Scenic Steamboat Lake occupies 1,053 acres of broad valley in the shadows of Hahns Peak and Sand Mountain. Volcanic Hahns Peak, at 10,839 feet, was the locale of early mining activity for silver and gold. On the north boundary of Steamboat Lake State Park, the little town of Hahns Peak Village was founded in the 1870s. The expansive setting of the 1,550-acre state park showcases a great little loop called Tombstone Nature Trail on the north shore of the shimmering man-made lake.
Wrapping around a water-view hillock, the trail provides grand vistas, convenient benches, and about four-dozen wildflower species, including the exquisite Calypso orchid in mid-to-late June. The loop wanders through the forest, passing openings to arrive above the lake. A short spur leads to a tombstone. The main trail remains level, exposing more views of the water and distant landscape, before drifting down to a damp area and returning to the trailhead. Wildflower Alert: This hike features a gentle loop trail with fairyslippers and phlox in early summer.
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