Ron

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Unofficial Guide to Steamboat Springs

By: @Ron
Posted 9/19/14 • Last updated 12/4/19

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Steamboat Springs Colorado is located about 180 miles northwest of Denver, just over Rabbit Ears pass (Continental Divide). Averaging 349" of our famous uber light and dry Champagne Powder, the mountain offers some of the best tree skiing anywhere. Steamboat is the perfect winter family resort offering not only world-class skiing but a myriad of non-skiing sports activities and attractions. Steamboat is famous for their powder and excellent snow quality and has meadows, long bump runs, groomed cruisers of all levels, NASTAR and numerous terrain parks so skiers and riders of all ability levels have plenty of options; Steamboat even has night skiing.

The resort is spread out over six peaks in the Park Mountain Range and with short lift lines you will be sure to get many great runs in your day or night of skiing at "the boat". Steamboat is one of the best places to learn how to ski with world class instructors and a top-notch children's program. Steamboat also has the STARS program for adaptive sports. almost 90 Olympians have hailed from our town, including Olympic medalists and world champions Billy Kidd and Arielle Gold. Steamboat offers something for everyone and is a great choice for those looking for activities for non-skiers or those who want to diversify their vacation.

Steamboat is easily accessed by car with an easy (as long as the road conditions are good) 3-hour drive from Denver Airport or a short 30-minute drive from Hayden (airport code HDN) airport via Rt. 40 which is flat and well-maintained all winter. Driving up from Denver is easy in good conditions but can be challenging in snow covered conditions. See below for more information.

Steamboat is a real western town with an active family-oriented community where skiing & snowboarding are part of the school curriculum. The old cowboy town maintains a genuine feel so don't be surprised to see real cowboys and cowgirls in town. The annual Winter Carnival in early February is a true gem where Lincoln Avenue (Main Street) is covered in snow and the town celebrates all things winter. The carnival features a skiing marching band and Skijoring where the local children on skis are pulled down main street by horses. And, at night, a torch-light parade downhill on Howelson Hill featuring the "Lighted Man". it is truly a must-see family experience.

The town and resort offer plenty of off-the-slope activities from our famous hot springs to Fat bike riding, dog sledding, Nordic skiing, guided snowshoeing, snowmobiling, hot air balloon rides, backcountry cat skiing, tubing, winter fly fishing, fine dining and some great art galleries too; we even have a winter driving school.

Not enough powder on the mountain or looking for the truly steep and deep? Steamboat Powdercats (not affiliated with the resort) offers cat skiing opportunities to all levels from beginners to experts on the pristine powder filled Buffalo Pass national forest area. It’s what we all want and dream about; untracked powder. You have to do it at least once!

Resort Trail Map, Trail and Lift Status

Here are some links for the "official" runs and lifts. Steamboat's Champagne Powder is legendary and offers some of the best tree skiing in the world. Ski safe!

Trail Map

Daily Grooming report

Lift Status

Trail Status

Conditions, Weather & Snow Cams Info


Mountain weather can vary widely depending where you are on the mountain and the fast-moving fronts, so get the temperature and wind speeds along with the forecast for the day(s) you are skiing. It can be subzero at the base but 20 degrees on the top or vice-versa! Be prepared; wear and bring appropriate gear. Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of calories as it will help keep you warm and allow you to ski longer.

The Steamboat site is an excellent resource, however I have provided some links to help you get additional weather info. Some people claim Steamboat under reports snow totals. They don't under report, it’s just how and where they officially report. (mid-mountain) The mountain has many different aspects and most ski from the top down to mid-mountain so often there is considerably more snow at the top. I use the resort cameras to get a better idea of what really fell on the upper portion of the mountain but it's not always accurate for differing aspects of the mountain. I suggest you use the Champagne Camera, the Rendezvous Saddle Camera and the 4 Points camera for a better idea of what has fallen. Neither are perfect but it's usually a pretty good indication.

NEW
RESORT Base, Mid-Mtn and Summit Weather, Snow Reports and Mountain Cameras


The resort has been making some really great improvements to the site to quickly access weather, snowfall and web cams. Its a little vague so you might miss it.

https://www.steamboat.com/the-mountain/mountain-report#/lifts

From the Home page, just to the right, look for a "Base" temp Icon, Click on the Icon, it will take you to a summary for the BASE. (Please do not use the Base info for planning for dressing for the day! ) , to get to the mountain reports, click on the Blue Icon "Weather, trails and Maps". You can access the mountain cams from this page. A great shortcut!

If you click on the blue Icon, it will open up a "Base" "Mid MTN" or "Summit" tabs and this will provide a excellent array of snow and temp data. NOTE: to clear the report from the screen to view the Cams, click on the "OFF" icon to the right. To access other cams from this page, you have to click on the icon to the right that shows the "Thunderhead" cam. it will then open up the menu for other cams.

Just a reminder, to view a live "Champagne Powder Cam" view, you have to click on the image. or click the "Live" button.

Weather Information- Forecasting Tools and More Current Weather Information

OpenSnow is a weather and conditions specifically for skiers and riders that I encourage you to join and follow. You can set up Snow Fall Alerts for Steamboat Resort

DRI Lab report: Live feed from the top of Mt Werner (Storm Peak)This link shows real-time feed of temperature and wind speeds on top of the mountain.

NOAA Weather.orgreport positioned on the mountain for a much-improved weather forecast and current conditions

RADAR IMAGE- real time imaging

BASIC MOUNTAIN INFO and SOME SAFETY INFO


Steamboat boasts 2965 acres with 3,665 vertical feet of skiing and riding on 165 trails. The mountain offers something for every level; 14% Beginner, 42% Intermediate and 44% Advanced terrain. We average 349" of super light Legendary "Champagne(tm) Powder". It’s a powder skiing experience you find not anywhere else.

STEAMBOAT SKI PATROL

Put this in your cell phone right now: 970. 871.5911.
For any emergency or need on the mountain, go to the red or yellow jacket wearing Steamboat Ski Patrol or Ambassadors.

You can also download the Steamboat resort app here for direct access to a multitude of helpful and informational shortcuts.

Steamboat provides terrain for all ability levels and in my opinion, it’s the most fun place to ski. While not steep, it’s a giant playground with hidden gems all over the mountain. I am a huge advocate of taking lessons! With all the money you spend in order to ski/ride, why not use this opportunity to learn how to enjoy the mountain even more. Lessons are fun! Learning to ski and ride better will allow you to enjoy more of the mountain and ski & ride longer with less effort.

DO NOT LEAVE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE RESORT. Every season Search and Rescue has to find, and extract lost or stranded skiers in the Fish Creek Canyon area. It is very easy to get lost there or get "cliffed out". You can be fined up to $500.00 per person if you have to rescued. We want you to keep coming back! Have a blast but ski with care.

For those coming to Steamboat and have not skied "out west" before, please keep in mind that blue runs for the most part are significantly steeper than you may be used to or may be ungroomed. Your resort would probably call these black runs. Black runs will almost always contain moguls, be ungroomed, may have trees or other obstacles. Double Blacks are steeper, never groomed and present significant risk of injury if you fall. There are several areas on the mountain that if you get hurt, may take a very long time before you get to a patroller, for them to find you and get you out.

A quick note about safety; tree wells are a real and serious danger if you are not careful or prepared. If you are not familiar with tree wells, you need to take some time to understand where they are on the mountain, how to avoid them and what to do if you fall into one. Rule #1, don't ski alone. Just 20-30 feet into the trees, no one can hear you if you yell and if you do fall into a tree well, they will not be able to find you. Ski with a whistle and cell phone. If you have any questions always consult ski patrol!

MOUNTAIN OVERVIEW

My guide is not intended to evaluate or suggest where you should ski. Each skier/rider is solely responsible to know their own skill level and must take complete responsibility for where they ski and that they possess the skills to safely ski on the mountain. Skiing and riding is dangerous! Consult your trail maps and/or Steamboat instructors or patrollers to understand the difficulty rating and current conditions.
For the most part, it is very easy to get around the mountain and you can access blue or green runs in many areas and still find challenging trees nearby. Beginners should stay at the base area until they can comfortably ski those runs and feel comfortable getting on and off lifts. They should be comfortable with some blue pitches.

Access to the mid mountain is via the "Gondi" at the base, however on crowded days, take the "Christie 6-Pack" to the top, ski off the front to "Jess's Cutoff", to "Yoo-Hoo" and over to the "Thunderhead Quad" to the mid mountain Thunderhead Lodge. From here, you have access to anywhere on the mountain. For most skiers, there is no need to go any lower than mid-mountain.

On powder mornings get there early for first chair! We call it "pressing glass" because the entrance to the gondola has plexi-glass doors. For those who want an early jump on “freshies”, sign up for the FIRST TRACKSprogram, getting you up the mountain about an hour earlier. It’s a great deal for just $43.00.

The most popular area is Sunshine. Sunshine is a great area that offers some beautiful views to the South and Southwest. From 3 lifts, Sunshine, Sundown and South Peak, you can ski mellow greens to tight, steep evergreens as well as the mountain’s famous Shadow, Closets, O’clock and Priest Creek trees. You can also easily access Morningside Park off the back of Sundial via Hot Cakes. It will help to have some local knowledge on how to get into some incredible trees in this area and if I'm around, I will be happy to take anyone who can demonstrate the ability to confidently ski trees. You can also ski the iconic Rolex bumped run. If you are lucky, you can catch Rolex on a morning after it has been groomed and a storm dumps on it. It’s a "must do" if possible. Nothing like steep deep powder runs! HINT: to the left and right of Rolex are some secret trees that are for experts or advanced skiers comfortable in tight steep terrain. Do not ski these alone; seriously.

Sunshine is also the area that has some of the best (and very fun) intermediate and beginner tree skiing (note: only you can assess your skill levels and the real danger even "beginner" trees pose; why not take a lesson with a pro?). The treed areas between Tomahawk, Flintlock, Quick Draw and High Noon offer some fun and mellow lines (know your skill level first; you need to know how to ski trees first!). Also, look to the cut-offs off Tomahawk for secret powder stashes and short but steeper runs. Perfect for those looking for something a bit more than the perfect blue cruisers! HINT: I often find untracked stashes in this area days after a good storm. The O'clock runs (1,2 & 3) offer more challenging runs that are usually ungroomed. Catch 3 O'clock on a powder AM if you can. All of the trees in that area are called the "O’clock trees" and are amazing (again, these are for advanced & expert skiers).

Storm Peak and Four Points, Triangle Trees are where you will find some steeper runs and a mix of open skiing and some fantastic trees. You can hit Buddy's Run, a classic long and wide blue cruiser and access Morningside from Storm Peak quad. You can also access the Ridge lower area by traversing across Buddy's and across the face. This is for advanced skiers. It's never groomed and has some steeper (30* plus) shots in here. Triangle Trees is a great area that is steep at the upper ridge but mellows into a fantastic wonderland of spaced trees and often overlooked powder. If you keep skiing down, you can hit the Four Points Lodge. Directly below the lodge lies a series of fun bumped black runs; Hurricane, Nelsons Twister and to the skiers right, Tornado. All are fun runs and don't miss them early on a powder day. Get there early though. HINT: all the trees off these runs are pretty sweet. Just have the skills! If the Bar-U-E chair is running, lap from Storm Peak. You can hit a huge area from these 2 chairs and avoid the crowds heading down to the lower lifts.

