This day-use only recreation area located near Steamboat Springs provides opportunities for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking in the summer as well as moderately challenging Nordic and back-country skiing in the winter. The Howelson Hill Ski Area, which gave Steamboat Springs the name “Ski Town USA,” adjoins
Emerald Mountain and provides additional trails. The trails within Emerald Mountain provide views of Mt. Werner, Sleeping Giant Mountain and other scenic icons of the Yampa Valley while meandering through Gambel oak, aspens, sage, and pine
forests. A seasonal closure is in effect December 1-June 30 to protect wintering and calving elk within the area south of Ridge Trail. The trails winding through Emerald Mountain Recreation Area are excellent for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Visitors can also enjoy Nordic skiing.Emerald is managed as two separate Zones. Zone 1- strenuous activities and Zone 2 - nature experience. No mountain bikes allowed in Zone 2. Zone 2 and trails south of Ridge Trail closed Dec. 1 - June 30 for wintering elk. Maps & Brochures Available from the BLM.