If winter is your season, there’s no better place to be when the snow flies than in Steamboat Springs. Afterall, Steamboat Springs isn’t known as Ski Town USA® for nothing! With a new gondola, expanded terrain, and a new food hall at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., this winter is shaping up to be a historic season in Steamboat Springs.
Let’s start with the skiing and riding of course! Steamboat offers a wide variety of trails for every ability level. Here are some of the can’t miss trails by ability level.
Green: If you’re newer to skiing, are working to get your ski legs back after a few years off, or have a little one in tow, sticking to the greens is a good starting point. Skiing off of the Christie Peak Express offers some great green terrain right from the start. Head down Sitzback to Boulevard to take the scenic route of the Bashor area. Then head down any of the other green runs in this area that funnel you back to Christie Peak or the new Wild Blue Gondola. With runs named Yoo Hoo, Giggle Gulch, and Short Cut, this area is perfect for skiers and riders that want to take it easy and have fun while they’re at it.
Blue: take advantage of the new Wild Blue Gondola (which happens to be the longest and fastest in North America!) and head up to the top of Sunshine Peak. High Noon is a perennial favorite and offers great views of the Yampa Valley. Make your way to One o’ Clock, then funnel down to the Sundown Express and do it all over again. Once back at the top, head off skiers left to Flintlock for a less popular trail that offers fantastic glade skiing if you venture off the groomed run.
No ski day in Steamboat is complete without a run down Buddy’s Run, the iconic trail named after Steamboat Olympian Buddy Werner. A wide, groomed (at least early in the morning) run, Buddy’s is classic Steamboat skiing. You can also find excellent tree skiing off skiers right. Buddy’s Run is a classic trail, and as an easy way to access Four Points Lodge, can get crowded. Make sure to be aware of your surroundings, don’t forget to look uphill, and stay in control. Then head into Four Points Lodge to warm up or get a delicious lunch.
Black: Steamboat is known for incredible tree skiing, so let’s start there. Areas like Shadows and Closets require a lot of snow to fully enjoy, so make sure to check the daily reports. The new Mahogany Ridge area is a playground for expert skiers and riders. And we aren’t kidding about the expert part! This area will be naturally gladed (lots of trees and very little grooming here) and accessible dependent on snow coverage. Be mindful of the ski area boundaries, and if your quads are screaming at you, head over to Edge of the World for a more direct way back down to the lift. If you prefer groomed, steep runs, check out West Side and its neighbor Rolex. Just be sure to check the grooming report to avoid surprise bumps!
Head Downtown to Howelsen Hill
Steamboat Springs also has a true gem in the Howelsen Hill Ski Area, the oldest continuously operating ski hill in Colorado. Located downtown and operated by the City of Steamboat Springs, it’s a great alternative to the big mountain. And best of all, you can ski for free on Sundays! Be sure to check out Howelsen Hill for a trip to the perfect hometown hill.
Cross-Country Skiing in Steamboat Springs
If you prefer to glide across snowy fields, then check out the cross-country skiing options in the area. Steamboat Springs offers several groomed areas for cross-country skiing, including Howelsen Hill, Steamboat Ski Touring Center, and Haymaker. Or there are miles of backcountry routes as well. Some venues like Steamboat Ski Touring center rent skis, so call ahead to see what’s in stock. Several other local ski shops like Ski Haus also rent equipment to take into the backcountry.
Stay Safe out There
If you’re thinking of heading into the backcountry, be sure to Know Before you Go. Traveling in the backcountry in the winter is quiet, beautiful and a whole lot of fun, but it can also be risky. It's critical to be prepared. Before heading out, check the forecast, know where you are going and how to call for help, plus bring all the appropriate gear.
However you prefer to enjoy the enjoy the snow here in Steamboat Springs, remember to take it easy as we transition back into the winter season. Know the Code for skier and riders and remember that Kindness Floats the Boat. Check here for ways to enjoy more memories with less impact, and have a great day in Steamboat!