The RidgeArea/Deso's/Chutes/Christmas Tree Bowl/No Names/North St Pats/East Face are Expert Only areas and is "side country" on the front face of Mt Werner meaning it’s not lift served. This area is accessed via the Morningside Lift. Please be aware that once you enter the gates there are no easy outs! This area offers the steepest and most difficult terrain. If you have the skills, you can find some of the deepest powder here. You can work the face and hit the famous "chutes" or hike up to the Tower and ski down into Morningside. You will see a line of people hiking up on a powder day. You can also hike over and hit the many acres of steep trees and deep powder areas but please do not venture into these areas unless you have the appropriate skills. It’s a long traverse out depending where you end up so make sure you know where you are going. HINT:You can ski off the side of Buddy's Run (going north), traverse the face skiing some steeper faces and into the "Buddy's Meadow Trees" and ski down to Bar-U-E lift or over to Flying Z.

Morningside is off the back the Storm Peak Quad and is very popular. It has some steeper shots at the top but quickly flattens out. This area is particularly susceptible to tree well danger. I honestly don't spend much time here unless its early on a powder morning. Depending on the aspect of a storm, it can be epically deep here. HINT: Access Morningside from Sunshine area via Hot Cakes and ski down. Some amazing trees but tight for advanced and experts. Again, ski within your ability. During peak times, ask ski patrol to see how long the line is at the bottom of Morningside, once you enter, you're in.

Pony Express is accessed from the Gondi, ski down Rudi's to Lightening, go left, and ski past the Storm Peak Lift. Pony only has one blue run that will take you out and over to the Flying Z area, otherwise it’s advanced and expert terrain. If you have the skills, you won’t find a more fun area on the mountain. It also gets a lot of powder from northern aspect storms (which are always our best storms). It’s a huge playground and a mix of steeper terrain with a lot of natural features. It's my favorite area and usually skied mostly by locals. I have had some of my deepest days there.

HIDDEN GEMS There are tons of hidden spots at the boat and you will find many in cleared sections of beetle kill and areas within the trees. Ask around, you may find someone willing to tell you where some are (most are experts only). For those skiing with lower level skiers looking to find some more challenging skiing, there are several fun areas located on Sunshine that are actually quite steep along with some beautiful Aspen groves.

The lower half of the mountain is comprised of a lot of groomers of varying levels and offers some often overlooked skiing. HINT:there are a bunch of hidden gems here. This is just a quick overview and there is a surprisingly large amount of terrain to ski and ride on - much more than it appears on the trail map.

NIGHT SKIING Arriving mid-day and can't wait to ski? Steamboat now offers night skiing!

STEAMBOAT SKI SCHOOL AND STARS PROGRAM

Steamboat offers you a fantastic opportunity to improve your skills or get the kids started the right way. I still take lessons every season. You spend all this money on airlines, hotel, food, gear and lift tickets so why not learn how to ski better from some the countries best ski instructors? This is your chance to learn to ski powder! Powder skiing is actually very easy once you know how. An instructor can teach you how to enjoy our most treasured and sought-after commodity. WARNING: it’s highly addictive. Beyond learning and honing skills, taking lessons lets you use the instructor lines during busy seasons, thus reducing lift line times. You can do private or group lessons. Try doing a group lesson mid-week, you may find that there are only a couple of skiers. I do have a couple favorites that I will be happy to recommend if you PM me. The STARS ADAPTIVE program is a phenomenal program that offers various programs for all types of disabilities. Contact them for more information.

ON MOUNTAIN FOOD/LODGES There are three lodges strategically located on the mountain for rest stops and food - use the link for details regarding hours, amenities and which provide full service dining (a great option during peak season) and evening dinners. The 4 Points Lodge has some great food. If you are visiting us during the peak times, try eating at the full-service restaurants and making reservations to guarantee a table or coming in for lunch at 11 instead of waiting until noon. You can also bring in your own food, Steamboat is very accommodating.

SKI SHOPS, TUNING AND BOOT FITTING. Recommended Shops

STEAMBOAT SKI & BIKE KARE
is a great shop located on the mountain (by One Steamboat) and downtown on Lincoln (by 5th) that IMHO offers the best boot fitting in Steamboat. A team of certified, experienced boot fitters can assess your needs for the right boot, insoles and after-market liners. You will find a wide selection of skis and clothing. Expert ski and snowboard tuning, mounting and repair in addition to ski and snowboard rentals. Check the site for rental packages and discounts. Premium demo skis are also available. In the summer, they are a full-service bike shop. A great place to rent and demo premium skis. Their rental skis and boots are kept in good condition. On mountain ski storage, you will find excellent customer service with a staff that has zero attitude. Yep, I get all my boot work and ski tuning done there so I'm biased :)

Steamboat Ski & Sport is located at the Gondola square beneath the Sheraton. They have a great selection of premium demo skis. Affiliated with the resort. You may be able to use your passes for discounts. (not positive for 2018). Official "Steamboat" resort clothing and accessories. They are also downtown on Main Street but only sell clothing and souvenirs. Pass holders get discounts.

CHRISTY SPORTS at the base also has a great team of fitters and a tuning and repair shop as well as a wide selection of ski gear, apparel and souvenirs. Premium demos available.

ONE STOP SKI SHOP located on 10th between Main and Yampa. Another great option for boot fitting, rentals and all of your needs for the mountain. (no web site)

SKI HAUS is located at Rt 40 and Pine Grove. Full service ski and board shop plus the areas largest selection of outdoor & footwear.

SKI & SNOWBOARD RENTAL

There a multitude of rental options. Just google "ski rental in steamboat!" I encourage you to go at a off-peak time (like 11-2) and tell the person you are working with that you really care about getting your equipment properly fit and your skis/boards tuned and waxed. A lot of people don't care, so politely explain that you would appreciate the extra efforts. Wear your ski socks and sweat pants or something that will be comfortable while trying on boots. Many shops will let you reserve specific skis in advance or make reservations online. TIP: ask for discounts, most will take 15% off.


OTHER TRAVEL INFO:

GEAR: To Ship or Take on Airline:
I get a lot of questions about whether to ship your gear or take it on the plane. If you do use a shipping service, go online and look at the cost to ship; its’ usually about the same as the airline however, pay attention to the transit times and make sure you give your gear at least one extra (2 is better) days to arrive here. Steamboat is fairly remote and if there is a severe storm or days with -20-40F temps, delivery can be delayed. You can also have our local services like "PostNet" and others that will pick up your gear and return ship for you.

WHAT TO PACK? Steamboat is a very casual town; it’s definitely not Aspen or Beaver Creek. Don't bring a lot. You are fine going to any restaurant in your ski clothes or jeans and flannel shirts, sweaters or fleece. December through early March, it’s not uncommon to be below zero at night. Our friends who visit us typically wear about 1/2 of what they bring.

On the mountain, layer. Don't wear a lot of heavily insulated clothing. The sun at high altitude is very strong, and it’s dry so don't forget the sunscreen! Our cold is not like East coast or Chicago cold. It doesn't take a lot to keep warm if you are skiing on a 10* sunny day with mild winds. When skiing, avoid cotton, wear wicking layers, and by all means, buy THIN ski or snowboard socks (Steamboat's own Smartwool and Point6 socks are amazing) . Only wear one pair! It’s much warmer to wear a thin, top and bottom base layer, a mid-layer or fleece top and bottoms and then possibly a heavy layer under a shell for cold days if your jacket has no insulation (none of my jackets or pants are insulated). You can buy Smartwool, Point6 and Big Agnes socks, hats, and clothing in town.

You don't really need waterproof jacket or pants, the rating of 10k-10K is adequate. I wouldn't buy anything less than that. What's more important is breathability and wind-proof-ness.

Gloves This is one place to buy good quality. Waterproofness will help but they have to be able to breathe. If your gloves can't breathe, they will get sweaty and your hands will get cold very quickly. I love 3-fingered "Lobster gloves" as they offer the warmth of mittens with greater dexterity. Use a good quality wax or balm like Nikwax to keep them in good condition. Never dry gloves directly on a heater. It's better to tumble dry at low heat. I always ski with a pair of glove liners as well.

Balaclava Face Mask or Buffs Bring at least one super thin balaclava and or Buff. Thick ones are useless, as they will trap sweat and freeze. I ski with two very thin balaclavas (one as a backup). When it gets cold and windy, you will want one. I ski in them all the time. When they get wet or frozen, run them under the bathroom hand dryer. I personally use Buff's as they are more versatile. I ski with 2.

Goggles and Flat Light On stormy days it is not uncommon for it to be very cloudy or have what is known as "Flat Light". Flat light is when it becomes very difficult to see undulations, bumps and drops and you may actually get vertigo in severe situations. When this happens, ski in the trees if you are able, or along the edges of runs where the trees will help you distinguish the terrain better. Proper goggles will help immensely! Try a light-colored tint lens (yellow or rose) or my favorite lens, "Smith brand, Blue Mirror Sensor" lens. Proper goggles will greatly enhance your enjoyment and safety when skiing. Whatever you do, don't wear a dark tint goggle in overcast snowy conditions.

Shoes I wear ankle high pull-on waterproof leather boots or snow clogs all winter for daily use. Perfect for slushy wet sidewalks and snowy paths. Unless you plan on hiking or snowshoeing, you don't need big boots. Don't wear sneakers as they will just get soaked and will be very cold. If you need to walk around in -20* you will appreciate a dry insulated shoe/boot. Women, will want to leave the heels at home, but fashion boots are awesome. May be a good time to go to FM Light and buy some killer cowboy boots.

HYDRATION AND NUTRITION Everyone should be using a hydration pack! You should be drinking much more water than you would at lower altitudes or more humid areas. The amount of water your body is sweating, or aspirating is incredible, and you won't even know it. Becoming dehydrated is very easy to do here and it can be quite dangerous. If you don't drink enough water, you will tire more easily and have a higher risk of injury. You can even add a little sports drink powder. A small pack is also useful to carry a few items that you may want to have with you like an extra pair of gloves, tissues, energy bars etc. Please note that both alcohol caffeine will dehydrate you. Large packs and ski lifts don't mix so don't ski with large packs that you cannot take off quickly when getting on a lift.

Nutrition Make sure you are eating properly. You will be burning up a lot of calories so choose your foods wisely. It’s a good idea to carry some protein bars and have some smaller snacks throughout the day to feed your body rather than a large lunch. Keeping yourself fed will also help keep you warmer. Try some Honey Stinger (local brand) chews or waffles as snacks. The lodges sell a good variety of snack foods.

