In Colorado, we take our beaches where we can—usually wherever someone dumps sand near some water. If you're not lucky, that means sunning yourself next to some murky reservoir. If you're fortunate to be in Steamboat Springs in the summer, however, look for Burgess Creek "Beach," where fresh spring water from inside the mountain is diverted into a shallow sandy area designed for very young children.
My daughters played for hours here, building castles and sending their dolls down the rapids, never once looking up at the downhill mountain bikers catching air just up the slope. There were quite a few other parents doing the same, both locals and tourists. We took turns kicking back in the wooden lounge chairs right in the water among our splashing children.
Better yet, mom and dad can take turns heading up the nearby gondola to tear down ski trails on special downhill mountain bikes. There is plenty more to do for families in Steamboat Springs, but the new slopeside beach is easy, refreshing, and free.