Every resort has its hidden secrets - gems that only the locals seem to know about - and [R425R, Steamboat] is no exception.

But visitors to Steamboat can get an insider's view of the hill via two free programs offered by the resort. 

First, there are the Ambassador mountain tours, which are conducted every day from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Skiers and snowboarders of intermediate ability or better can learn just about everything there is to know about the mountain, the resort, and the Yampa Valley, while sampling some of the tasty on-hill morsels for which Steamboat is famous. 

Reservations aren't necessary; just show up at the Vagabond Trail at the top of gondola at the appointed hour, look for the yellow-parka wearing Ambassadors, and begin your journey.

Another great show-the-guests-around program that is offered at no cost is the Over the Hill Gang guided tours. These full- or half-day sessions are for intermediate or better skiers and boarders over 50 years of age and are conducted in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. The guides will take all the guesswork out of where the best snow and best runs are, allowing you to ride the hill like a local.

Reservations are not needed, except for groups of 10 or more. Full-day sessions begin at 9 a.m. in front of the Steamboat ticket office; half-day sessions begin at 12:30 p.m. at the top of the gondola.