Cold day/low visibility tip- During storms, its not uncommon for the mountain to be engulfed by clouds. if skiing with children, take care to make sure they keep close to you. It is very easy to lose sight and get separated. It can be scary as you cannot see where you are going, try to ski along the edges of runs as the trees will aid with vision and perception. On really cold, windy days, take breaks often, drink warm beverages and make sure children's hands and feet and exposed skin are warm and protected, TIP: use the hand dryers in the bathrooms to thaw frozen gloves and face protection and to de-fog goggles! Grab an extra hot cocoa and don't over-due it. The lodges sell hand and foot warmer packs. I usually ski with a couple in my pockets in case I get really cold.

LIFT TICKET DISCOUNTS Another common question. The discounts you will find are the multi-day packages offered by the resort. There may be discounts if you have a pass to other Alterra resorts. I would strongly recommend picking up an Alterra Ikon pass if you are planning on skiing a couple different resorts in a season.

https://www.alterramtnco.com

FIRST DAY OF ARRIVAL:
Assuming you have already purchased passes, arranged lessons and rental gear.........


DON'T SKI! Unless you already have your ski-legs and are OK with the altitude, don't try to go ski the first day. You are tired and most likely, ill-prepared. It usually takes more of a toll on you than you think, especially if you ski only a hand-full of days a season. You most likely have plenty of days ahead.

TAKE A TOUR OF THE AREA- Familiarize yourself with the base area. Ticket area, gondi line, Christy chair, lesson office and meet-up area. Restaurants, rental shops, etc. Take a walk downtown and check out some shops.

Don't be in a rush, as that usually results in bad decisions and poorly fitted- poorly tuned gear.

PREP- Lay out clothes, gear and everything you need for a day of skiing the night before.

MAKE A PLAN- Have a game plan for the next day. Where you are going to ski, meet for lunch, where to go if you get separated;

SAFETY- The Steamboat Ski Patrol number is 970-871-5911. Put it in everyone's cell phones. Make sure kids know to go to the red jacket or yellow jacket Steamboat patrol or Ambassadors for help. Make sure you put your contact info, name, address, cell phone and lodging info on paper and in your kid’s jackets. I ran across an injured kid this season and no one knew how to reach the parents who had skied ahead of the kids. Parents, it’s much easier to get separated from your kids than you think!

GO TO BED and GET UP EARLY. Get up earlier than you think you need to! You always need more time than you think; especially on the first day.

Heading to our Backcountry?

Colorado Avalanche Information Centerfor Steamboat and Flat Tops area

Steamboat Powdercats:

Located in the "Clock Tower" building at the resort, Steamboat Powdercats is a professional Backcountry Cat skiing operation. They can provide you with everything you need to enjoy a full day of powder skiing in pristine untracked backcountry just 30 minutes away. Transportation to and from the main office, beacon poles and ski's/snowboards, and even lunch are included. This is an adventure every skier and snowboarder should experience! They have 3 levels of cat skiing ranging from Novice to Expert. Book early as they fill their cats quickly. You can always call and ask about standby seats if you are flexible.

Transportation

AIR TRANSPORTATION. There are 2 ways to fly to Steamboat. Fly to Steamboat, which is really Hayden (HDN), or to Denver (DEN) and drive up. Flying into Steamboat (HDN) is usually more expensive but take into consideration that you don't need a car once you get here. If you do fly into Hayden, try to avoid tight connections and keep in mind that this is a small regional airport that is subject to delays!


You can fly directly into Hayden Airport (HDN) and rent a car or take a shuttle into town (about $25-$35 each way). It's a short 30-minute drive on well-maintained flat Route 40. Once in town you can take your resort property shuttles or the free town bus system (be careful to verify when renting lodging if you can use their shuttles). You really don't need a car in the winter and parking downtown can be a challenge once our snow piles up!

If you drive up from Denver, it’s a 3:15 hour drive over 2 passes. It’s not a difficult drive if the conditions are good, but once off Route 70 the trip is on remote 2 lane highways (6 & 40), will spotty or no cell coverage. Be careful of wildlife in the early AM or at dusk. Mule deer and antelope frequently cross the highway. If it is snowing or has recently, you need to check with COTRIP.ORGfor road conditions! Here are some live camera views on Rabbit Ears Pass

I would strongly suggest an All or 4-wheel drive vehicle and bring water, food and warm clothing with you. If the roads or passes close, you need to be prepared. I recommend you make a hotel reservation that can be canceled in Silverthorne, which is at the junction of 9 and 70. If the roads are bad, hotel rooms become expensive and get taken quickly.


DIRECTIONS FROM DENVER AIRPORT

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION

During the winter, almost every resort property has a shuttle. The town also has an excellent free bus system. You really don't need a car in Steamboat.

Airport shuttles:

GO Alpine- Services both Hayden and Denver airports.

Storm Mountain Express Services Hayden, Eagle and Denver airports.

Car Rental:


You can rent from Hayden or in town. Call or email for quotes as they can vary. Also, ask about doing 1-way rentals from Denver and 1 way returns. The price is often very good depending on need to move cars.

Here's a link to Rental Companies in Steamboat.

Lodging

Lodging can range from economy to ultra-luxury. I suggest calling a couple of the property management companies for the best fit for your needs.

On the Steamboat website, the "PLAN YOUR TRIP"page is a great resource for properties managed by the resort. Call (877) 783-2628 for a one-stop resource for lodging, airfare, rentals lift tickets and more.

Retreatia is owned and operated by Steamboat locals and can really help you choose the best accommodations for your needs. They offer a wide selection of condos and homes for small and large groups. Retreatia provides a fantastic Conciergeservice to help manage all the details of your vacation like airport shuttles, stocking your condo with food and "beverages", discounted lift tickets, rentals and more. Ship your luggage and skis to Retreatia prior to your vacation and let them ship them back home to you when you leave!

Moving Mountains offers the best luxury Vacation Homes in Steamboat and finest catered Chalets in Colorado.

HOTELS

Prices and amenities for hotels can vary widely depending on your budget and size of group. Some of the most popular are

Downtown:

◦ Rabbit Ears Hotel (classic Hotel)

◦ Nordic Lodge

◦ Bristol Hotel

Corridor(between the mountain and downtown, convenient location, just not as close to everything)

◦ Steamboat Inn

◦ Holiday Inn

◦ Quality Inn

◦ Fairfield Inn and Residence Inn

◦ La Quinta

◦ Hampton Inn

On Mountain

◦ Sheraton

◦ The Inn at Steamboat

◦ Steamboat Grand

◦ Ptarmigan Inn

DINING AND LIBATIONS

Steamboat has added quite a few new restaurants, especially downtown on Yampa Street. We have stepped up our culinary offerings and now offer some fantastic restaurants that range from hot dogs made from elk, "muy authentica" Mexican, great sushi and noodle bowls and Mediterranean to fine dining that will satisfy the most discerning "foodie" and wine aficionado. Keep in mind that during peak season restaurants book well in advance. During the holidays I strongly suggest booking as far in advance as you can. There are some great restaurants "on the mountain" but if you go downtown, you are much better off taking a shuttle. Remember, lots of people and tons of snow equals limited parking. The cool thing about our downtown is it’s a real town so there are great shops to wander in and out of before or after dinner so plan on some extra time to walk off that dinner or get rid of that lactic acid build-up from a long day in the powder.

Here are my favorites- I will be adding and updating. There are a couple new places I need to review.

FINE DINING

E3 Chop House I have only been to the Après, happy hour but by all means head down for the Burger or French Dip. Lacking good selection of craft beers but the burger is huge and really tasty. E3 features beef raised on their own ranches. Expensive.

CAFE DIVA On the mountain by the Torian Plum. Diva in another excellent restaurant that should be on your list. Diva takes top honors every year. They are famous for their elk tenderloin as an entree and the "Peanut Butter & Bacon Sandwiches". Excellent wine list, outstanding service. Another foodie "must". Not for kids. Expensive

MAMBO Located on Main Street (40, Lincoln) between 5th & 6th Mambo is one of our favorite restaurants. Mambo features classic dishes to regional favorites and pizza too. Owner Hannah was a contestant on The Food Network "Chopped" and Owner Joe once an Iron Chef Competition. Bring the kids, get a nice bottle of Chianti and relax! Try the gnocchi and other house made pasta. Mambo is very casual but the food is excellent. Moderate

BESAME located between 7th & 8th on Main. You don't have to go far for the tastes of Cuba, Argentina, Portugal and Spain-just head to downtown Steamboat and Bésame. Featuring an inspired collection of regional Latin flavors, every meal at Bésame is a rich and romantic experience with the fun and liveliness of an old world familia dinner. You can also experience The Hot Zone-this unique section of the menu is where you'll taste handcrafted fusion dishes from South America. Try the Curried Goat or Candied Pork, two of my favorites. Great sections of wine by the glass and its very reasonable. Same owners as Mambo so you know it’s good. Moderate

AURUM also on Yampa by 9th. Aurum offers upscale dining and has a great wine list. They have a very chic, cool bar too. Aurum has already received praise for their creations appearing in "Ski Magazine" and "Zagat". Expensive

THE LAUNDRY This Gastro-pub located on 11th in an old Laundry drips with atmosphere. Exposed beams and old brick sets the stage for our favorite bar. If you like creative mixed drinks and bartenders with personality and mad-skills, this is your place. Laundry also features creative and flavorful small plates (entrees too) so head down and order up a few different tastes and food experiences for the table. Like bourbon? Get the "Kentucky Falls", you will thank me . My wife's favorite is the Fiery margarita or the Rosemary Lemon Drop. Make sure to order the brisket and Vietnamese Pork cheeks Yummmm! Moderate to expensive


CASUAL FOOD

CARL'S TAVERN
Named after Carl Howelson who brought ski jumping to the USA and namesake for Howelson Hill, Carl's (locals call it Carl's) is another family friendly pub. Located on the corner of Yampa and 7th, Carl's is a great spot to watch sports and to grab a beer and burger or a really good steak. Carl's is a local’s favorite (second to Sun Pies) that has a great selection of food. They are known for the "home style, feel good cooking with favorites like meatloaf, house rotisserie chicken and great burgers too”. Their chicken wings are great!

TACO CABO If you are looking for killer Mexican food? Taco Cabo made the move to downtown and is now located in the old Sweet Pea restaurant on Yampa between 7th and 8th. It's a red building. Kent and Lilly create and serve up some of the best authentic Mexican food. They use local chicken, pork and beef and local produce when available. During the summer sit out back under a giant cottonwood tree along the Yampa river. Get the Pork Verde Chile or the Carne Asada.... Don't forget to slather on some of Taco Cabo' house made salsa's! Me Mucho Gusto!

FIESTA JALISCO & VAQUEROS DOWNTOWN The best full menu Mexican in Steamboat. (Taco Cabo gets the nod overall) Vaqueros is owned by Fiesta and is located on Lincoln but is the same restaurant. Fiesta is located "on the mountain" and is family owned. It is excellent and authentic with a good assortment of dinners including a large kid’s menu. My all-time two favorites are the Carne Asada and the Pork Carnitas but there are many other great dishes to choose from. Get the house made corn tortillas. They also feature a huge selection of Tequila's. Do you like Margarita's? They have the best in town. Get the house one, it comes in a shaker with a small glass. Rocks, salt per favor...... Go early and make a reservation. It gets packed.

