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Steamboat Skiing & Snowboarding Resort Guide

Steamboat ski and snowboard resort is known for its incredibly light powder, coined “champagne powder.” The northernmost ski and snowboard area  in Colorado often picks up huge snowstorms that miss, or just glance Vail and Summit County. With much of the ski resort below treeline, the well-spaced aspen trees hold some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Colorado state. The town of Steamboat Springs is a charming mountain town with a friendly local community. Billed as “Ski Town USA,” Steamboat Springs has a deep ski history, having produced many Olympians over the years. Make the short walk over from downtown to Howelsen Hill to watch the Nordic Ski Jumpers training under the lights. The naturally fed Strawberry Hot Springs just out of town, are just about perfect after a long day of skiing or snowboarding, be aware, however, they are clothing-optional after dark when the springs are limited to those 18 and older.

Mountain Overview

Steamboat Ski and Snowboard Resort

On a powder day, there are two main ways to access the great terrain high up on Steamboat mountain. Skiers and snowboarders will either want to head up the gondola, or when the lines are long take the Christie Express lift to the Thunderhead Express lift. From this vantage point, skiers and snowboarders have several options. Experts can take the Storm Peak Express in order to access the backside Morningside area, with access to Christmas Tree Bowl, No Names, and several other chutes and glades. A short hike from the top of Morningside, this area has some of the best skiing and snowboarding at Steamboat. Great powder riding can be found by passing below the Storm Peak Lift and going straight to the Pony Express lift. Here skiers and snowboarders can experience the tree skiing that Steamboat is known for. On this side of the mountain there are several backcountry gates. They access some great terrain, but the areas outside of the ski area boundaries are not controlled by ski patrol and extremely high dangers (like a 100’ cliff) exist.
For skiers and snowboarders looking to leave the resort safely, the Steamboat Powdercats offer guiding, as well as cat skiing on nearby Buffalo Pass. While Steamboat averages nearly 350” annually, Buff Pass averages 500 inches+.
Beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders have plenty of mountain to explore as well. There are many beginner options on the lower mountain off the Christie Peak Express chairlift. Intermediates will find nice groomed runs over on the Sunshine Express chairlift.

Mountain Stats & Trail Map

Steamboat Trail Map
 Base Elevation 6,900' Beginner Terrain 15%
 Top Elevation 10,568' Intermediate Terrain 52%
Vertical Drop3,668' Advanced Terrain 19%
 Skiable Acres2,965 Expert Terrain 15%
 Average Annual Snowfall 349"Total Lifts 16

Travel Information & Directions

Steamboat is somewhat remote, it is at least a three hour drive from Denver, depending on conditions. Skiers and snowboarder can, however, fly to Steamboat. Four major airlines fly to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport, just out of town in Hayden, from 11 major cities. Shuttle services are available from both the Hayden and Denver airports. Once in town, Steamboat Springs Transit operates free busses around town and to the ski area.
Travel Resources:

Steamboat Travel Overview
Steamboat Airport Shuttles
Steamboat In-Town Busses

Lodging Information

There are two main areas for skiers and snowboarders to stay at Steamboat ski and snowboard area, at the ski area’s mountain village and in the town itself. The two are about a ten minute drive of bus ride apart. There are many different options ranging from homes, to hotels, to AirBnb rentals.
Steamboat Lodging Overview
AirBnb Steamboat

Our Favorite Snowboards For Steamboat
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Local Food Picks

Steamboat has some great food on and off the mountain. There are several day lodges and restaurants on the mountain, where skiers and snowboards can stop for a quick bite between runs, or sit on the deck and enjoy the sunshine. For those skiers and snowboarders who can’t wait to get back into town after a long day, Geano’s Pizza at the base is a nice spot to grab a slice. In town, the Backcountry Delicatessen on the main Lincoln Street, makes tasty sandwiches. Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill is a good spot to get dinner and some craft beer.
Steamboat Dining:

Steamboat Dining Overview
Backcountry Deli
Mahogany Ridge

Our Favorite Skis For Steamboat
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Where to Find Lift Tickets to Steamboat?

Steamboat ski and snowboard lift tickets can be bought online or at the base area. Purchasing lift tickets online, in advance can save up to 15%. Lift tickets are averagely priced compared to the ski resorts in Summit County and Vail. Youth and seniors can purchase lift tickets at a discounted rate.
Steamboat Lift Tickets

Steamboat Weather Information

Due to its northern location, storms hit Steamboat Resort differently than many of the other Colorado ski and snowboard areas. This means when Vail get 2” Steamboat may see 8” of fresh snow. In total, 349” of snow falls annually. During these stormy days, the light can be flat, making visibility poor, good goggles can help skiers and snowboarders see on these days. Cold weather means very light snow, but also chilly skiing and snowboarding, dressing appropriately will help to make the day as awesome as possible.
Steamboat Weather Resources

Steamboat Ski Report
Steamboat Webcams
Steamboat Snow Forecast
Farther from the crowds of Denver, Steamboat is a great family destination, but also a powder paradise for skiers and snowboarders alike. Get to know the mountain and skiers and snowboarders will find some of the best tree skiing in Colorado. This awesome mountain pairs well with the friendly town and storied ski community in Steamboat Springs. It’s hard to think of a better day than skiing or snowboarding deep champagne powder all day, then soaking away the sore legs at the Strawberry Hotsprings.

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