The Ski Mountain

Steamboat Springs is the land of the two “P’s – powder and parents. It’s an intermediate skiers dream. Thanks to its distance from Denver – at least a three-hour drive – the weekend warriors largely leave this resort alone. Instead Steamboat is packed with locals and families who book multi-day vacations to shush through its characteristically light “champagne” powder and relatively mellow slopes. Steamboat’s expanse includes 2,965 acres and six different peaks. The trail system is vast (165 named paths), but is lacking long, steep chutes and white-knuckle terrain. But powder hounds enjoy ducking into the trees (especially around the glades near Pioneer Ridge, Sunshine Peak and Storm Peak) for fresh snow.

The Mountain Experience

Steamboat SpringsLocals from the “Boat” love their mountain. You’re likely to be riding the lift with one of these friendly natives – especially if it’s a powder day (which to them is 10 inches of fresh snow or more) – when many Steamboat Springs businesses close for the morning to allow employees to hit the slopes. If you notice their heels dangling above their ski bindings, you’re sitting next to a telemark skier—a sure sign they live in the area. Ask them about snow conditions or happy hour spots and you’ll most always get valuable and sincere advice.

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Steamboat Springs Ski Terrain

• Beginner: Steamboat Springs is a great place to get your ski legs. Although the resort labels a mere 14 percent of the terrain with those comforting green dots, there are lots of wide, well-groomed intermediate runs that even a beginner will love. After you try a couple of short runs on Christie Peak, make your way over to Sunshine Peak for some of the easy blues, such as Tomahawk, Cub, Buckshot and Ramrod. Another option: hop on the gondola and hit “Why Not,” a long, wide boulevard of a run that stretches more than three miles to the base.

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Current Snow Conditions

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Intermediate: Steamboat is an intermediate skier’s dream. The trail map is lined with long, blue streaks perfect for carving. Avoid Buddy’s Run, which tends to get overcrowded and icy, and instead head to Sunshine Peak. The High Noon and One O’clock runs both offer longer stretches with less elbow-to-elbow skiing.

Advanced: Thrill-seekers might be impressed by the fact that Steamboat Springs labels some 44% of its terrain as advanced. But even the locals admit the chutes at the top of Storm Peak are nothing to write home about. Instead, take the Pony Express up to Pioneer Ridge and ski through the ungroomed trails and trees. Or start from the highest peak, 10,568 foot Mt. Werner, which requires a bit of hiking to hit the summit.

Steamboat SpringsAround the Mountain

APRES SKIING NEAREST SKI TOWN LODGING

 

Terrain Park: Steamboat Spring’s park doesn’t hold a candle to those of Breckenridge and Winter Park, but it does have an assortment of rails—kinked, sliders, rainbows, “s” mailboxes and double barrels—and an impressive “superpipe” at 50 feet long and 56 feet wide with 18-foot walls and 22-foot transition.

COST SKIING WITH KIDS TRAIL MAP GETTING THERE

By Courtney Holden

Best Advice

Parents should plan to stay for a few days to score reasonably-priced deals. Steamboat’s “kids ski free” deal provides free lift tickets for kids under twelve, when parents are buying five-day passes. A good way to familiarize yourself with the mountain is the free Ambassador Mountain Tour. Skiers follow on a 90 minute guided tour along intermediate and groomed, black trails. Tours meet daily at 10:15 a.m. outside of the Thunderhead building at mid-mountain.

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Après Skiing

Stay close to the mountain and grab a brew at Slopeside, or head into town and visit Steaming Bean Coffee, Mahogany Ridge Bar and Grill, or Mazzola’s Italian Diner for affordable Italian in a kid-friendly atmosphere. Steamboat Springs prides itself on being connected to a beautiful, historic western town, where you can take a stroll down Lincoln Avenue through Steamboat Spring’s 12-block-long main street, replete with restaurants, shops and art galleries.

Steamboat SpringsNearest Ski Town

Steamboat Springs.
Where cowboy hats and ski boots meet, family friendly and great dining in a real ranching center.

Lodging

Ski-in/ski-out amenities (some less than 400 yards from the mountain base) as well as in-town options abound, whether you’re looking for a condo, hotel, home, duplex or bed and breakfast. Use the Ski Lodging Deals box above and right to find Steamboat Spring’s best Lodging choices and deals.

SKI TERRAIN SNOW CONDITIONS TERRAIN PARK LODGING

Skiing with Kids

Steamboat’s beginner-friendly terrain makes it a great place for kids to learn, one of the many reasons it’s continually rated one of North America’s best family resorts. The resort’s kids ski free deal is also a plus for parents who want to economize, while teaching the kids themselves.

Lift Tickets and Season Pass Cost*

Lift Tickets (pre-purchase online): Adult $80-$99; Child $46-$60; Senior $69 (PURCHASE NOW) Season Pass: Adult $1,279; Child $509; Senior $639 Other Passes: Unlimited Pass, includes skiing at Winter Park = Adults $1,354 Special Deals: One child (12 and under) receives season pass with each adult season pass *prices reflect our best effort to gather from resort published information.

Driving Directions

By Courtney Holden

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