Mountain Tap Brewery on Yampa and 9th. Mountain Tap is really light bites and house crafted beers. It has some of the best pizza in town. As an east-coast transplant, I judge a pizza by the crust, Mountain Tap nails it! You can also get a couple different mains and very creative appetizers. The owner has a long history as a brew-master and the couple of beers I have tasted have been very good. More to come as I work my way through the menu,

OTTO PINT On Yampa and 5th (next to Carl’s) features delicious pizzas and an assortment of lite bites, salads, sandwiches and a very interesting mix of entree's (see the menu). They always have a great selection of beers on tap. For a relaxed atmosphere with great service and really good food, check them out!

MARCIA & JOES KITCHEN. located on 912 Lincoln Ave in the same location as Caio Gelato an right next to Steamboat Smokehouse, Marcia and Joes offers authentic Jamaican cuisine that is incredible! Jerked chicken, shrimp and fish taco's and my favorite Ox tail and Curried goat. Open for Breakfast through dinner.

BREAKFAST/LUNCH

CREEKSIDE CAFE
The best spot IMHO for breakfast in town and consistently wins the "Best of the Boat". Open for breakfast and lunch and dinner (starting early 2020) only and located on 13th and Oak along the Butcher Knife Creek, Creekside does it right. Everything is fresh and often local, like Yampa Valley Beef and Pork which is all natural and grass fed. At breakfast ask if they have the "local bacon" which is a thick cut, smoked bacon. Creekside is famous for their selection of Eggs Benedict and offers many different types. They also have killer Bloody Mary's. One of my breakfast favorites is "Have It Your Way" which allows you to pick from a bunch of sides with 2 eggs, bacon or ham or sausage (all local), grits with Green Chili's and cheddar cheese, along with an oatmeal cinnamon pancake with honey. Lunch includes fantastic burgers (grass fed and local), innovative salads, sandwiches and daily specials. If they have their Chili, get it! My favorite lunch is their "Creek Steak" cheese steak which is different than a traditional cheese steak with seared shredded beef and it’s delicious. GO EARLY! If you get there later than 7:30, you will wait...... If you go in summer you can sit outside next to the creek.

FRESHIES Is located about mid-way between downtown and the mountain. Freshies is another locally owned restaurant that serves up great food. Again, you will find fresh ingredients cooked perfectly. Freshies offers a wide variety of breakfast and lunch choices. Like Pancakes? Here's your place! Like Tex-Mex breakfast? They got ya' covered. They also have a large menu of creative and delicious omelets. Lunch? A large selection of themed salads, all are large and well done. They also have great selection of sandwiches. Don't forget the burgers too. Like Creekside, get there early too

JOHNNY B GOOD's Located on Lincoln this 50's style dinner features a walk- up "adult beverage milkshake" window. Johnny's is a local favorite as well and is more in line with your classic NY/NJ diner experience. The food is good and plentiful. Great sandwiches too. Decorated with memorabilia. Fun place.

WINONNA'S Probably one of the most famous eateries in Steamboat. If you want huge cinnamon rolls and other bakery goodies, this is your place. They also serve breakfast and lunch and have a selection of eggs benedict. Located on Lincoln between 6th & 7th. It also gets packed early and stays packed through lunch.

MARCIA & JOES KITCHEN. located on 912 Lincoln Ave in the same location as Caio Gelato an right next to Steamboat Smokehouse, Marcia and Joes offers authentic Jamaican cuisine that is incredible! Jerked chicken, shrimp and fish taco's and mu favorite Ox tail and Curried goat. Open for Breakfast through dinner.

ROOTZ/SEEDZ are healthy food restaurants serving up some very delicious food that is also good for you. Voted the Top vegetarian restaurant but Rootz and their sister restaurant Seedz, also serve organic meats and fish. They offer, Smoothies, Salads, Grain bowls and paninis. Try the "Diospyros" juice blend, its guaranteed to let you ski longer. Seedz, is located on Main between 11th& 12th. The food is really good here and a great option for folks with dietary restrictions.

ON MOUNTAIN FOOD:

THE PARAMOUNT
located at the base in the Torian Plum Plaza (to the far left up the stairs) serves up my favorite on-mountain food and my second favorite place for breakfast overall. Lunch is great too with many over-sized sandwiches, which are all fantastic. The Cuban is one of my favorites but honestly, everything they make is great. Try the breakfast sandwiches and the excellent Smoked Salmon over Greens with goat cheese topped with 2 fried eggs and sourdough toast. Drop in prior to your first chair up and get the day off to a great start. Finish up the day with a tasty bite and cold beer or cocktail.

T-BarThe T-Bar is a great story. Pretty much started out as a trailer just up from Slopeside just off Right-O-Way runout. It was started by some very talented guys who wanted to get out from the typical restaurant scene and offer some downright amazing delicious food in what some might call a "dive bar". I say this with the greatest respect to those establishments. T-bar was once just locals until the word got out on just how good this place is. It's still true to its roots with no frills interior, walls lined with local’s beer mugs and Reggae playing but they serve up very tasty and innovative food and a decent selection of beers on tap.


Pizza and Gelato

Head over to Ciao Gelato and indulge in a double scoop and don't forget a square of authentic Roma style pizza. Ciao features other light meal options too but just don't forget the gelato. Try the Chocolate Chili and the salted Caramel.

“Brick”located in the Wildhorse complex is owned by the same folks who own Paramount. The owners, from Boston wanted to replicate true neopolitan, wood fired pizza and went as far as analyzing the water from Boston and replicating it for their pizza. The result is a true east coast pizza experience that you need to taste to appreciate. Lots of other great food on the menu. Love this place. Insider tip: this isn't Pizza Hut so dont expect a pound of cheese on your pizza. its about good ingredients and good flavors.

Mambo- starting to get the picture? Yeah, Mambo is really good

Italian- See Mambo above. The only Italian restaurant I recommend,

PUBS AND APRES SKIING


There are just too many bars to possibly cover here so here are a few of my personal favorites. I am 50 so my bar hopping days are long gone.

The BARley is a Colorado Craft beer pub with 30 taps featuring some of Colorado's finest brews (and a couple of gems outside of our state). This has fast become a favorite watering hole. Located on 7th and Main (Lincoln/Rt 40) in the "Mall" downstairs next to Noodles and More. This pub is a gem and anyone who is into finely crafted beers needs to go there at least once during their visit! Not sure what you want or want them all? They sell flights of beers in addition to regular pours. They also offer some creative "Jam" cocktails and good wines by the glass. Hungry? You can order off their pub menu which has a few nicely done lite bites. Try the pretzels and cheese or the sliders. You can also order food from Noodles and More or the Greek restaurant and eat in. The Barley also has many large screen TV's to watch your favorite sporting events.

BUTCHERKNIFE BREWERY Butcherknife has a fantastic tasting room offering the best views of just about any brewery you will ever go to. The tasting room offers tastings as well as full pours (not for free!) and even Growlers. The friendly staff will be happy to tell you about how they make their beers and the story of the brewery. It’s located about a mile past 13th street heading west. Go right onto Elk River Road and they are located about a 1/2 mile on the left. Get a flight of their different beers, which change depending on season and what the Brew Masters’ are inspired by. Don't forget to pick up a hoodie, T-shirt or hat; you won't find a cooler Souvenir! Can't make the trip? Look for their beers in many of the local restaurants.

STORM PEAK BREWERY Another brew pub on the way to Butcherknife. Located at the intersection of Rt40 and Elk River Rd, Storm Peak is named after the original name of Mount Werner (ski resort). They have a much larger facility and is located next to Moe’s BBQ and a wood-fire pizza shop (haven't tried yet). However, you are going for the beer! Storm Peak has an excellent assortment of beers that are worth taking the extra 5-minute drive out of town for. Like Butcherknife, grab a flight, and check out some of their very cool logo'd wears. Best overall if you want to session and have some tasty food.

CARL'S TAVERN- See above, Carl’s offers a good selection of beers, wines and drinks. Good place to watch a game or catch live music.

SUNPIES BISTRO Sunpies is a true locals bar. The New Orleans themed bar is unpretentious, fun and has some really good food! Located on Yampa.

MAHOGANY RIDGE is not just a bar, it’s also a good place for dinner but is mostly known for Après Ski. Mahogany has a wide assortment of great appetizers, sandwiches, pub style foods and their unique "Dipping Entrees". Mahogany gets packed every day so get there early unless there's still powder on the mountain.... Mahogany is also a brewpub, but I would go to the other Brew Pubs listed if you are looking for more of a craft brew experience.

O'NEILS Tavern And Pub. Ok, so its not really Irish but they do sell Irish inspired foods that are really tasty. Now located on 8th between Main and Yampa. A good variety for lunch and dinner. Take the kids.

SLOPESIDE GRILL on the mountain. Slopeside is a classic. Located on the mountain in the Torian Plum area, Slopeside offers great wood oven pizzas and fun appetizers. It tends to get extremely crowded and inside is equally loud.

T-Bar, see above as well. T-Bar offers some of the best on mountain food and drink. Go, enjoy although it can be very crowded and loud.

The Paramount- see above, good food, great coffee also serving beer and wine.

COFFEE

BIG IRON COFFEE Coffee is sacred to me. Big Iron Coffee is hands down the best coffee shop and roaster in town.
Big Iron is located at 625 Lincoln, in the "Mall" which is down stairs at 7th next to BARley, two of my favorite Steamboat places. Bowen and Nina, the owners and roasters are passionate about their coffee. Head on in and tell him "Ron" sent you. He always has a few different roasts and pulls a great shot. Excellent hot cocoa there too! I pretty much drink his coffee every day. If you are staying in a condo and need coffee, do yourself a favor and stock up with some REAL Steamboat coffee. Big Iron also has some really cool hats and Tee's.

EVENTS

There is always something going on at The Boat! Here are the "Best Of" Steamboat Festivals and Events

Steamboat Resort Activitiesfor Winter and Summer time

Steamboat Chamber of CommerceCalendar of events

TREAD OF PIONEERSlocated on 8th and Oak (one block to the north of Lincoln) is a museum featuring the history of Steamboat. It’s a "must do" and please don't miss this gem. Packed with exhibits about the history of the town and area, our Olympic athletes and much more!

YAMPATIKAis a non-profit organization that offers winter and summer guided tours of the area. This organization offers phenomenal snowshoe, cross-country tours and hikes to local points of interest on Emerald, Buff pass and Rabbit Ears pass. They also do a Steamboat Hot Springs tour exploring the 6 hot springs located within the town. This tour is a gem! You can even do private tours. They offer programs for children as well. This is another fantastic program that should be considered.

ACTIVITIES

Steamboat offers a wide array of fun and interesting things to do. Even if you don't ski, there is a ton of stuff to do.

If you need specifics feel free to PM me but here's a quick list of cool stuff to do!


- Cross country and Skate skiing- you can actually ski and skate on the same trails as the Olympians at Howelson! There are many locations for these activities including on Buffalo Pass and Rabbit Ears pass.

- Fat bike riding - There are many locations in town that now ofer ridge on groomed trails or venture out on ungroomed trails. There are many shops in town that rent fat bikes and you can ride your bike from the shops to the trails. I love fat bike riding and if you are a mountain biker, you really need to try this out! Groomed trails can be found at Haymaker Golf Course and Catamount CC.

