- 22 Resorts
- Consistent Snow
- Diverse destinations
- Resorts open before those of many other states
- Home to Vail, Beaver Creek, Copper Mountain
Season Start/End: 11/27 - 4/13
|6900ft - 10568ft|
|14%| 42%| 44%| 0%|
|from US$0.00 to US$99.00
Complete list of skipass prices
Literally know for its trademark, Steamboat's Champagne Powder® is spread over 2965 acres of skier and rider accessible terrain. With a vertical rise of 3,668 feet and the longest run being over 3 miles or 4.8 kilometers, skiers and riders of all levels and abilities will find trails to suit their style. Steamboat boasts an annual snowfall total of 349 inches or 886 centimeters, pillowing its tree runs for which it's best known. Hosting four terrain parks, from the Lil' Rodeo for beginners to the Mavericks Superpipe and Terrain park, Steamboat entertains the freestylers in any family. For dining and apres-ski, within the town and mountain itself, there are over 100 bars and restaurants to satisfy any appetite.
Steamboat, Colorado, Resort Overview Video //
Get to the gondola at least 45 minutes before it opens. Riding the Silver Bullet is still the best and fastest way to the goods, and diehard powder-hounds take pride in “pressing glass” (being the first in line at the sliding glass doors of the gondola loading dock). Exiting the gondie, most traffic heads for the Storm Peak Express lift, which accesses the summit—but which doesn’t open until 9 a.m. Don’t wait there: Instead, ride the Pony Express Lift. Snowstorms out of the south deposit heaps of powder on the stashes off Pioneer Ridge, which offer some of the mountain’s longest runs. Plus, the masses don’t usually head this way until after 10:30 a.m.
After you’ve plundered the easy pickings, take Storm Peak lift to ski Morningside Bowl and ride Morningside Lift, which accesses the hike-to terrain off the top of Mt. Werner. These four gated access points offer up the resort’s deepest snow. The choicest terrain sits beyond Gate C (North St. Pat’s), which mixes wide, tree-lined alleys with narrow chutes and cliffy, mandatory-air lines. If the snowfall (and your muscles) stick around through the afternoon, hit the trees on skier’s left of Storm Peak Face: These stashes often get neglected after the early-morning stampede.
Groomers and Family
Unlike some ski areas, where the best beginner and intermediate terrain is located near the base, Steamboat’s friendliest groomers are at the very top: Nicknamed “Wally World,” the blue runs served by the Sunshine Express Lift are mellow, scenic (with soul-inflating views over the Yampa Valley) and wide (so beginners never feel crowded by others). The trees bordering these runs are similarly forgiving, and allow bolder members of the family to weave among the pines while more timid skiers stick to the open run—all the while staying within yards of one another. Plus, Wally World is first to catch the sun’s rays—a plus on nippy mornings. On lower mountain, be sure to hit Swinger: This green slope runs parallel to the always-jammed Right-O-Way and sees so little traffic that it offers uncut corduroy late into the afternoon.
Steamboat has lacked the courage-draining slopestyle features of, say, Breckenridge. But Nick Roma, the Terrain Park Manager who came to Steamboat fresh from the 2010 Vancouver Games, has redesigns for the resort’s four parks. The 450-foot long, 56-foot wide Mavericks Superpipe challenges intermediate and experts to go big—really big. A dedicated lift (Bashor) brings jibbers back to the top; to get here from the base area, take Christie Peak Express and follow Jess’ Cut-Off and Bear Claw to the pipe entrance. For beginner and intermediate features, check out Rabbit Ears Terrain Park. This secluded playground full of jumps, rails, boxes and jib features sits apart from Maverick’s bustle and lets riders develop skills without feeling the spotlight of lots of spectators. From the top of Christie Peak Express, take Main Drag or Boulevard to Big Foot, which leads to the Rabbit Ears entrance. Before ending your day, catch a lil’ air at Lil’ Rodeo, located along the Stampede run leading back to the base area. These beginner ride-on features have been known to lure even diehard carvers into a lil’ session.
Steamboat’s signature runs are Closet and Shadows, two sublimely long tree shots that are deservedly famous: When the pow is deep and soft, there’s no finer tree skiing anywhere in North America. The catch? Everybody heads here for that postcard-perfect experience, so solitude is elusive and the goods get gobbled fast. For a shorter (but less trafficked) version of Steamboat’s celebrated tree-skiing, try Hot Cakes, in Morningside Park. For bumps, ride the Burgess Creek Lift, which accesses Norther (a blue-black that’s mellow enough to let most skiers take the zipper-line) as well as White Out (Steamboat’s best bump run). Or ride the Four Points Lift and hammer Nelson’s Run. Named for Olympic bronze medalist Nelson Carmichael (one of 84 Olympians that hail from Steamboat Springs, more than any other town in the U.S.), Nelson’s big moguls and multiple fall lines demand expert mettle. And if your guilty pleasure is rocketing down groomers, start your day on Heavenly Daze or Vagabond. By afternoon, these big boulevards become thoroughfares for barn-bound skiers, but in the morning, these intermediate runs make for gleeful first flights.
