The town of Craig is located in Moffat County in the northwest portion of Colorado, between Steamboat Springs to the east and Utah to the west.
One of the state’s most rural and least populated regions, it averages less than three residents per square mile in many areas.
The landscape is characterized by large cattle ranches, prairies, and rolling hills that are about as close to the original pioneer era that most visitors are ever likely to get.
The area is primarily popular with outdoorsy types and lovers of state and national parks, though there are historical and cultural attractions and world-class skiing nearby as well.
Let’s explore the best things to do in and around Craig, Colorado:
1. Museum of Northwest Colorado
The Museum of Northwest Colorado features one of the country’s most extensive collections of artifacts and memorabilia relating to the history and culture of Colorado and the American West.
The museum’s exhibits touch on the settler and gold rush eras, as well as the Native Americans who called the area home for generations before it was officially settled in the 1800s.
Weapons, saddles, clothes, and historic photographs are on permanent display, and the museum is staffed by knowledgeable and helpful locals who are treasure troves of information, so don’t be shy about asking them questions.
It’s an inexpensive attraction, and most guests stay for a few hours.
2. Gino’s Neighborhood Pizzeria and Grill
From pizza and calzones to burgers and stromboli, Gino’s Neighborhood Pizza and Grill has a full menu that usually has something to tempt even the most finicky taste buds.
Gino’s is located on Breeze Street in downtown Craig; in addition to their tasty grub, previous guests have noted that it was lively, family-friendly, reasonably priced and that the wait staff were efficient and courteous.
During the summer months, both indoor and outdoor seating is available. Though it can get busy during peak times, most guests don’t mind relaxing with a cold drink while waiting for their food.
3. Yampa Valley Golf Club
The Yampa Valley Golf Club has been one of the Yampa Valley’s best golf values since it was opened more than five decades ago.
The course’s 18 holes are spread over nearly 250 acres that are comprised of a variety of natural environments, like cottonwood stands, wetlands, and prairies.
From the farthest tees, the course plays slightly longer than 6,500 yards. For women, children, and seniors who’d rather not make things too difficult on themselves, there are a number of shorter tee options as well.
Much of the course runs beside the Yampa River, making it both scenic and challenging.
4. Los Jilbertos
Like most of the western states, Colorado has a big Mexican population, and Los Jilbertos is a popular option for those looking for cuisine from south of the border.
Los Jilbertos is located on West Victory Way in Craig and serves traditional Mexican classics like rellenos, tortas, tacos, and chimichangas, as well as homemade salsas and horchata.
The restaurant is located in a small, nondescript building and is usually described as a hole in the wall, but its abundant five-star ratings on popular travel sites make it a good bet for those looking to fill up without spending an arm and a leg.
5. Go Fishing
Moffat County features hundreds of lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks; most of them are in pristine areas and are full of a variety of gamefish.
The Green and Yampa Rivers offer multiple access points for both boaters and shore fishers, and there are many lakes and reservoirs that are home to bass, pike, walleye, and several species of trout.
Some areas have restrictions that prohibit the use of live bait, so check online or at a local sporting goods store before heading out.
Both residents and visitors older than 16 will need a valid Colorado fishing license to be in compliance.
6. Steamboat Food and Wine Festival
The Steamboat Food and Wine Festival is a highly anticipated annual event that takes place over a long weekend in October when the weather in Colorado is usually perfect for being outdoors.
The festival includes hundreds of vendors selling locally made beer, wine, and spirits, as well as gourmet food of nearly every description.
The event also features games, cooking presentations, and live entertainment, and there are other non-edible items in abundance, such as arts, crafts, jewelry, and clothes.
For one price, guests can purchase tickets that are good for multiple entries on each of the days the festival is open.
7. Tread of Pioneers Museum
For those staying in Craig who feel the draw of the open road, Steamboat Springs is a great place to spend a few days.
The historic town is full of art, cultural, and natural attractions, as well as amazing skiing and many annual fairs and festivals.
Tread of Pioneers Museum is located on Oak Street in town and resides in a Victorian-style home that was built more than 120 years ago.
The museum’s exhibits touch on the pioneer era, Native Americans, and mining; many of them are interactive, making them perfect for little ones in need of mental stimulation.
