Steamboat Ski Resort
Steamboat is a world class ski resort that offers an all-round great experience. The Steamboat ski resort has plenty of terrain and it’s covered in “champagne powder”, a term invented by Steamboat to describe the light fluffy snow that falls in abundance.
The ski resort sits near the town of Steamboat Springs which is commonly shortened to just “Steamboat” or called “Ski Town USA”. Steamboat has produced a large number of Winter Olympians, which speaks volumes for what this ski town has to offer.
Steamboat has a rich western heritage and you’ll find plenty of cowboys, ranches and horses. If you’re looking for celebrities and want to wear fur you might not fit in, but if you want to strut about in Stetson boots or wear a cowboy hat whilst skiing, you’ll definitely blend right in!
Steamboat Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Steamboat is one of the largest ski resorts in Colorado with 2,965 acres (1,200 hectares) of terrain, 165 named trails, and 1,118 metres of vertical. The terrain is spread across six peaks, providing a variety of aspects. Steamboat ski resort is serviced by 18 lifts which includes a gondola and 6 high speed chairlifts.
The whole resort is below the tree line so there are no alpine bowls or cornices and only a couple of chutes, but the tree skiing is rave worthy. Tree lined groomers and moguls make up the rest of the terrain, as well as an impressive terrain park and superpipe.
Steamboat is paradise for intermediates. Forty two percent of the trails are blue, and many of the single black runs are also great for strong intermediate riders. Steamboat has some aptly rated double black runs, but not enough to keep die-hard ski bums entertained for very long. And relative to some other Colorado ski resorts
, there’s little that would fit into the “pucker” category. On the plus side, the resort provides gated access to some good backcountry terrain.
Where is Steamboat Springs Ski Resort?
Steamboat is located in northwest Colorado, 160 miles (267km) northwest of Denver. The Yampa Valley Regional Airport (known as Hayden) is only 22 miles (35km) from the resort and has scheduled shuttle services to and from Steamboat.
Flights can be somewhat expensive, so the other alternative is to fly into Denver International Airport which is 180 miles from Steamboat. The drive takes about 3 to 4 hours depending on weather and road conditions.
The town of Steamboat Springs lies just 3 miles (5km) from the base of Steamboat Ski Resort. There are free buses between the town and resort, and some lodgings also provide shuttle services.
You can either choose on-mountain accommodation at the ski resort or lodging in downtown Steamboat Springs, and considering the efficient bus and shuttle systems, it’s easy to get between the two locations.
The Mountain Village at Steamboat Ski Resort is purpose built and most of the lodging consists of condominiums and hotels. The lodging is ski-in ski-out or close to it, thereby offering the superb convenience of being close to the slopes.
Steamboat Springs is an authentic cowboy town with a really friendly atmosphere. The accommodations include hotels, motels, and lodges. It’s generally cheaper to stay downtown and there are a few more dining options than on-mountain.
Steamboat Accommodations Listings
A huge plus for Steamboat is the number of activities available aside from skiing and snowboarding at Steamboat ski resort. Powderhounds looking for fresh tracks can head out cat skiing
with Steamboat Powdercats
, whilst chook footers can make the most of the 120km of groomed cross country trails.
Activities for down days include winter fly fishing, snow tubing, ice climbing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, a day spa, or a visit to the Strawberry Park hot springs
. And Steamboat is horse country so naturally there are horse drawn sleigh rides and you can also go horse riding in winter.
More Reasons to Ski or Snowboard at Steamboat Colorado
Steamboat is well recognised for being a very family friendly resort, and kids 6-12 get to ski free with a parent or grandparent.
Where Steamboat excels is the snow. Despite the ski resort being at a low elevation relative to other Colorado ski resorts, the quality of the snow is a highlight of “the Boat”. Steamboat also does reasonably well in the quantity stakes, with 8.9 metres (350 inches) of snowfall per season on average. Best of all the freshies tend to last longer than the ski resorts on the beaten path of the I-70 region, because Steamboat is relatively remote and it doesn’t get the day-trippers from Denver.
What I don’t fully understand is why everyone gets so excited about the term “champagne powder”. In my mind it conjures up thoughts of bubbly yellow snow! That doesn’t sound too appealing!
The Powderhounds have provided Steamboat with a “Best Ski Resorts USA
” award for the tree skiing. Steamboat has been rated 5th in the best Colorado ski resorts
overall category, and 5th as a ski resort suited to powder hounds.
Tours that might include Steamboat