- Snowshoeing

- Horseback riding

- Winter fly fishing; Steamboat has incredible fly fishing and you can fish almost year around

- Dog sled tours

- Snowmobile Tours

- Art Studios

- Downtown shopping

- Cooking classes

- Hiking on Emerald

- Walking the "core trail" a 7 mile (one way) paved path along the Yampa spanning the length of the town

- Day spa's

- Yoga studios

- Tubing

- Old Town Hot Springs- featuring several pools, flumes and a modern work out facility. This is located downtown and is a great place to take the family.

-Strawberry Park Hot Springs This iconic hot spring offers several all-natural pools of varying temperatures. It is set in the forest and is very popular. You have to drive or take their shuttle. If you drive, a 4wd vehicle is strongly advised especially at night. Be advised, after sunset, only 18 and older admitted, clothing is optional.

BRIDGESTONE WINTER DRIVING SCHOOL Want to learn or master your winter driving skills? The winter driving school is a fun way to learn how to drive on winter roads. From novice to seasoned drivers, the professionals at the school will safely teach you the skills you need to handle snowy icy roads.

HOWELSON - Downtown Steamboat.

◦ -Ice Skating at Howelson Rink

- Bumper Cars on ice at Howelson Rinkclick on this link to see a YouTube video. This is a blast!

- Bowling at SnowBowlSnowbowl is a local’s favorite with disco light bowling and a lot of fun twists on bowling.

MASSAGE THERAPY

HEARTFIRE MASSAGE
is consistently voted (Best of the Boat Awards) as the best location for a therapeutic massage. Erica Olson and her staff will melt away tired, knotted, strained muscles to keep you going on the mountain! Heartfire is conveniently located on the corridor near the mountain. Erica will evaluate your specific needs and blend different style of massage therapy to get the best results. She can vary the intensity and pressure level to your preference. She is more like a Physical Therapist, but she can also do "relaxing" massages too. I have been a client of theirs for several years. I know there are other therapist that are excellent but I can only speak to her skills.

REALTORS

So now you have visited our little slice of paradise and you want in on the game? I with Jon Wade who owns The Steamboat Group when I bought my condo and then my home. Jon has been a recipient of the "Best of the Boat" awards for the past 5 years. Jon's philosophy is that "Our clients are smart so his job is to help people be smart about Steamboat and their real estate here. We focus on Steamboat and give back to match their passion to keep Steamboat special. We feel lucky every day to live in Steamboat so we give our time and money to local causes that help Steamboat stay a special place".

GROCERIES

Please bring your own re-usable shopping bags. Plastic bags are not available at supermarkets and some other stores

There are two grocery stores in Steamboat, Citimarket and Safeway. both located near Rt 40 By Pine Grove. CitiMarket gets unbelievably crowded so get there before 2:30 if possible. Safeway is just a block away so consider shopping there as well.
 

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Steve Makovsky

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Unofficial Guide to Steamboat Springs

Hi @Ron - First of all ...Thanks for your unofficial Steamboat guide. Lots of great information I'm flying into Denver late Sunday night (3/10) and driving into Steamboat on Monday with my 19 year old son. I have been to Steamboat a few times however I want to focus more on the trees this trip. I would love to speak with you or meet for a few runs to take advantage of your local knowledge. My son and I can ski almost anything. Are you available to speak on the phone or meet in person or both? We would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you. Best, Steve
 
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Kcip

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Thanks for the guide Ron! Just got back from 5 days in Steamboat. Had a great time skiing as well as exploring town.

Highly recommend Mambo and Big Iron Coffee!
 
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Pumba

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Unofficial Guide to Steamboat Springs

By: @Ron
Posted 9/19/14 • Last updated 12/9/18

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Steamboat Springs Colorado is located about 180 miles northwest of Denver, just over Rabbit Ears pass (Continental Divide). Averaging 349" of our famous uber light and dry Champagne Powder, the mountain offers some of the best tree skiing anywhere. Steamboat is the perfect winter family resort offering not only world-class skiing but a myriad of non-skiing sports activities and attractions. Steamboat is famous for their powder and excellent snow quality and has meadows, long bump runs, groomed cruisers of all levels, NASTAR and numerous terrain parks so skiers and riders of all ability levels have plenty of options; Steamboat even has night skiing.

The resort is spread out over six peaks in the Park Mountain Range and with short lift lines you will be sure to get many great runs in your day or night of skiing at "the boat". Steamboat is one of the best places to learn how to ski with world class instructors and a top-notch children's program. Steamboat also has the STARS program for adaptive sports. almost 90 Olympians have hailed from our town, including Olympic medalists and world champions Billy Kidd and Arielle Gold. Steamboat offers something for everyone and is a great choice for those looking for activities for non-skiers or those who want to diversify their vacation.

Steamboat is easily accessed by car with an easy (as long as the road conditions are good) 3-hour drive from Denver Airport or a short 30-minute drive from Hayden (airport code HDN) airport via Rt. 40 which is flat and well-maintained all winter. Driving up from Denver is easy in good conditions but can be challenging in snow covered conditions. See below for more information.

Steamboat is a real western town with an active family-oriented community where skiing & snowboarding are part of the school curriculum. The old cowboy town maintains a genuine feel so don't be surprised to see real cowboys and cowgirls in town. The annual Winter Carnival in early February is a true gem where Lincoln Avenue (Main Street) is covered in snow and the town celebrates all things winter. The carnival features a skiing marching band and Skijoring where the local children on skis are pulled down main street by horses. And, at night, a torch-light parade downhill on Howelson Hill featuring the "Lighted Man". it is truly a must-see family experience.

The town and resort offer plenty of off-the-slope activities from our famous hot springs to Fat bike riding, dog sledding, Nordic skiing, guided snowshoeing, snowmobiling, hot air balloon rides, backcountry cat skiing, tubing, winter fly fishing, fine dining and some great art galleries too; we even have a winter driving school.

Not enough powder on the mountain or looking for the truly steep and deep? Steamboat Powdercats (not affiliated with the resort) offers cat skiing opportunities to all levels from beginners to experts on the pristine powder filled Buffalo Pass national forest area. It’s what we all want and dream about; untracked powder. You have to do it at least once!

Resort Trail Map, Trail and Lift Status

Here are some links for the "official" runs and lifts. Steamboat's Champagne Powder is legendary and offers some of the best tree skiing in the world. Ski safe!

Trail Map

Daily Grooming report

Lift Status

Trail Status

Terrain Parks (5)

Conditions, Weather & Snow Cams Info

Mountain weather can vary widely depending where you are on the mountain and the fast-moving fronts, so get the temperature and wind speeds along with the forecast for the day(s) you are skiing. It can be subzero at the base but 20 degrees on the top or vice-versa! Be prepared; wear and bring appropriate gear. Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of calories as it will help keep you warm and allow you to ski longer.

The Steamboat site is an excellent resource, however I have provided some links to help you get additional weather info. Some people claim Steamboat under reports snow totals. They don't under report, it’s just how and where they officially report. (mid-mountain) The mountain has many different aspects and most ski from the top down to mid-mountain so often there is considerably more snow at the top. I use the resort cameras to get a better idea of what really fell on the upper portion of the mountain but it's not always accurate for differing aspects of the mountain. I suggest you use the Champagne Camera, the Rendezvous Saddle Camera and the 4 Points camera for a better idea of what has fallen. Neither are perfect but it's usually a pretty good indication.

NEW
RESORT Base, Mid-Mtn and Summit Weather, Snow Reports and Mountain Cameras

The resort has been making some really great improvements to the site to quickly access weather, snowfall and web cams. Its a little vague so you might miss it.

https://www.steamboat.com/the-mountain/mountain-report#/lifts

From the Home page, just to the right, look for a "Base" temp Icon, Click on the Icon, it will take you to a summary for the BASE. (Please do not use the Base info for planning for dressing for the day! ) , to get to the mountain reports, click on the Blue Icon "Weather, trails and Maps". You can access the mountain cams from this page. A great shortcut!

If you click on the blue Icon, it will open up a "Base" "Mid MTN" or "Summit" tabs and this will provide a excellent array of snow and temp data. NOTE: to clear the report from the screen to view the Cams, click on the "OFF" icon to the right. To access other cams from this page, you have to click on the icon to the right that shows the "Thunderhead" cam. it will then open up the menu for other cams.

Just a reminder, to view a live "Champagne Powder Cam" view, you have to click on the image. or click the "Live" button.

Weather Information- Forecasting Tools and More Current Weather Information

OpenSnow is a weather and conditions specifically for skiers and riders that I encourage you to join and follow. You can set up Snow Fall Alerts for Steamboat Resort

DRI Lab report: Live feed from the top of Mt Werner (Storm Peak) This link shows real-time feed of temperature and wind speeds on top of the mountain.

NOAA Weather.org report positioned on the mountain for a much-improved weather forecast and current conditions

RADAR IMAGE- real time imaging

BASIC MOUNTAIN INFO and SOME SAFETY INFO

Steamboat boasts 2965 acres with 3,665 vertical feet of skiing and riding on 165 trails. The mountain offers something for every level; 14% Beginner, 42% Intermediate and 44% Advanced terrain. We average 349" of super light Legendary "Champagne(tm) Powder". It’s a powder skiing experience you find not anywhere else.

STEAMBOAT SKI PATROL

Put this in your cell phone right now: 970. 871.5911.For any emergency or need on the mountain, go to the red or yellow jacket wearing Steamboat Ski Patrol or Ambassadors.

You can also download the Steamboat resort app here for direct access to a multitude of helpful and informational shortcuts.

Steamboat provides terrain for all ability levels and in my opinion, it’s the most fun place to ski. While not steep, it’s a giant playground with hidden gems all over the mountain. I am a huge advocate of taking lessons! With all the money you spend in order to ski/ride, why not use this opportunity to learn how to enjoy the mountain even more. Lessons are fun! Learning to ski and ride better will allow you to enjoy more of the mountain and ski & ride longer with less effort.

DO NOT LEAVE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE RESORT. Every season Search and Rescue has to find, and extract lost or stranded skiers in the Fish Creek Canyon area. It is very easy to get lost there or get "cliffed out". You can be fined up to $500.00 per person if you have to rescued. We want you to keep coming back! Have a blast but ski with care.

For those coming to Steamboat and have not skied "out west" before, please keep in mind that blue runs for the most part are significantly steeper than you may be used to or may be ungroomed. Your resort would probably call these black runs. Black runs will almost always contain moguls, be ungroomed, may have trees or other obstacles. Double Blacks are steeper, never groomed and present significant risk of injury if you fall. There are several areas on the mountain that if you get hurt, may take a very long time before you get to a patroller, for them to find you and get you out.

A quick note about safety; tree wells are a real and serious danger if you are not careful or prepared. If you are not familiar with tree wells, you need to take some time to understand where they are on the mountain, how to avoid them and what to do if you fall into one. Rule #1, don't ski alone. Just 20-30 feet into the trees, no one can hear you if you yell and if you do fall into a tree well, they will not be able to find you. Ski with a whistle and cell phone. If you have any questions always consult ski patrol!

