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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's Champagne Powder is legendary and offers some of the best tree skiing in the world.  Ski safe!
BASIC MOUNTAIN INFO and SOME SAFETY INFO
For those coming to Steamboat and have not skied "out west" before, please keep in mind that blue runs for the most part are significantly steeper than they are used to or may be ungroomed. Your resort would probably call these black runs.  Black runs will almost always contain moguls, be ungroomed, have trees or other obstacles. Double Blacks are steeper never groomed and present significant risk of injury if you fall. There are several areas on the mountain that if you get hurt, may take a very long time before you get to a patroller, for them to find you and get you out. DO NOT SKI IN AREAS THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW OR ARE ABOVE YOUR SKILL LEVEL.  DO NOT LEAVE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE RESORT.  Every season Search and Rescue has to find and extract lost or stranded skiers in the Fish Creek Canyon area. It is very easy to get lost there or get "cliffed out".  We want you to keep coming back!  Have a blast but ski with care. 
TREE WELLS In general, you have about 15 minutes to be extracted before death.  Do I have your attention now? If you are not familiar with tree wells, you need to take some time to understand where they are on the mountain, how to avoid them and what to do if you fall into one.  Rule #1, don't ski alone. Just 20-30 feet into the trees, no one will hear you if you yell and if you do fall into a tree well, they will not be able to find you.  Ski with a whistle and cell phone.
MOUNTAIN OVERVIEW: It is very easy to get around the mountain for the most part and you can access blue or green runs in most areas and still find challenging trees in the same area.  Beginners should stay at the base area until they can comfortably ski those runs and feel comfortable getting on and off lifts. They should be comfortable with some blue pitches.
Access to the mid mountain is via the "Gondi" at the base however, on crowded days, take the "Christie 6-Pack" to the top, ski off the front to "Jess's Cutoff", to "Yoo-Hoo" and over to the "Thunderhead Quad" to the mid mountain Thunderhead Lodge.  From there, you have access to anywhere on the mountain.  For most skiers, there is no need to go any lower than Mid-Mountain.  
On powder mornings get there early for first chair! We call it "pressing glass" because the entrance to the gondola has plexi-glass doors.  For those who want an early jump on freshies, sign up for the FIRST TRACKS program getting you up the mountain about an hour earlier. Its a great deal for just $35.00. 
The most popular area is Sunshine. Sunshine is a great area that offers some beautiful views to the South and Southwest.  From 3 lifts, Sunshine, Sundown and South Peak, you can ski mellow greens to tight, steep evergreens as well as The mountains famous Shadow, closets, "O'Clock" and Priest Creek trees. You can also easily access Morningside Park off the back of "Sundial" Via "Hot Cakes". It will help to have some local knowledge on how to get into some incredible trees in this area but If I'm around, I will be happy to take anyone who can demonstrate the ability to confidently ski trees.   This is where you will find the iconic "Rolex" bumped run.  If you are lucky, you can catch Rolex on a morning after its been groomed and a storm dumps on it. Its a "must do" if possible.  Nothing like steep deep powder runs! HINT: to the left and right of Rolex are some secret trees that are for experts or advanced skiers comfortable in tight steep terrain.  Do not ski these alone.  
Sunshine is also the area that has some of the best (and very fun) intermediate and beginner tree skiing. The tree'd areas between Tomahawk, Flintlock, Quick Draw and High Noon offer some fun and pretty mellow lines. Also look to the cut-offs off tomahawk for secret powder stashes and short put steeper runs. Perfect for those looking for something a bit more than the perfect blue cruisers! HINT: I often find untracked stashes in this area days after a good storm.  The O'clock runs (1,2,&3) offer more challenging runs that are usually ungroomed.  Catch 3 O'clock on a powder AM if you can.  All of the trees in that area are called the "O'Clock trees" and are amazing.  Not saying anymore in fear of bodily harm!  
