Steamboat Lake State Park features a 1,100 surface-acre reservoir lying at 8,000 feet in elevation in the Willow Creek Valley of the Park Range.
Mule deer and red fox sightings commonly occur in the park, though rare sightings of black bear, moose, and mountain lion are sometimes reported. Other mammals include American marten, long-tailed weasel, northern pocket gopher, beaver, muskrat and several species of shrews, voles, squirrels and mice. Tiger salamander, striped chorus frog and western terrestrial garter snake also are present.
Over 200 species of migratory and resident birds are known in the park including northern harrier, osprey, great blue herons, western screech-owl, western bluebird, hairy and downy woodpeckers, red-winged blackbird and greater sandhill cranes. View the bird brochure.
Steamboat Lake offers excellent cold-water fishing opportunities for rainbow trout, Tasmanian and bel-aire hybrids, cutthroat trout and brown trout. Occasionally a Brook trout is reported.
Major native plant communities at Steamboat Lake are:
Plant Community Type||
Plant Community Description|
|Sagebrush Shrubland ||The most common shrubland community type at Steamboat lake, it grows on dry (or slightly moist) slopes and ridges and includes big sagebrush, bitterbrush, rabbitbrush, needlegrass, lupine, mule’s ears, prairie junegrass.|
|Lodgepole Pine Forest||One of the dominant forest trees here at Steamboat Lake.|
|Northern Subalpine Forest||Along with lodgepole pine and aspen, interspersed stands Englemann’s spruce and Colorado blue spruce make up our northern subalpine forests.|
|Aspen Forest ||One of the dominant forest trees here at Steamboat Lake.|
|Willow Carr Wetland||A wetland shrub community dominated by a variety of willows. Exists in and around the reservoir and its tributary drainages.|
|Marsh||Consists primarily of sedges, rushes and bulrushes in areas with permanent standing water. Exists in and around the reservoir and its tributary drainages.|
|Wet Meadow||Possesses traits, such as moist soil and hydrophytic vegetation, suggestive of periodic wet conditions. Exists in and around the reservoir and its tributary drainages.|
The park is partially covered by Holocene alluvium on the west and north sides. The principal Tertiary formation is Brown's Park Sandstone, sedimentary rock with silicic ash beds. A small area of intrusive silicic porphyry is present along the north shore.