MOUNTAIN OVERVIEW

My guide is not intended to evaluate or suggest where you should ski. Each skier/rider is solely responsible to know their own skill level and must take complete responsibility for where they ski and that they possess the skills to safely ski on the mountain. Skiing and riding is dangerous! Consult your trail maps and/or Steamboat instructors or patrollers to understand the difficulty rating and current conditions. For the most part, it is very easy to get around the mountain and you can access blue or green runs in many areas and still find challenging trees nearby. Beginners should stay at the base area until they can comfortably ski those runs and feel comfortable getting on and off lifts. They should be comfortable with some blue pitches.

Access to the mid mountain is via the "Gondi" at the base, however on crowded days, take the "Christie 6-Pack" to the top, ski off the front to "Jess's Cutoff", to "Yoo-Hoo" and over to the "Thunderhead Quad" to the mid mountain Thunderhead Lodge. From here, you have access to anywhere on the mountain. For most skiers, there is no need to go any lower than mid-mountain.

On powder mornings get there early for first chair! We call it "pressing glass" because the entrance to the gondola has plexi-glass doors. For those who want an early jump on “freshies”, sign up for the FIRST TRACKSprogram, getting you up the mountain about an hour earlier. It’s a great deal for just $43.00.

The most popular area is Sunshine. Sunshine is a great area that offers some beautiful views to the South and Southwest. From 3 lifts, Sunshine, Sundown and South Peak, you can ski mellow greens to tight, steep evergreens as well as the mountain’s famous Shadow, Closets, O’clock and Priest Creek trees. You can also easily access Morningside Park off the back of Sundial via Hot Cakes. It will help to have some local knowledge on how to get into some incredible trees in this area and if I'm around, I will be happy to take anyone who can demonstrate the ability to confidently ski trees. You can also ski the iconic Rolex bumped run. If you are lucky, you can catch Rolex on a morning after it has been groomed and a storm dumps on it. It’s a "must do" if possible. Nothing like steep deep powder runs! HINT: to the left and right of Rolex are some secret trees that are for experts or advanced skiers comfortable in tight steep terrain. Do not ski these alone; seriously.

Sunshine is also the area that has some of the best (and very fun) intermediate and beginner tree skiing (note: only you can assess your skill levels and the real danger even "beginner" trees pose; why not take a lesson with a pro?). The treed areas between Tomahawk, Flintlock, Quick Draw and High Noon offer some fun and mellow lines (know your skill level first; you need to know how to ski trees first!). Also, look to the cut-offs off Tomahawk for secret powder stashes and short but steeper runs. Perfect for those looking for something a bit more than the perfect blue cruisers! HINT: I often find untracked stashes in this area days after a good storm. The O'clock runs (1,2 & 3) offer more challenging runs that are usually ungroomed. Catch 3 O'clock on a powder AM if you can. All of the trees in that area are called the "O’clock trees" and are amazing (again, these are for advanced & expert skiers).

Storm Peak and Four Points, Triangle Trees are where you will find some steeper runs and a mix of open skiing and some fantastic trees. You can hit Buddy's Run, a classic long and wide blue cruiser and access Morningside from Storm Peak quad. You can also access the Ridge lower area by traversing across Buddy's and across the face. This is for advanced skiers. It's never groomed and has some steeper (30* plus) shots in here. Triangle Trees is a great area that is steep at the upper ridge but mellows into a fantastic wonderland of spaced trees and often overlooked powder. If you keep skiing down, you can hit the Four Points Lodge. Directly below the lodge lies a series of fun bumped black runs; Hurricane, Nelsons Twister and to the skiers right, Tornado. All are fun runs and don't miss them early on a powder day. Get there early though. HINT: all the trees off these runs are pretty sweet. Just have the skills! If the Bar-U-E chair is running, lap from Storm Peak. You can hit a huge area from these 2 chairs and avoid the crowds heading down to the lower lifts.

The RidgeArea/Deso's/Chutes/Christmas Tree Bowl/No Names/North St Pats/East Face are Expert Only areas and is "side country" on the front face of Mt Werner meaning it’s not lift served. This area is accessed via the Morningside Lift. Please be aware that once you enter the gates there are no easy outs! This area offers the steepest and most difficult terrain. If you have the skills, you can find some of the deepest powder here. You can work the face and hit the famous "chutes" or hike up to the Tower and ski down into Morningside. You will see a line of people hiking up on a powder day. You can also hike over and hit the many acres of steep trees and deep powder areas but please do not venture into these areas unless you have the appropriate skills. It’s a long traverse out depending where you end up so make sure you know where you are going. HINT:You can ski off the side of Buddy's Run (going north), traverse the face skiing some steeper faces and into the "Buddy's Meadow Trees" and ski down to Bar-U-E lift or over to Flying Z.

Morningside is off the back the Storm Peak Quad and is very popular. It has some steeper shots at the top but quickly flattens out. This area is particularly susceptible to tree well danger. I honestly don't spend much time here unless its early on a powder morning. Depending on the aspect of a storm, it can be epically deep here. HINT: Access Morningside from Sunshine area via Hot Cakes and ski down. Some amazing trees but tight for advanced and experts. Again, ski within your ability. During peak times, ask ski patrol to see how long the line is at the bottom of Morningside, once you enter, you're in.

Pony Express is accessed from the Gondi, ski down Rudi's to Lightening, go left, and ski past the Storm Peak Lift. Pony only has one blue run that will take you out and over to the Flying Z area, otherwise it’s advanced and expert terrain. If you have the skills, you won’t find a more fun area on the mountain. It also gets a lot of powder from northern aspect storms (which are always our best storms). It’s a huge playground and a mix of steeper terrain with a lot of natural features. It's my favorite area and usually skied mostly by locals. I have had some of my deepest days there.

HIDDEN GEMS There are tons of hidden spots at the boat and you will find many in cleared sections of beetle kill and areas within the trees. Ask around, you may find someone willing to tell you where some are (most are experts only). For those skiing with lower level skiers looking to find some more challenging skiing, there are several fun areas located on Sunshine that are actually quite steep along with some beautiful Aspen groves.

The lower half of the mountain is comprised of a lot of groomers of varying levels and offers some often overlooked skiing. HINT:there are a bunch of hidden gems here. This is just a quick overview and there is a surprisingly large amount of terrain to ski and ride on - much more than it appears on the trail map.

NIGHT SKIING Arriving mid-day and can't wait to ski? Steamboat now offers night skiing!

STEAMBOAT SKI SCHOOL AND STARS PROGRAM

Steamboat offers you a fantastic opportunity to improve your skills or get the kids started the right way. I still take lessons every season. You spend all this money on airlines, hotel, food, gear and lift tickets so why not learn how to ski better from some the countries best ski instructors? This is your chance to learn to ski powder! Powder skiing is actually very easy once you know how. An instructor can teach you how to enjoy our most treasured and sought-after commodity. WARNING: it’s highly addictive. Beyond learning and honing skills, taking lessons lets you use the instructor lines during busy seasons, thus reducing lift line times. You can do private or group lessons. Try doing a group lesson mid-week, you may find that there are only a couple of skiers. I do have a couple favorites that I will be happy to recommend if you PM me. The STARS ADAPTIVE program is a phenomenal program that offers various programs for all types of disabilities. Contact them for more information.

ON MOUNTAIN FOOD/LODGES There are three lodges strategically located on the mountain for rest stops and food - use the link for details regarding hours, amenities and which provide full service dining (a great option during peak season) and evening dinners. The 4 Points Lodge has some great food. If you are visiting us during the peak times, try eating at the full-service restaurants and making reservations to guarantee a table or coming in for lunch at 11 instead of waiting until noon. You can also bring in your own food, Steamboat is very accommodating.

SKI SHOPS, TUNING AND BOOT FITTING. Recommended Shops

STEAMBOAT SKI & BIKE KARE is a great shop located on the mountain (by One Steamboat) and downtown on Lincoln (by 5th) that IMHO offers the best boot fitting in Steamboat. A team of certified, experienced boot fitters can assess your needs for the right boot, insoles and after-market liners. You will find a wide selection of skis and clothing. Expert ski and snowboard tuning, mounting and repair in addition to ski and snowboard rentals. Check the site for rental packages and discounts. Premium demo skis are also available. In the summer, they are a full-service bike shop. A great place to rent and demo premium skis. Their rental skis and boots are kept in good condition. On mountain ski storage, you will find excellent customer service with a staff that has zero attitude. Yep, I get all my boot work and ski tuning done there so I'm biased :)

Steamboat Ski & Sport is located at the Gondola square beneath the Sheraton. They have a great selection of premium demo skis. Affiliated with the resort. You may be able to use your passes for discounts. (not positive for 2018). Official "Steamboat" resort clothing and accessories. They are also downtown on Main Street but only sell clothing and souvenirs. Pass holders get discounts.

CHRISTY SPORTS at the base also has a great team of fitters and a tuning and repair shop as well as a wide selection of ski gear, apparel and souvenirs. Premium demos available.

ONE STOP SKI SHOP located on 10th between Main and Yampa. Another great option for boot fitting, rentals and all of your needs for the mountain. (no web site)

SKI HAUS is located at Rt 40 and Pine Grove. Full service ski and board shop plus the areas largest selection of outdoor & footwear.

SKI & SNOWBOARD RENTAL

There a multitude of rental options. Just google "ski rental in steamboat!" I encourage you to go at a off-peak time (like 11-2) and tell the person you are working with that you really care about getting your equipment properly fit and your skis/boards tuned and waxed. A lot of people don't care, so politely explain that you would appreciate the extra efforts. Wear your ski socks and sweat pants or something that will be comfortable while trying on boots. Many shops will let you reserve specific skis in advance or make reservations online. TIP: ask for discounts, most will take 15% off.


OTHER TRAVEL INFO:

GEAR: To Ship or Take on Airline:I get a lot of questions about whether to ship your gear or take it on the plane. If you do use a shipping service, go online and look at the cost to ship; its’ usually about the same as the airline however, pay attention to the transit times and make sure you give your gear at least one extra (2 is better) days to arrive here. Steamboat is fairly remote and if there is a severe storm or days with -20-40F temps, delivery can be delayed. You can also have our local services like "PostNet" and others that will pick up your gear and return ship for you.

WHAT TO PACK? Steamboat is a very casual town; it’s definitely not Aspen or Beaver Creek. Don't bring a lot. You are fine going to any restaurant in your ski clothes or jeans and flannel shirts, sweaters or fleece. December through early March, it’s not uncommon to be below zero at night. Our friends who visit us typically wear about 1/2 of what they bring.

On the mountain, layer. Don't wear a lot of heavily insulated clothing. The sun at high altitude is very strong, and it’s dry so don't forget the sunscreen! Our cold is not like East coast or Chicago cold. It doesn't take a lot to keep warm if you are skiing on a 10* sunny day with mild winds. When skiing, avoid cotton, wear wicking layers, and by all means, buy THIN ski or snowboard socks (Steamboat's own Smartwool and Point6 socks are amazing) . Only wear one pair! It’s much warmer to wear a thin, top and bottom base layer, a mid-layer or fleece top and bottoms and then possibly a heavy layer under a shell for cold days if your jacket has no insulation (none of my jackets or pants are insulated). You can buy Smartwool, Point6 and Big Agnes socks, hats, and clothing in town.