Storm Peak and Four Points, Triangle Trees are where you will find some steeper runs and mix of open skiing and some fantastic trees. You can hit "Buddy's Run", a classic long and wide blue cruiser and access Morningside from Storm Peak quad.  You can also access the Pioneer Ridge lower area by traversing across Buddy's and across the face.  This is for advanced skiers.  It's never groomed and has some steeper (30* plus) shots in here.   Triangle Trees is a great area that is steep at the upper ridge but mellows into a fantastic wonderland of spaced trees and often overlooked powder.  If you keep skiing down you can hit the new Four Points Lodge. Directly below the lodge lies a series of fun bumped black runs; Hurricane, Nelsons Twister and to the skiers right, Tornado. All are fun runs and don't miss them early on a powder day.  Get there early though.  HINT: all the trees off these runs are pretty sweet.  Just have the skills!
The Ridge Area is Side country. Its not lift served and is accessed Via the Morningside Lift. You can work the face and hit the infamous "chutes" or hike up to the Tower and ski down into Morningside. You will see a line of people hiking up on a powder day.  You can also hike over and hit the many acres of steep trees and deep powder areas but please do not venture into these areas unless you have the appropriate skills. Its a long traverse out depending where you end up so make you know where you are going. 
Morningside is off the back the Storm Peak Quad and is very popular. It has some steeper shots at the top but quickly flattens out.  This area is particularly susceptible to tree well danger. I honestly don't spend much time here.  
Pony Express is accessed from the Gondi, ski down "Rudi's" to "Lightening", go left, and ski past the Storm Peak Lift.  Pony only has one blue run that really takes you out and over to Flying Z area otherwise, its advanced and expert terrain.  If you have the skills, you wont find a more fun area on the mountain. It also gets a lot of powder on Northern aspect storms (which are always our best ones).  Its a huge play ground and a mix of steeper terrain with a lot of natural features. It's my favorite area. Its usually skied mostly by locals. I have had some of my deepest days there.  
The lower half of the mountain is comprised of a lot of groomers of varying levels and offers some often overlooked skiing.  HINT: there are a bunch of hidden gems here.....    This is just a quick overview and there is a surprisingly large amount of terrain to ski and ride on. Much more than it appears on the trail map. 
NIGHT SKIING  Arriving mid-day and can't wait to ski?  Steamboat now offers night skiing!  for 2014/15, they are expanding the terrain and hours. 
STEAMBOAT SKI SCHOOL AND STARS PROGRAM  Steamboat offers you a fantastic opportunity to improve you skills or get the kids started the right way.  I still take lessons every season.  You spend all this money on airlines, hotel, food, gear and lift tickets so why not learn how to ski better which is why you are here, right?  This is your chance to learn to ski powder! Powder skiing is actually very easy once you know how :D An instructor can teach you how to enjoy our most treasured and sought after commodity.  WARNING: its highly addictive.   Beyond learning and honing skills, taking lessons lets you use the Instructors lines during busy seasons reducing lift line times.  You can do privates or group lessons.  Try doing a group lesson mid-week, you may find that there are only a couple of skiers. I do have a couple favorites that I will be happy to recommend if you PM me.   The STARS ADAPTIVE program is a phenomenal program that offers various programs for all types of disabilities.  Contact them for more information.  I love watching the joy of these folks coming down the mountain! 

