Beginning in 1997 the Yampa River Botanic Park sprang from a flat horse pasture to a six acre gem of ponds, berms, and over 40 gardens. It is one of the jewels of Northwest Colorado and one of the few botanic gardens in the state.The Park is on land owned by the City of Steamboat Springs. The facility is directed and funded by a board of interested citizens who oversee the Park's operations and raise funds through donations, sponsorships, memberships, and grants. No public funds are directed to the Park.
The Park is free and open to the public from May to October. It serves as a "place of serenity," as a venue for a summer music festival, as a site for weddings and similar events, and as a resource for individuals and landscape architects and designers. The Park sits at 6800 feet above sea level, but, through the use of carefully developed microclimates, supports plants from the entire Yampa River Basin, which runs from 12,000 feet in the Flattops Wilderness to 4000 feet where it enters the Green River and then the Colorado in Utah.