Head up to Steamboat to kayak, raft, sup or tube this summer and you’ll be able to stare at the river both in front of and alongside you.

A new, 70-foot-long mural depicting the Yampa River from its source in the Flat Tops to its junction with the Green in Dinosaur National Monument has been painted alongside a wall downtown, drawing attention to this natural resource.

The “Yampa is Wild” mural, a collaboration between Friends of the Yampa (FOTY) and other partners, also highlights how state-certified Creative Districts like Steamboat are joining forces with conservation groups, recreationalists and artists.

“We’re using it to bring awareness to the importance of protecting one of the last free-flowing tributaries to the Colorado River system,” says FOTY president Kent Vertrees. 

Painted on Polytab panels, the mural was designed by artist Jill Bergman and is expected to be installed in July 2019. It packs a lot into a small package. “It’s a 250-mile-long river,” says Bergman. “That’s a lot of landscape to cover. It was also a challenge placing all its elements around the building’s features. I hope it will remind people of the importance of protecting it.”