Beginning in 1995 the Yampa River Botanic Park sprang from a flat horse pasture to a six acre gem of ponds, berms, and over 50 gardens. It is one of the jewels of Northwest Colorado and one of a handful of botanic gardens in the State. The Park is on land donated to the City of Steamboat Springs. The facility is directed by a board of interested citizens who oversee the Park's operations and raise funds through memberships, donations, sponsorships and grants. The Park receives no tax dollars.
The Park is free and open to the public from the beginning of May through the end of October. It is a place to enjoy the flowers and the trees, a place to revel in Nature and a hideaway from the stress of modern life. It is a place for summer music festivals, a place for weddings and yoga and a resource to see native plants. The Yampa River starts at 12,000 feet in the Flattop mountains, 50 miles to the south, and empties into the Green River at 4,000 feet, 120 miles to the West, and eventually into the mighty Colorado. The Park sits at 6800 feet above sea level, but, through the use of microclimates designed into the Park, it supports both alpine plants and desert plants found in the Yampa River Basin.