 

 

 
 
 
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; The ski patrol forgets to clean off the platform daily (or for a couple of days) and the thermometer is broken reading 25 degrees!
 Weather Information- Forecasting Tools and Current Weather Information
Steamboat Springs Snow and Weather ReportAs 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 will give you mountain temps at base and summit as well wind speeds as of the time of the 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!
OTHER TRAVEL INFO:
GEAR: To Ship or Take on Airline:  I get a lot of questions about whether to ship your gear or take on the plane. If you do use a shipping service, don't use UPS. I have had issues with them. Use FEDEX.  Go online and look at the cost to ship; its usually about the same as the airline however, pay attention to the transit times and make sure you give your gear at least one extra (2 is better) days to arrive here.  Steamboat is fairly remote and if there is a severe storm or days with -20-40F temps, delivery can very well be delayed. 
WHAT TO PACK?  Steamboat is not a fancy town; its definitely not Aspen or Beaver Creek. You will rarely ever see a fur coat, and it won't be on a local :D. Don't bring a lot. You are fine going to any restaurant in your ski clothes. Jeans and flannel shirts or fleece is perfectly fine. My wife wears a lot of sweaters and nice fleeces.  December through early March, its not uncommon to be below zero at night.  You won't want to wear a dress! 
On the mountain, layer. Don't wear a lot of heavily insulated clothing. High altitude sun is very strong, and its dry so don't forget the sunscreen!  Our cold is not like East coast or Chicago cold. It doesn't take a lot to keep warm if you are skiing on 10* sunny day with mild winds.  Remember, "Cotton kills" :D Avoid cotton,wear wicking layers and by all means, buy some decent THIN ski socks or snowboard socks.  Only wear one pair!  Its much warmer to wear a thin, top and bottom base layer, a mid layer or fleece top and bottoms and then possibly a heavy layer under a shell for cold days if your jacket has no insulation (none of my jackets or pants are insulated)
You don't really need water-proof jacket or pants, the rating of 10k-10K is adequate. I wouldn't buy anything less than that. Whats more important is breathability and wind-proofness.  
Gloves This is one place to buy good quality.  Waterproofness will help but they have to be able to breath. if your gloves can't breath, they will get sweaty and your hands will get cold very quickly.  I love 3-fingered "Lobster gloves" they offer the warmth of mittens with greater dexterity.  I am a fan of Hestra and Mountain Hardwear gloves.  Use a good quality wax or balm like Nikwax to keep them in good condition.  Never dry gloves directly on a heater. Its better to tumble dry at low heat. 
Balaclava's face mask- Please bring at least one thin balaclava and or face mask. Thick ones are useless, cause you to sweat and freeze.  I ski with 2 very thin, wool ones; one as a backup. When it gets cold and windy, you will want one.  I ski in them all the time. When they get wet or frozen, run them under the bathroom hand dryer.  This link is an example of what to look for.  
Goggles and flat light on stormy days it is not uncommon for it to be very cloudy or have what is know as "Flat Light".  Flat light is when it becomes very difficult to see undulations, bumps, drops and you can actually get vertigo in sever situations.  When this happens, ski in the trees if you are able, or along the edges of runs where the trees will help you perceive the terrain better.  Proper goggles will help immensely! Try a Yellow tint lens or my favorite lens, A "Smith", Blue Mirror Sensor" lens.  Again, here's a place that will greatly enhance your enjoyment and safety when skiing.  Whatever you do, don't wear a dark tint goggle in overcast snowy conditions.  
Shoes: I pretty much wear ankle high pull on waterproof leather boots all winter for daily use. Perfect for slushy wet sidewalks and snowy paths.  Unless you plan on hiking or snowshoeing, you don't need big boots.  Don't wear sneakers. They will just get soaked and if you need to walk around in -20* you will appreciate a dry somewhat insulated shoe/boot. Women, you really want to leave the heels at home but boots are awesome.  Maybe a good time to go to FM Light and buy some killer cowboy boots.  
HYDRATION AND NUTRITION  Everyone should be using a hydration pack! You should be drinking much more water than you would at lower altitudes or more humid areas. The amount of water your body is sweating or aspirating is incredible.  Becoming dehydrated is actually very easy to do here and it can be quite dangerous. If you don't drink enough water, you will tire more easily and have a higher risk of injury. A small pack is also useful to carry a few extra items that you may want to have with you like an extra pair of gloves, tissues, energy bars etc. Please note that alcohol will dehydrate you as will caffeine.  Nutrition, make sure you are eating properly. You will be burning up a lot of calories so choose your foods wisely. Its a good idea to carry some protein bars and have some smaller snacks throughout the day to feed your body rather than a large lunch.  
LIFT TICKET DISCOUNTS- Another common question.  The discounts you will find are the multi-day packages offered by the resort.  There may be discounts if you have a pass to other IntraWest resorts.  
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.  

 

Transportation

AIR TRANSPORTATION
There are 2 ways 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 delayed.  
You can fly directly into Hayden Airport (HDN) and rent a car or take a shuttle into town (about $25-$35 each way).  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 and parking downtown can be a challenge with all of our snow piled up! 
If you drive up from Denver, its a 3:15 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 highways (6 & 40).  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.  I recommend you to make a hotel reservation that can be canceled in Silverthorne which is at the junction of 9 and 70. If the roads are bad, hotel rooms become expensive and get taken quickly.  

 

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION
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. 

 

Lodging
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!   