You don't really need waterproof jacket or pants, the rating of 10k-10K is adequate. I wouldn't buy anything less than that. What's more important is breathability and wind-proof-ness.

Gloves This is one place to buy good quality. Waterproofness will help but they have to be able to breathe. If your gloves can't breathe, they will get sweaty and your hands will get cold very quickly. I love 3-fingered "Lobster gloves" as they offer the warmth of mittens with greater dexterity. Use a good quality wax or balm like Nikwax to keep them in good condition. Never dry gloves directly on a heater. It's better to tumble dry at low heat. I always ski with a pair of glove liners as well.

Balaclava Face Mask or Buffs Bring at least one super thin balaclava and or Buff. Thick ones are useless, as they will trap sweat and freeze. I ski with two very thin balaclavas (one as a backup). When it gets cold and windy, you will want one. I ski in them all the time. When they get wet or frozen, run them under the bathroom hand dryer. I personally use Buff's as they are more versatile. I ski with 2.

Goggles and Flat Light On stormy days it is not uncommon for it to be very cloudy or have what is known as "Flat Light". Flat light is when it becomes very difficult to see undulations, bumps and drops and you may actually get vertigo in severe situations. When this happens, ski in the trees if you are able, or along the edges of runs where the trees will help you distinguish the terrain better. Proper goggles will help immensely! Try a light-colored tint lens (yellow or rose) or my favorite lens, "Smith brand, Blue Mirror Sensor" lens. Proper goggles will greatly enhance your enjoyment and safety when skiing. Whatever you do, don't wear a dark tint goggle in overcast snowy conditions.

Shoes I wear ankle high pull-on waterproof leather boots or snow clogs all winter for daily use. Perfect for slushy wet sidewalks and snowy paths. Unless you plan on hiking or snowshoeing, you don't need big boots. Don't wear sneakers as they will just get soaked and will be very cold. If you need to walk around in -20* you will appreciate a dry insulated shoe/boot. Women, will want to leave the heels at home, but fashion boots are awesome. May be a good time to go to FM Light and buy some killer cowboy boots.

HYDRATION AND NUTRITION Everyone should be using a hydration pack! You should be drinking much more water than you would at lower altitudes or more humid areas. The amount of water your body is sweating, or aspirating is incredible, and you won't even know it. Becoming dehydrated is very easy to do here and it can be quite dangerous. If you don't drink enough water, you will tire more easily and have a higher risk of injury. You can even add a little sports drink powder. A small pack is also useful to carry a few items that you may want to have with you like an extra pair of gloves, tissues, energy bars etc. Please note that both alcohol caffeine will dehydrate you. Large packs and ski lifts don't mix so don't ski with large packs that you cannot take off quickly when getting on a lift.

Nutrition
Make sure you are eating properly. You will be burning up a lot of calories so choose your foods wisely. It’s a good idea to carry some protein bars and have some smaller snacks throughout the day to feed your body rather than a large lunch. Keeping yourself fed will also help keep you warmer. Try some Honey Stinger (local brand) chews or waffles as snacks. The lodges sell a good variety of snack foods.

Cold day/low visibility tip- During storms, its not uncommon for the mountain to be engulfed by clouds. if skiing with children, take care to make sure they keep close to you. It is very easy to lose sight and get separated. It can be scary as you cannot see where you are going, try to ski along the edges of runs as the trees will aid with vision and perception. On really cold, windy days, take breaks often, drink warm beverages and make sure children's hands and feet and exposed skin are warm and protected, TIP: use the hand dryers in the bathrooms to thaw frozen gloves and face protection and to de-fog goggles! Grab an extra hot cocoa and don't over-due it. The lodges sell hand and foot warmer packs. I usually ski with a couple in my pockets in case I get really cold.

LIFT TICKET DISCOUNTS
Another common question. The discounts you will find are the multi-day packages offered by the resort. There may be discounts if you have a pass to other Alterra resorts. I would strongly recommend picking up an Alterra Ikon pass if you are planning on skiing a couple different resorts in a season.

https://www.alterramtnco.com

FIRST DAY OF ARRIVAL:
Assuming you have already purchased passes, arranged lessons and rental gear.........


DON'T SKI! Unless you already have your ski-legs and are OK with the altitude, don't try to go ski the first day. You are tired and most likely, ill-prepared. It usually takes more of a toll on you than you think, especially if you ski only a hand-full of days a season. You most likely have plenty of days ahead.

TAKE A TOUR OF THE AREA- Familiarize yourself with the base area. Ticket area, gondi line, Christy chair, lesson office and meet-up area. Restaurants, rental shops, etc. Take a walk downtown and check out some shops.

Don't be in a rush, as that usually results in bad decisions and poorly fitted- poorly tuned gear.

PREP- Lay out clothes, gear and everything you need for a day of skiing the night before.

MAKE A PLAN- Have a game plan for the next day. Where you are going to ski, meet for lunch, where to go if you get separated;

SAFETY- The Steamboat Ski Patrol number is 970-871-5911. Put it in everyone's cell phones. Make sure kids know to go to the red jacket or yellow jacket Steamboat patrol or Ambassadors for help. Make sure you put your contact info, name, address, cell phone and lodging info on paper and in your kid’s jackets. I ran across an injured kid this season and no one knew how to reach the parents who had skied ahead of the kids. Parents, it’s much easier to get separated from your kids than you think!

GO TO BED and GET UP EARLY. Get up earlier than you think you need to! You always need more time than you think; especially on the first day.

Heading to our Backcountry?

Colorado Avalanche Information Centerfor Steamboat and Flat Tops area

Steamboat Powdercats:

Located in the "Clock Tower" building at the resort, Steamboat Powdercats is a professional Backcountry Cat skiing operation. They can provide you with everything you need to enjoy a full day of powder skiing in pristine untracked backcountry just 30 minutes away. Transportation to and from the main office, beacon poles and ski's/snowboards, and even lunch are included. This is an adventure every skier and snowboarder should experience! They have 3 levels of cat skiing ranging from Novice to Expert. Book early as they fill their cats quickly. You can always call and ask about standby seats if you are flexible.

Transportation

AIR TRANSPORTATION. There are 2 ways to fly to Steamboat. Fly to Steamboat, which is really Hayden (HDN), or to Denver (DEN) and drive up. Flying into Steamboat (HDN) is usually more expensive but take into consideration that you don't need a car once you get here. If you do fly into Hayden, try to avoid tight connections and keep in mind that this is a small regional airport that is subject to delays!

You can fly directly into Hayden Airport (HDN) and rent a car or take a shuttle into town (about $25-$35 each way). It's a short 30-minute drive on well-maintained flat Route 40. Once in town you can take your resort property shuttles or the free town bus system (be careful to verify when renting lodging if you can use their shuttles). You really don't need a car in the winter and parking downtown can be a challenge once our snow piles up!

If you drive up from Denver, it’s a 3:15 hour drive over 2 passes. It’s not a difficult drive if the conditions are good, but once off Route 70 the trip is on remote 2 lane highways (6 & 40), will spotty or no cell coverage. Be careful of wildlife in the early AM or at dusk. Mule deer and antelope frequently cross the highway. If it is snowing or has recently, you need to check with COTRIP.ORGfor road conditions! Here are some live camera views on Rabbit Ears Pass

I would strongly suggest an All or 4-wheel drive vehicle and bring water, food and warm clothing with you. If the roads or passes close, you need to be prepared. I recommend you make a hotel reservation that can be canceled in Silverthorne, which is at the junction of 9 and 70. If the roads are bad, hotel rooms become expensive and get taken quickly.

DIRECTIONS FROM DENVER AIRPORT

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION

During the winter, almost every resort property has a shuttle. The town also has an excellent free bus system. You really don't need a car in Steamboat.

Airport shuttles:

GO Alpine- Services both Hayden and Denver airports.

Storm Mountain Express Services Hayden, Eagle and Denver airports.

Car Rental:

You can rent from Hayden or in town. Call or email for quotes as they can vary. Also, ask about doing 1-way rentals from Denver and 1 way returns. The price is often very good depending on need to move cars.

Here's a link to Rental Companies in Steamboat.

Lodging

Lodging can range from economy to ultra-luxury. I suggest calling a couple of the property management companies for the best fit for your needs.

On the Steamboat website, the "PLAN YOUR TRIP"page is a great resource for properties managed by the resort. Call (877) 783-2628 for a one-stop resource for lodging, airfare, rentals lift tickets and more.

Retreatia is owned and operated by Steamboat locals and can really help you choose the best accommodations for your needs. They offer a wide selection of condos and homes for small and large groups. Retreatia provides a fantastic Conciergeservice to help manage all the details of your vacation like airport shuttles, stocking your condo with food and "beverages", discounted lift tickets, rentals and more. Ship your luggage and skis to Retreatia prior to your vacation and let them ship them back home to you when you leave!

Moving Mountains offers the best luxury Vacation Homes in Steamboat and finest catered Chalets in Colorado.

HOTELS

Prices and amenities for hotels can vary widely depending on your budget and size of group. Some of the most popular are

Downtown:

◦ Rabbit Ears Hotel (classic Hotel)

◦ Nordic Lodge

◦ Bristol Hotel

Corridor(between the mountain and downtown, convenient location, just not as close to everything)

◦ Steamboat Inn

◦ Holiday Inn

◦ Quality Inn

◦ Fairfield Inn and Residence Inn

◦ La Quinta

◦ Hampton Inn

On Mountain

◦ Sheraton

◦ The Inn at Steamboat

◦ Steamboat Grand

◦ Ptarmigan Inn

DINING AND LIBATIONS

Steamboat has added quite a few new restaurants, especially downtown on Yampa Street. We have stepped up our culinary offerings and now offer some fantastic restaurants that range from hot dogs made from elk, "muy authentica" Mexican, great sushi and noodle bowls and Mediterranean to fine dining that will satisfy the most discerning "foodie" and wine aficionado. Keep in mind that during peak season restaurants book well in advance. During the holidays I strongly suggest booking as far in advance as you can. There are some great restaurants "on the mountain" but if you go downtown, you are much better off taking a shuttle. Remember, lots of people and tons of snow equals limited parking. The cool thing about our downtown is it’s a real town so there are great shops to wander in and out of before or after dinner so plan on some extra time to walk off that dinner or get rid of that lactic acid build-up from a long day in the powder.

Here are my favorites- I will be adding and updating. There are a couple new places I need to review.

