know those games well), crazy solitaire, and poker. We went on a twilight hike in our snowshoes. We built a fire, roasted s'mores, and pointed out different constellations in the sky. Best of all, we had a bunch of deep and meaningful life chats (one of my favorite pastimes).
An added bonus of the Seedhouse Guard Station is its close proximity to Steamboat Springs. Sunday morning, after we packed up and hiked back to the car, we visited Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs and downtown Steamboat Springs.
Strawberry Park is a resort with natural hot springs. They have a pools of ~104 degree mineral water as well as pools of mountain spring water; we dipped back and forth between the two temperatures, which was a shock to our systems but very soothing. Chillin' in nature's hot tub was exactly what we needed after a day of snowshoeing and roughing it in the great outdoors. Entrance to the springs is $15 per person CASH ONLY and they are open from 10 am to 10:30 pm every day of the week (til midnight Fridays and Saturdays!).
Steamboat Springs is your standard adorable Colorado mountain town. Lincoln Avenue, their "main street", is quaint and worthy of a visit. We made a point to stop at F. M. Light & Sons, which is a Western apparel store that's been around since 1905. The current owners had this genius marketing idea to put bright yellow signs along the road leading to Steamboat Springs. And not just a few yellow signs - one sign every half mile starting about 20 miles out of town. The tactic is reminiscent of Wall Drug in South Dakota. These bright yellow signs were a primary conversation topic during our drive in on Saturday. After only five signs, it was decided: we had to visit F. M. Light & Sons before heading back to Denver on Sunday. I'd say that's an effective marketing strategy, even if none of us purchased any bolo ties, cowboy boots, or outlandish belt buckles.
Overall, it was an incredibly successful weekend. Another adventure in the books!
All photos captioned with a (N) were taken by my incredibly talented friend Nethaniel. Here are some personality pics he captured: