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Steamboat Ski Resort

skiericon.pngThis resort guide is maintained by EpicSki Ambassador: Finndog

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Trail Map




Resort Trail Map, Trail and Lift Status  

Here are some links regarding the "official" runs and lifts. Steamboat resort offers some of the best tree skiing in the world. A lot of our tree skiing is not marked on the map so take some time and explore. Basically, unless its roped off, you can ski it.  Ski safe within your ability and ski with a partner; do not under estimate the danger of tree wells!  



Conditions, Weather, Snow Cams and Back Country/CatSkiing Info
Mountain weather can vary widely depending where you on the mountain and fast moving fronts so get the temperature and wind speeds along with the forecast for the day(s) you are skiing. It can be sub zero at the base but 20 degrees on the top or vice-versa! Be prepared; wear and bring appropriate gear. Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of calories as it will help keep you warm and allow you to ski longer. 
The Steamboat site is an excellent resource however, I have provided some links to help you get accurate weather info. The Site's weather information is linked to the forecast for downtown and the weather is usually quite different on the mountain. 
Steamboat is famous for "under reporting" snow totals. Technically, they don't under report, its just how and where they report! The 24 and 48 hour totals really aren't based on those times so don't be surprised if the numbers reported don't add up or seemingly change. I use the resort cameras to get a better idea of what really falls. I suggest you use the Champagne Camera and the Rendezvous Saddle Camera pointed at the deck (pan 2/3 to the right and tilt down about 1/4 down) for a better idea of what has fallen. Neither are perfect but it's usually a pretty good indication. Just a note about the Champagne camera; it is not unusual for the platform to not be cleaned off at the time the site states and the thermometer is broken reading 25 degrees.

Weather Information- Forecasting Tools and Current Weather Information

Steamboat Springs Snow and Weather Report; As reported by the Resort; really for the town
DRI Lab report; Live feed from the top of Mt Werner (Storm Peak)  This link shows real-time feed of temperature and wind speeds on top of the mountain. 
NOAA Weather.org report positioned on the mountain for a much improved weather forecast and current conditions
OPENSNOW  OpenSnow is a ski weather and conditions specific site that I encourage you to join and follow. You can set up Snow Fall Alerts for Steamboat

RADAR IMAGE - real time imaging 



Snow Reports and Mountain Cameras

Steamboat Snow Phone: yes, the good ol' Fashion telephone actually gives you the most complete report. It supposed to be updated every day at 5 Am and then early afternoon, but this is just a relative time....   970.879.6111
Steamboat Pilot Town Cameras  The Pilot is our local paper and an excellent resource for all things Steamboat!
Heading to our Backcountry?  
Colorado Avalanche Information Center  for Steamboat and Flat Tops area

  Steamboat Powdercats: 


Located in the "Clock Tower" building at the resort, Steamboat Powdercats is a professional Backcountry Cat skiing operation. They can provide you with everything you need to enjoy a full day of powder skiing in pristine untracked backcountry just 30 minutes away. Transportation to and from the main office, beacons poles and ski's/snowboards even lunch are included.  This is an adventure every skier and snowboarder should experience!  They have 3 levels of cat skiing ranging from Novice to Expert.  Book early as they fill their cats quickly. You can always call and ask about standby seats if you are flexible.  



There are 2 ways to get to fly to steamboat. Fly Into Steamboat which is really Hayden (HDN) or into Denver (DEN) and drive up. Flying into Steamboat (HDN) is usually expensive but consider that you don't need a car once you get here and that can equate to $500-$800 in savings on car rental cost. If you do fly into Hayden, do not schedule tight connections if possible and keep in mind that this is a small regional airport that is subject to frequent delays! United (Republic) shuttles to/from Denver to Hayden are notoriously late.  
You can fly directly into Hayden Airport (HDN) and rent a car or take a shuttle into town.  It's a short 30 minute drive on well-maintained flat Route 40. Once in town you can take your resort property shuttles or the free town bus system. You really don't need a car in the winter.
If you drive up from Denver, its a 3 hour drive over 2 passes. Its not a difficult drive if the conditions are good but much of the trip is on a remote 2 lane highway.  There is  no cell coverage for most of the trip once you get off of Route 70.  Be careful of wildlife in the early AM or at dusk. Mule deer and Antelope frequently cross the highway.  If it is snowing or has recently, you need to check with COTRIP.ORG for road conditions!  I would strongly suggest an All or 4 wheel drive vehicle and bring water, food and warm clothing with you. If the roads or pass's close, you need to be prepared.  
During the winter, almost every resort property has a shuttle. The town also has an excellent free bus system. You really don't need a car in Steamboat.  
Airport shuttles:
GO Alpine- Services both Hayden and Denver airports.
Storm Mountain Express Services Hayden, Eagle and Denver airports. 
Car Rental:
You can rent from Hayden or in town. Call or email for quotes as they can vary.  Also, ask about  doing 1 way rentals from Denver and 1 way returns. The price is often very good depending on need to move cars. 


Steamboat's "PLAN YOUR TRIP" page is a great resource for properties managed by the resort. Call (877) 783-2628 for a one-stop resource for lodging, airfare, rentals lift tickets and more.  
  Retreatia  is owned and operated by Steamboat locals and can really help you choose the best accommodations for your needs.  They offer a wide selection of condos and homes for small and large groups. Retreatia provides a fantastic Concierge  service to help manage all the details of your vacation like airport shuttles, stocking your condo with food and "beverages", discounted lift tickets, rentals and more.  Ship your luggage and skis to Retreatia prior to your vacation and let them ship them back home to you when you leave!   



Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range






Steamboat has added quite a few new restaurants especially downtown on Yampa Street. We have stepped up our culinary offerings and now offer some fantastic restaurants that range from killer hot dogs made from Elk, "muy authentica" Mexican to great sushi and noodle bowls to amazing Mediterranean to fine dining that you will satisfy the most discerning "foodie" and wine oficionado.  We even have an amazing new Southern Restaurant! Keep in mind that in the peak seasons restaurants book well in advance and at the holidays, I would strongly suggest booking as far in advance as you can.   There are some great restaurants "on the mountain" but if you go downtown, you are much better off taking a shuttle. Remember, lots of people and tons of snow equals limited parking.  The cool thing about our downtown is its a real town, There are great shops to wander in and out of before or after dinner so plan on some extra time to walk off that dinner or get rid of that lactic acid build-up from a long day in the powder. 
Here are my favorites by food type:  (under construction) 
Fine Dining:
BISTRO CV, 4th and Lincoln (main st) Hands down favorite. Brian Vaughn works his culinary magic featuring fresh locally sourced and fresh flown-in seafood. Bistro's wine list is also equally impressive with wines that range in prices including some very reasonable selections. You can get excellent wines by the glass instead of the common "house wines" here.  This restaurant is nothing short of incredible and the service and attention to detail is just as exceptional. The decor is tastefully modern and chic. My favorite is sit at the chef's table and watch the line in action. On a tight budget? Go to their happy hour and enjoy half price "small plates (tapas-like) and half price wines; again, excellent wines by the glass.   

Calendar of Events and More
There is always something going on at The Boat!  Here are the "Best Of" Steamboat Festivals and Events 
Steamboat Resort Activities for Winter and Summer time
Steamboat Chamber of Commerce  Calendar of events
SERVICES- Ski Rentals, Ski Shops, Boot fitters- Recommended Shops 
Steamboat Ski & Bike is a great shop located on the mountain and downtown on Lincoln (by 5th) that offers the best boot fitting in Steamboat. They also carry a great selection of ski's, boots and clothing, Ski tuning, mounting and repair in addition to Ski and snowboard rentals.   In the summer, they are a full service bike shop.  







Steamboat Ski Resort

Steamboat is an excellent mountain with a huge variety of terrain with something for every level skier or Snowboarder. The town and resort offer plenty of off-the-slope activities from our famous hot springs to dog sledding, nordic skiing, guided snowshoeing, snowmobiling, hot air balloon rides, backcountry cat skiing, fine dining and some great art galleries too! The mountain offers some of the best tree skiing anywhere and If trees are your specialty or something you want to try, Steamboat's your place! Don't worry if trees aren't your thing, we also feature long bump runs and groomed cruisers so skiers and riders of all ability levels have plenty of options. The resort is spread out over six peaks in the Park Range. The names of the peaks are; Mt. Werner, Sunshine Peak, Storm Peak, Thunderhead Peak, Christie Peak and Pioneer Ridge. in the Park Range. There are also several terrain parks for all levels of ability featuring Maverick which has everything any expert would want. Steamboat also has an excellent adaptive program for all seasons called STARS www.steamboatstars.com This is an amazing program! With an average of 349" of "Champagne" powder you will learn that powder can be found much of the time. Hook up with a local or tke the mountain tour to find our hidden stashes. (there are a bunch) Steamboat is one of the best places to learn how to ski with world class instructors and a top notch children's program. There are endless opportunities with all of the open runs, tight glades, cliffs, terrain park, and NASTAR racing. This year, Steamboat adds night skiing! With hardly ever a lift line that takes more than a minute you will be sure to get many great runs in your great day or night of skiing at Steamboat. More than 60 skiers from Steamboat have joined US Olympic teams, including Olympic medalist and world champion Billy Kidd, who runs the Center for Performance Skiing at the resort. Everyday you can check the board at the top of the gondola and see if Billy is skiing. If he is, there will be a free lesson on an intermediate run. Steamboat plays heavily on its "genuine western town". The old cowboy town maintains a genuine feel including a couple of saloons and traditional wholesalers while being full to the brim with modern shops (and a few old ones). Apres-ski prices are very good in town, with almost every pub and restaurant offering Apre hour. Not enough Powder on the mountain or looking for the truly steep and deep? Steamboat Powdercats (not affiliated with the resort) offers cat skiing opportunities to all levels from beginners to experts on the pristine powder filled Buffalo Pass national forest area. Its what we all want and dream about; untracked powder. You have to do it at least once! Steamboat Epicski Ambassador : Finndog (Ron)

Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet1
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Rope tow2
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Double2
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Triple6
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad1
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad5
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Six person1 high speed
Lifts-Total number of lifts18
Lifts-Total lift capacity41,465
Trails-4-Expert onlySee Pioneer Ridge Area
Trails-5-Terrain park5
Trails-6-Half pipe1
Runs-Steepest runChutes
Runs-Longest run3 miles
General-Base elevation6900'
General-Vertical drop3668'
General-OwnerIntra West
General-Mountain rangeRockies
General-Back country accessYes- Unofficial
General-Total area in bounds2965 acres
General-Snow making coverage375 acres
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: Best tree skiing, period. Snow is more plentiful than statistics indicate and wow is it light.

Cons: Not much very steep open or chute-like runs (the usual rap)

This is less a review than a response to the "not gnarly enough" rap that usually gets thrown at the 'boat.

Any expert skier that can't find challenge here ain't looking.  In particular there is more tree skiing here than the total acreage of most other ski areas (and most of it is right at that perfect line between "tight" and "too tight" unlike the tree skiing at most other areas).  Sure the skiing isn't as steep as the open bowls/chutes at JH, LCC, etc., but the trees add their own unique challenge that not only makes up for the lesser grade but creates a singular ski experience. 

I challenge any expert skier to spend a day linking turns at speed through the unmarked Sideburn, Twister trees, 2:15 & 2:45 trees, etc. and tell me that they didn't find the experience "gnarly".  Further, these trees tend to hold and protect the snow for days much better than open runs, and there's something uniquely serene about feeling "lost" in these trees that an open run doesn't do.  And oh what snow...it really seems like the lightest and the 331" a year statistic is waaay less than the amount they get in the main tree skiing areas well-above mid-mountain (a Steamboat 6" new snow day is usually more like a foot plus).

I do miss having more steep open bowl/chute type skiing, but the funny thing is when I am skiing day-after-day of "pucker-factor" steeps at other ski areas I usually find myself thinking "I wish they had some tree skiing here like at the 'boat."


Pros: Real ski town, trees, snow

Cons: No real steeps


Steamboat is a large area with 3668’ of vertical from the base at 6900’ to the summit of Mt. Werner at 10568’. There are 25 lifts, 4 of which are detachables and 1 Gondola. The terrain is all below treeline with no cornices or chutes. This is a big round mountain with no open bowls or chutes. There are lots of tree runs, moguls, and long groomers, but not enough variety in terrain to keep the expert skier entertained for more than a few days, unless there was lots of fresh powder. This is a destination area, that attracts vacationers from all over the U.S., but is not really for the diehard ski bum.
The Storm Peak Express and Sundown Express both are equipped with storm bubbles which make these lifts a comfortable ride in severe weather conditions. From the top of Storm Peak, I make my first run down on the groomed run under the lift. The snow is good and the run is long with 2160’ vertical. When I reach the top the second time, I head over the backside down one of the short runs to the bottom of the Morning side lift. From the top of the Morningside lift you can herringbone up the ridge to the Christmas Tree Bowl area or East Face runs at the northern perimeter.


Pros: Great Intermediate tree skiing; solid intermediate and above runs

Cons: There are better places for never evers and novices

Skied Steamboat in both 2012 and 2013 during spring break (late March and early April).  Though we had a great time in 2012 as novices, this is not the best place for first time skiers (check out Deer Valley).  If you have some confidence and experience, Steamboat can be great.  In 2013, our instructor took us through trees and Steamboat probably has the best intermediate tree runs.  Meaning, this is a great place for intermediates (Buddy's Run, Heavenly Daze) and above.  And, where an intermediate can duck into the trees.  Don't look at the trail map. because if your are confident you can get down Huevos and Morning Side Lift Line (both marked as Black).  Also, there seem to be "bail" out points for very difficult runs.  I had four kids (10-12) and me down a mogul/rock run and we were able to catch a traverse a third of the way down.  Point being, you can try difficult runs and there's an out.  Note:  not true for the extreme chutes but they are marked as such.  For Apres Ski, we loved the base vibe.  Great casual restaurants.  And the town of Steamboat is definitely laid back but with good restaurants.  Go to Rex's attached to the Holiday Inn - one of the best places I've been.