 

 

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Dining
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.  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- I will be adding and updating. There are a couple new places I need to review. 
Fine Dining:
BISTRO CV, 4th and Lincoln (Main St) is my hands-down favorite. Chef 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.   Not for kids really. They do have a few items for kids but.....
E3 Steakhouse- Pending review.  I haven't eaten there yet although the reviews from friends say its very good with an excellent happy hour.  
CAFE DIVA  On the mountain by the Torian Plum. Diva in another excellent restaurant that should be on your list.  Diva and Bistro battle for top honors every year.  They are famous for their elk tenderloin as an entree and the "Peanut Butter & Bacon Sandwiches". Excellent wine list, outstanding service.  Another foodie "must".  Not for kids
SWEET PEA is located downtown on Yampa between 7th & 8th in a small red house right on the Yampa river. Sweet Pea is one of our favorites for consistently great food. They focus on fresh,organic and local (where possible) foods. The menu changes often based on what the chef feels is the freshest and to what they feel like cooking. Everything they make is good!  They serve a wide variety of dishes.  Go for lunch and get their "Trifecta" which is a choice of 3 different salads. I like the Kale and Quinoa, toasted Farro and roasted beet. Then get a extra side of roasted Turkey.   Sweet Pea is very reasonably priced especially for the quality of their food.  Kids OK. 
CASUAL
EUREKA is across the street from Sweet Pea and next to their parent restaurant "Carls".  Eureka is a fun open air (in the summer) restaurant featuring Mediterranean fair. The food here is great and inexpensive. Excellent wood stove pizza's among Mediterranean classics.  The sample plate is great.  Take the kid here for sure.  
CARL'S TAVERN Named after Carl Howelson who brought ski jumping to the USA and namesake for Howelson Hill, Carl's (locals call it Carl's) is another family friendly pub. Located on the corner of Yampa and 7th, Carl's is a great spot to watch sports and to grab a beer and burger or a really good steak. Carl's is a locals favorite (second to Sun Pies) that has a great selection of food. They are known for the "home style, feel good cooking with favorites like meatloaf, house rotisserie chicken and great burgers too. Their chicken wings are great! 
TACO CABO if you are looking for killer mexican food, the trip west of town about a 1/2 mile past 13th street is well worth the effort. Taco Cabo is amazing.  A local's favorite, Taco Cabo is on the left hand side of rt 40 in an old Gas station. Its decorated like a ocean-side hut that offers some of the very best tacos and burritos.  Get the Pork Verde chile or the Carne Asada....  Don't forget to slather on some of Taco Cabo' house made salsa's!  YUM.   
FIESTA JALISCO & VAQUEROS DOWNTOWN  The best full menu Mexican in Steamboat. (Taco Cabo gets the nod overall)  Vaqueros is owned by Fiesta and is located on Lincoln but is the same restaurant. Fiesta is located "on the mountain" and is family owned.  It is excellent and authentic with a good assortment of dinners including a large kids menu.  My all-time two favorites are the Carne Asada and the Pork Carnitas but there are many other great dishes to choose from.  Get the house made Corn Tortillas.  They also feature a huge selection of Taquila's.  Do you like Margarita's? They have the best in town.  Get the house one, it comes in a shaker with a small glass.  Rocks salt per favor......  Go early and make a reservation.  It gets packed.  
Breakfast/Lunch
CREEKSIDE CAFE The best spot IMHO for Breakfast in town and consistently wins the "Best of the Boat". Open for breakfst and lunch only and located on 13th and Oak along the Butcher Knife Creek. Creekside just does breakfast and lunch right.  Everything is fresh and often local, like Yampa Valley Beef and Pork which is all natural and grass fed. At Breakfast ask if they have the "local bacon" which is a thick cut, smokey bacon.  Creekside is famous for their selection of Eggs Benedict and offers many different types.  They also have killer Bloody Mary's. One of my breakfast favorites is "Have It Your Way" which allows you to pick from a bunch of sides with 2 eggs.  Bacon or ham or sausage (all local) grits with Green Chilis and cheddar cheese, with a oatmeal cinnamon pancake with honey.....    Lunch includes Fantastic burgers (grass fed and local), innovative salads, sandwiches and daily specials. If they have their Chili, get it!  My favorite lunch is their Cheese steak which is damn nearly as good as you will find in Philli!  GO EARLY!  If you get there later than 7:30, you will wait......   If you go in summer you can sit outside next to the creek.
FRESHIES Is located about mid-way between downtown and the Mountain.  Freshies is another locally owned restaurant that serves up great food. Again, you will find fresh ingredients cooked perfectly. Freshies offers a wide variety of breakfast and lunch choices.  Like Pancakes?  Here's your place!  Like tex-mex breakfast?  They got ya' covered.  They also have a large menu of creative and delicious omelettes.   Lunch?  A large selection of themed Salads, all are large and well done.  They also have great selection of sandwiches.  Don't forget the burgers too.    Like Creekside, Get there early.....
Johnny B Goods Located on Lincoln this 50's style dinner that features a walk up "adult beverage milkshake" window.  Johnny's is a locals favorite as well and is more in line with your classic NY/NJ diner experience.  The food is good and plentiful.  Great sandwiches too.  Decorated with memorabilia.  Fun place. 
Winonna's Probably one of the most famous eateries in Steamboat. If you want huge cinnamon rolls and other bakery goodies, this is your place.  They also serve breakfast and lunch.
THE PARAMOUNT located at the base in the Torian Plum Plaza (to the far left up the stairs) serves up my second favorite place for breakfast and the lunch is great too.  Featuring some amazing breakfast sandwiches and my favorite Smoked salmon (dry smoked salmon) over greens, goat cheese topped with 2 fried eggs and sour dough toast. Also one of the best latte and cappucino's in town. Drop in prior to your first chair up and get the day off to a great start.  Finish up the day with a tasty bite and cold beer or cocktail. 
T-Bar The T-Bar is a great story. Pretty much started out as a trailer just up from Slopeside just off "Right-O-Way" runout. It was started by some very talented guys who wanted to get out from the typical restaurant scene and offer some down right amazing delicious food in a what some might call a "dive bar". I say this with the greatest respect to those establishments.  T-bar was once just locals until the word got out on just how good this place is.  It's still true to its roots with no frills interior, walls lined with locals beer mugs with Reggae playing but they serve up very tasty and innovative food and a decent selection of beers on tap.  Go there, skip Slopeside.  
 