Located between downtown and the resort, Freshies (595 South Lincoln Avenue; 970-879-8099) crams rainbow-hued veggies and top-quality cheeses (like aged white cheddar) into Steamboat’s best omelettes. The sweets are fantastic too: Try the famous cinnamon rolls or a plate of dried cherry granola pancakes. Colorful pendant lamps and exotic fresh flowers (never carnations!) complement the colorful food. In downtown, cruise into the Steaming Bean (635 Lincoln Avenue; 970-879-3393) for a stuffed croissant and cappuccino or fresh-made smoothie.
Glide into Hazie’s (Thunderhead building; 970-871-5150) for top-of-the-gondola panoramas over the Yampa Valley. Reserve a table next to the floor-to-ceiling windows to admire the distant Flat Tops while you munch on a flank steak sandwich topped with sautéed onions and fig compote. Or go for the prodigious soup and salad buffet. Hazie’s bar, a brass-and-mahogany affair, also turns out a respectable Bloody Mary. For a righteous Reuben or a platter of bar-style nachos, hit the Gondola Pub and Grill (2305 Mt. Werner Circle; 970-879-4448). Located in Gondola Square, GPG’s vinyl booths surrounded by auto-racing paraphernalia also make good après spots, as do the white resin chairs on the outdoor balcony overlooking the slopes.
For rave-worthy food downtown, hit bistro c.v. (345 Lincoln Avenue; 970-879-4197; bistrocv.com). For ambiance, there’s the curved bank of windows facing Main Street and the open kitchen that exposes the chefs’ wizardry. The sparse décor lets the food take center stage: Start with house-made duck prosciutto or a grilled romaine salad with truffle-garlic dressing, then indulge with waygu beef or sockeye salmon from Resurrection Bay (seafood here is painstakingly sourced).
Cafe Diva (1855 Ski time Square Drive; 970-871-0508) is the base area’s most romantic restaurant, with tables tucked into tiny alcoves and expert wait staff that make diners feel special. Elk and locally-raised buffalo are featured on the menu, but Chef Kate Rench highlights vegetables, too: Her arugula salad with grilled peaches and country ham is a marvel.
For a low-key spot that’s still high-bar about its food, try Mazzola’s (917 Lincoln Avenue; 970-879-2405). Thanks to its recent renovation, this downtown pizza-and-pasta joint feels like a spiffy basement speakeasy, and its chummy servers welcome you as a member of the club.
The Steamboat Smokehouse (912 Lincoln Avenue; 970-879-7427) is downtown’s friendliest option for kids, since food is served in plastic baskets and messiness is encouraged (peanuts fill metal buckets at each red-checkered table, and diners toss the shells on the floor). But all ages appreciate the done-right Texas-style spareribs and brisket: Here, sauces are added only after the meats are smoked, so they absorb the fullest possible flavor.
Bar service is notoriously slow at Slopeside Grill (1855 Ski Time Square; 970-879-2916), a ski-in, stagger-out bar located adjacent to the Christie III lift—but nobody cares. On sunny afternoons, this slope side joint resembles Daytona Beach as hordes of revelers strip down and belly up to the open-air ice bar. Locals return after 9 p.m. for late-night Happy Hour, when wood-fired pizzas cost just $7 and beers are three bucks.
A recent addition to the base-area dining scene, the upscale Truffle Pig (2250 Apres Ski Way; 970-879-7470) serves big blue crocks of Belgian-style mussels and fries that cost just 10 bucks at après; pair that with a glass of Spanish Albariño.
After dinner, hit the Tugboat (1860 Ski Time Square Drive; 970-879-7070), a legendary base-area bar that books loud and rowdy bands. Cultivating debauchery since 1972, the Tugboat remains the Real Thing.
In downtown, go barhopping between the Boathouse Pub (609 Yampa Street; 970-879-4797), the Sweetwater Grill (811 Yampa Street; 970-879-9500), and the Ghost Ranch Saloon (56 Seventh Street; 970-879-9898). Located within a block of one another, they all book live music, so drifting between the three is like changing channels on the radio.
Plethora of restaurants at the base and on mountain; over 75 in area. Bars, lounges, discotheques range from R&R and C&W, most offer live entertainment. Ski shop, boutique, specialty, drug, liquor, cleaners, bank and post office at area. Full shoping conveniences within two miles. Nursery/child care available for ages 6 months-6 years. Ski and cross country rental and repair shop available at slope. Special instructions offering classes in racing, freestyle, cross country, deep powder, moguls, snowboarding, disabled, junior and children.
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