8. Cowboys’ Roundup Days and 4th of July Celebration
Colorado residents take the annual 4th of July celebration seriously, and the town of Steamboat Springs has been hosting one of the state’s oldest Independence Day celebrations for more than 100 years.
The celebration features a parade, rodeo events, family games, live entertainment, and a dazzling fireworks display when the sun has gone down.
With so much to see and do, it’s the kind of event that most guests enjoy for more than just an hour or two. Between activities, there’s a block party that features plenty of food and drink options, as well as arts and crafts from local artists.
9. Steamboat MusicFest
MusicFest is another annual Steamboat Springs event that’s highly anticipated by locals and out of state visitors alike; it takes place over six days in early January every year.
Unlike many festivals, it’s not confined to one location, but different venues are spread all over the town, making it the perfect event for those who’d like to stretch their legs, explore the town, and enjoy great music.
The skiing is excellent in January as well, though lodging does tend to fill up quickly, so if that’s when you’ll be visiting, consider making your hotel reservations well in advance of your trip.
10. Dinosaur National Monument Park
In ages long past, dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes roamed, flew, and swam across much of what’s now Colorado, and the Dinosaur National Monument is hands-down the best place to see many of their remains.
The park straddles Colorado and Utah, and though it’s accessible from both states, the fossils are only viewable from the Utah side.
The area is rich in natural beauty, hieroglyphs, and ruins from the Native American people who lived in the area long before it was officially settled.
The monument is open daily throughout the year, but during times of inclement weather, some roads may be closed for visitor’s safety.
11. Fish Creek Falls
Towering nearly 300 feet above the ground, Fish Creek Falls are one of Steamboat Springs’ most iconic attractions.
The falls are just a short walk or drive from downtown, and are most spectacular during the spring thaw when the water volume is at its highest.
For those who’d rather experience the falls as part of a guided tour, there are plenty of options in town; they’re relatively inexpensive ways to see the wonder up close and personally, while still leaving plenty of time in the day for other excursions.
Hiking, nature photography, and ice climbing are all popular around the falls.
12. Steamboat Ski Resort
Steamboat Ski Resort is one of North America’s premier alpine destinations. It is spread across nearly 3,000 remote and mountainous acres and includes more than 150 trails ranging from beginner bunny slopes to black diamonds reserved for seasoned pros.
Steamboat typically has the best base and constant supply of powdery snow of any resort in the state, and the town offers abundant lodging and dining options, though they definitely tend to be on the pricy side.
The resort isn’t just a cold-weather attraction: during the spring and summer months, there are tons of outdoor activities like golf, rafting, mountain biking, and zip-lining.
13. Steamboat Art Museum
Steamboat Springs features an impressive array of galleries and museums. Though many of them are the exclusive domains of well-heeled jet setters, many are reasonably inexpensive to visit, and appropriate for families traveling on budgets.
Steamboat Art Museum was founded in 2005 and is located on Lincoln Avenue inside a historic building that was once the town’s First National Bank.
The Museum boasts an impressive collection of traditional and contemporary art, and much of it was done by local and regional artists and features western themes and landscapes.
Paintings, sculptures, quilts, and photography are well represented, and the staff offer guided tours and artist’s workshops too.
14. Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Strawberry Park Hot Springs is actually a cluster of individual pools that are open to the public year-round.
The facility is located just outside Steamboat Springs, and the water percolating to the surface maintains and tasty 103 degrees regardless of season and weather, making it a particularly popular end of day attraction for skiers who have spent the day on the slopes in the snow and wind.
The springs’ amenities include warm changing rooms, massages, and light refreshments. For those who’d like to spend an evening or two, there are several rustic cabins and campsites available to rent.
15. Wild Goose Coffee at the Granary
Wild Goose Coffee at the Granary is located in the historic town of Hayden, about an hour east of Craig on US Route 40.
Though it has only been around since 2013, it has attracted quite a loyal following, who appreciate its traditional charm, tasty drinks, and fresh baked goods.
Wild Goose is located inside a portion of an old grain elevator that traces its roots back more than a century; it’s as much a community meeting house as it is just another coffee shop.
The facility is a local entertainment venue as well and often hosts art, food, and cultural events that are fun, engaging, and educational.