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
TREAD OF PIONEERS  located on 8th and Oak (one block to the north of Lincoln) is a museum featuring the history of Steamboat. Its a "must do" and please don't miss this gem.  Packed with exhibits about the history of the town and area, our Olympic athletes and much more!  
YAMPATIKA is a non-profit organization that offers winter and summer guided tours of the area. This organization offers phenomenal snowshoe, cross-country tours and hikes to local points of interest on Emerald, Buff pass and Rabbit Ears pass. They also do a Steamboat Hot Springs tour exploring the 6 hot springs located within the town. This tour is a gem! You can even do private tours.  They offer programs for children as well.  This is another fantastic program that should be considered.  
 
ACTIVITIES-  Steamboat offers a wide array of fun and interesting things to do. Even if you don't ski, there is a ton of stuff to do.
If you need specifics feel free to PM me but here's a quick list of cool stuff to do!
- Cross country and Skate skiing
- Show shoeing
- Horse back riding
- Dog sled tours
- Snowmobile Tours
-  Art Studios
- Downtown shopping
-Cooking classes
-Butcher knife Brewery tour
- Fat bike riding on Howelson
- Hiking on Emerald
- Walking the "core trail"  a 7 mile (one way) paved path along the Yampa spanning the length of the town
- Many Day spa's
- Yoga studios
- Old Town Hot Springs- featuring several pools, flumes and a modern work out facility. This is located dowtown and is a great place to take the family. 
-Strawberry Park Hot Springs This iconic hot spring offers several all natural pools of varying temperatures. It is set in the forest and is very popular.  You have to drive or take their shuttle.  If you drive, a 4wd vehicle is strongly advised especially at night.  Be advised, after sunset, only 18 and older admitted, clothing is optional.  
HOWELSON - Downtown Steamboat.
- Bumper Cars on ice at Howelson Rink  click on this link to see a Youtube video.  This is a blast!
- Bowling at SnowBowl  Snowbowl is a locals favorite with disco light bowling and a lot of fun twists on bowling.
- Tubing at Howelson Who doesn't love tubing? 
 
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.  

 

 

 

 

GOOD, BETTER, BEST
 
 

 

Steamboat Ski Resort
Description:

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)

Details:
DetailValue
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-Gondola1
Lifts-Total number of lifts18
Lifts-Total lift capacity41,465
Trails-1-Beginner14%
Trails-2-Intermediate42%
Trails-3-Advanced44%
Trails-4-Expert onlySee Pioneer Ridge Area
Trails-5-Terrain park5
Trails-6-Half pipe1
Trails-Total165
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
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Posted

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."

Posted

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.

Posted

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.

Posted

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!

Posted

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.

Posted

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.

Posted

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.

 

Posted

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.

 

Posted

Pros: Great lessons for younger kids

Cons: A little remote

Great town and great skiing