Pros: Epic snow, great variety of trails, family friendly community, not disneyland (a good thing!), easy to get to by air

Cons: Need an ice rink at the base area

It took three trips to Colorado before we found Steamboat and since then we have never looked back.  This year was our 10th.  This ski crazy community in Northwest Colorado has become our second home-away-from-home,  The ski mountain keeps us entertained all day in between rest stops.  The kids love it and as we say in our world "if the kids are happy, so are the parents".


Fun restaurants for nights out, or dog sledding when you need a break from the mountain.  Main street downtown is worth a stroll to see what a Western mountain town is all about.  Catered chalets are our favorite thing about visiting Steamboat - we have nothing to worry about since we discovered this way to take a ski vacation.  They treat us like family and we hate to leave at the end of the week.


We even came back last summer and could not believe how much more there was to do.  The mountain biking is amazing - no surprise to hear the term Bike Town USA banded around.  The Farmer's Market, free summer concerts and tubing down the Yampa River are all etched on my mind forever.


For now the memories of powder billowing up around my ears in the trees after a series of snowy days gives me a smile as I plan my next meeting and try to keep up with the in-box.  Miss you Steamboat!


Pros: Terrain Variety, Town, Snow, Bus, People

Cons: Lifts, Challenge

There seems to be a certain truth to the snow at Steamboat in most years; it's consistent and light.  Of course, there are trade-offs for the powder - mainly that it's not an extreme mountain (inbounds, at least).  However, for the 90% of us who don't require mandatory cliffs/cornice jumps and 50 degree slopes, Steamboat does have plenty to offer.  Morningside Park is the place to be on a powder day - the black-rated runs in that area only last for 600-700 vertical feet, and are negotiable by most mid-intermediates or above.  In fact, I found this to be true with several of the black-rated runs at Steamboat.  The often-groomed blacks (Cyclone, Hurricane, Westside, Rolex) ski more double blue, and the less-groomed blue-blacks (Norther, Surprise, Sunset, Sunnyside) are more legit than some of their groomed cousins.  We deliberately visited the weekend after New Years, and save for a small surge of locals on Saturday morning, the lift lines were almost non-existent.


If I had one suggestion for the resort, it would be to convert to the prox card system for multi-day lift tickets that the Vail resorts and Jackson have adopted.  I did not have a problem with my paper ticket, but in my opinion, the card system offers a little extra convenience.


The town is good; most of the restaurants are reasonably priced by ski area standards (though there are some higher-class options if you prefer), and I don't recall any restaurant or store feeling stuffy or unwelcoming.  Carl's and Mazzola's were highlights.  Honorable mention to the blueberry-lemon pancakes at Winona's.


The biggest mistake of our trip turned out to be renting a car.  Unless you're going to leave the town/resort area, you're far better off just paying for airport transfers, riding the free city buses, and saving quite a bit of money.  Each morning, the buses will stop at all of the odd cross streets downtown, as well as a few spots in the mountain village, before dropping everyone off just a short walk from Ski Time Square.  Similarly, you can ride the bus back downtown at the end of the day.


Pros: Treeskiing, powder, varried terain

Cons: not cheap

One of my favorite ski areas. Great powder and tree skiing.

Out of my 4 or 5 weeks @ Steamboat in the last 25 years

have had fresh snow about twice a week, only skunked one week.


Plenty of ski in ski out options, good restaurants, nice town, very friendly.


As a ski clubber, I get to try lots of different areas.

Always very happy to return to Steamboat.


Pros: many powder days, large and uncrowded

Cons: no challenging terrain for experts, no bowls above treeline

Steamboat is known for its powder and we certainly got our dose during the week that we were there.  They dont groom the mountain on powder days, except for the green runs, so there is plenty for everyone.  The mountain is well managed and uncrowded.  Do not recall any lift lines.  It is off the beaten path of the I-70 corridor, so it does not get any day trippers from Denver or weekend skiers.

The only shortcoming is the lack of expert terrain and steeps.  They are some real short steep runs near the top but not enough to keep a terrain hog interested.  Although on fresh snow days almost any terrain is fun to ski; there is plenty of single black off-piste, trees, etc.



Pros: good powder, good trees, great variety for family

Cons: $93 ticekts (c'mon!!!???)

I just read My Steamboat; A Ski Town Childhood. 

(Note: I'm not associated with the author or publishing co. in any way)


but the book got me thinking of my childhood trips to ski at steamboat and made me think I should get back there.


The mountain is a lot of fun.  Not the steepest terrain but the snow was light and fluffy and plentiful.


The town was a ski town.  Not a fake town but a real town struggling to keeps it's local feel.  Nightlife was a lot of fun and the hot springs were a bonus.



Pros: Great lessons for younger kids

Cons: A little remote

Great town and great skiing