FINE DINING

LOW COUNTRY KITCHEN Located on Oak and 9th (207 9th) Street, is Steamboat’s only southern food restaurant. Owned by Brian and Katie, the Vaughn's drew from their southern roots and many years preparing classic southern dishes to create this comfort food paradise. Since my mother is from the deep south, I can attest to the authenticity and down-home goodness of their food. Try the Shrimp and grits, 24-hour Buttermilk Fried Chicken and don't forget the fried green tomatoes, fried oysters and by all means, do not forget the biscuits! (we like to douse them in the local honey). Low also has a kid’s menu so bring the whole family and sit a spell.... Moderate

E3 Chop House I have only been to the Après, happy hour but by all means head down for the Burger or French Dip. Lacking good selection of craft beers but the burger is huge and really tasty. Expensive.

CAFE DIVA On the mountain by the Torian Plum. Diva in another excellent restaurant that should be on your list. Diva takes top honors every year. They are famous for their elk tenderloin as an entree and the "Peanut Butter & Bacon Sandwiches". Excellent wine list, outstanding service. Another foodie "must". Not for kids. Expensive

MAMBO Located on Main Street (40, Lincoln) between 5th & 6th Mambo is one of our favorite restaurants. Mambo features classic dishes to regional favorites and pizza too. Owner Hannah was a contestant on The Food Network "Chopped" and Owner Joe once an Iron Chef Competition. Bring the kids, get a nice bottle of Chianti and relax! Try the gnocchi and other house made pasta. Mambo is very casual but the food is excellent. Moderate

BESAME located between 7th & 8th on Main. You don't have to go far for the tastes of Cuba, Argentina, Portugal and Spain-just head to downtown Steamboat and Bésame. Featuring an inspired collection of regional Latin flavors, every meal at Bésame is a rich and romantic experience with the fun and liveliness of an old world familia dinner. You can also experience The Hot Zone-this unique section of the menu is where you'll taste handcrafted fusion dishes from South America. Try the Curried Goat or Candied Pork, two of my favorites. Great sections of wine by the glass and its very reasonable. Same owners as Mambo so you know it’s good. Moderate

AURUM also on Yampa by 9th. Aurum offers upscale dining and has a great wine list. They have a very chic, cool bar too. Aurum has already received praise for their creations appearing in "Ski Magazine" and "Zagat". Expensive

The Laundry This Gastro-pub located on 11th in an old Laundry drips with atmosphere. Exposed beams and old brick sets the stage for our favorite bar. If you like creative mixed drinks and bartenders with personality and mad-skills, this is your place. Laundry also features creative and flavorful small plates (entrees too) so head down and order up a few different tastes and food experiences for the table. Like bourbon? Get the "Kentucky Falls", you will thank me . My wife's favorite is the Fiery margarita or the Rosemary Lemon Drop. Make sure to order the brisket and Vietnamese Pork cheeks Yummmm! Moderate to expensive

YAMA- Japanese fair located at the corner of Yampa and 10th. "At Yama we’ve endeavored to create an unprecedented and unique dining experience unlike any other in Steamboat Springs. We have sourced the best ingredients we can from many purveyors all over the world. Our fish and shellfish are flown in almost daily from Hawaii, Japan, Maine, and Alaska. Our beef is one of a kind grown right over Buffalo pass in Walden, CO. Our vegetables are cultivated in the beautiful Steamboat Springs valley by farmers who share our philosophy of sustainability and quality. By applying cutting edge cooking techniques, artfully blended with classic cooking methods including the use of traditional Japanese live coals, we’ve strived to create a menu and atmosphere that embodies the simple yet exquisite flavor profiles of traditional Japanese cuisine, while employing a modern approach to our food. We hope you enjoy! My favorite is the Ramen bowls, get double egg. Try the Crispy Rice appetizer. Great Après menu. Excellent wines and Sakes. Moderate to expensive


CASUAL FOOD

CARL'S TAVERN Named after Carl Howelson who brought ski jumping to the USA and namesake for Howelson Hill, Carl's (locals call it Carl's) is another family friendly pub. Located on the corner of Yampa and 7th, Carl's is a great spot to watch sports and to grab a beer and burger or a really good steak. Carl's is a local’s favorite (second to Sun Pies) that has a great selection of food. They are known for the "home style, feel good cooking with favorites like meatloaf, house rotisserie chicken and great burgers too”. Their chicken wings are great!

TACO CABO If you are looking for killer Mexican food, the trip west of town about a 1/2 mile past 13th street, is well worth the effort. Taco Cabo is amazing. A local's favorite, Taco Cabo is on the left-hand side of Rt 40 in an old gas station. It’s decorated like an ocean-side hut that offers some of the very best tacos and burritos. Get the Pork Verde Chile or the Carne Asada.... Don't forget to slather on some of Taco Cabo' house made salsa's! Me Mucho Gusto!

FIESTA JALISCO & VAQUEROS DOWNTOWN The best full menu Mexican in Steamboat. (Taco Cabo gets the nod overall) Vaqueros is owned by Fiesta and is located on Lincoln but is the same restaurant. Fiesta is located "on the mountain" and is family owned. It is excellent and authentic with a good assortment of dinners including a large kid’s menu. My all-time two favorites are the Carne Asada and the Pork Carnitas but there are many other great dishes to choose from. Get the house made corn tortillas. They also feature a huge selection of Tequila's. Do you like Margarita's? They have the best in town. Get the house one, it comes in a shaker with a small glass. Rocks, salt per favor...... Go early and make a reservation. It gets packed.

Mountain Tap Brewery on Yampa and 9th. Mountain Tap is really light bites and house crafted beers. It has some of the best pizza in town. As an east-coast transplant, I judge a pizza by the crust, Mountain Tap nails it! You can also get a couple different mains and very creative appetizers. The owner has a long history as a brew-master and the couple of beers I have tasted have been very good. More to come as I work my way through the menu,

OTTO PINT On Yampa and 5th (next to Carl’s) features delicious pizzas and an assortment of lite bites, salads, sandwiches and a very interesting mix of entree's (see the menu). They always have a great selection of beers on tap. For a relaxed atmosphere with great service and really good food, check them out!

MARCIA & JOES KITCHEN. located on 912 Lincoln Ave in the same location as Caio Gelato an right next to Steamboat Smokehouse, Marcia and Joes offers authentic Jamaican cuisine that is incredible! Jerked chicken, shrimp and fish taco's and mu favorite Ox tail and Curried goat. Open for Breakfast through dinner.

BREAKFAST/LUNCH

CREEKSIDE CAFEThe best spot IMHO for breakfast in town and consistently wins the "Best of the Boat". Open for breakfast and lunch only and located on 13th and Oak along the Butcher Knife Creek, Creekside does it right. Everything is fresh and often local, like Yampa Valley Beef and Pork which is all natural and grass fed. At breakfast ask if they have the "local bacon" which is a thick cut, smoked bacon. Creekside is famous for their selection of Eggs Benedict and offers many different types. They also have killer Bloody Mary's. One of my breakfast favorites is "Have It Your Way" which allows you to pick from a bunch of sides with 2 eggs, bacon or ham or sausage (all local), grits with Green Chili's and cheddar cheese, along with an oatmeal cinnamon pancake with honey. Lunch includes fantastic burgers (grass fed and local), innovative salads, sandwiches and daily specials. If they have their Chili, get it! My favorite lunch is their "Creek Steak" cheese steak which is different than a traditional cheese steak with seared shredded beef and it’s delicious. GO EARLY! If you get there later than 7:30, you will wait...... If you go in summer you can sit outside next to the creek.

FRESHIES Is located about mid-way between downtown and the mountain. Freshies is another locally owned restaurant that serves up great food. Again, you will find fresh ingredients cooked perfectly. Freshies offers a wide variety of breakfast and lunch choices. Like Pancakes? Here's your place! Like Tex-Mex breakfast? They got ya' covered. They also have a large menu of creative and delicious omelets. Lunch? A large selection of themed salads, all are large and well done. They also have great selection of sandwiches. Don't forget the burgers too. Like Creekside, get there early too

JOHNNY B GOOD's Located on Lincoln this 50's style dinner features a walk- up "adult beverage milkshake" window. Johnny's is a local favorite as well and is more in line with your classic NY/NJ diner experience. The food is good and plentiful. Great sandwiches too. Decorated with memorabilia. Fun place.

WINONNA'S Probably one of the most famous eateries in Steamboat. If you want huge cinnamon rolls and other bakery goodies, this is your place. They also serve breakfast and lunch and have a selection of eggs benedict. Located on Lincoln between 6th & 7th. It also gets packed early and stays packed through lunch.

MARCIA & JOES KITCHEN. located on 912 Lincoln Ave in the same location as Caio Gelato an right next to Steamboat Smokehouse, Marcia and Joes offers authentic Jamaican cuisine that is incredible! Jerked chicken, shrimp and fish taco's and mu favorite Ox tail and Curried goat. Open for Breakfast through dinner.

ROOTZ/SEEDZ are healthy food restaurants serving up some very delicious food that is also good for you. Voted the Top vegetarian restaurant but Rootz and their sister restaurant Seedz, also serve organic meats and fish. They offer, Smoothies, Salads, Grain bowls and paninis. Try the "Diospyros" juice blend, its guaranteed to let you ski longer. Seedz, is located on Main between 11th& 12th. The food is really good here and a great option for folks with dietary restrictions.

ON MOUNTAIN FOOD:

THE PARAMOUNT located at the base in the Torian Plum Plaza (to the far left up the stairs) serves up my favorite on-mountain food and my second favorite place for breakfast overall. Lunch is great too with many over-sized sandwiches, which are all fantastic. The Cuban is one of my favorites but honestly, everything they make is great. Try the breakfast sandwiches and the excellent Smoked Salmon over Greens with goat cheese topped with 2 fried eggs and sourdough toast. Drop in prior to your first chair up and get the day off to a great start. Finish up the day with a tasty bite and cold beer or cocktail.

T-BarThe T-Bar is a great story. Pretty much started out as a trailer just up from Slopeside just off Right-O-Way runout. It was started by some very talented guys who wanted to get out from the typical restaurant scene and offer some downright amazing delicious food in what some might call a "dive bar". I say this with the greatest respect to those establishments. T-bar was once just locals until the word got out on just how good this place is. It's still true to its roots with no frills interior, walls lined with local’s beer mugs and Reggae playing but they serve up very tasty and innovative food and a decent selection of beers on tap.


Pizza and Gelato

Head over to Ciao Gelato and indulge in a double scoop and don't forget a square of authentic Roma style pizza. Ciao features other light meal options too but just don't forget the gelato. Try the Chocolate Chili and the salted Caramel.

“Brick”located in the Wildhorse complex is owned by the same folks who own Paramount. The owners, from Boston wanted to replicate true wood fired pizza and went as far as analyzing the water from Boston and replicating it for their pizza. The result is a true east coast pizza experience that you need to taste to appreciate. Lots of other great food on the menu. Love this place.

Mambo- starting to get the picture? Yeah, Mambo is really good

Italian- See Mambo above. The only Italian restaurant I recommend,

PUBS AND APRES SKIING

There are just too many bars to possibly cover here so here are a few of my personal favorites. I am 50 so my bar hopping days are long gone.

The BARley is a Colorado Craft beer pub with 30 taps featuring some of Colorado's finest brews (and a couple of gems outside of our state). This has fast become a favorite watering hole. Located on 7th and Main (Lincoln/Rt 40) in the "Mall" downstairs next to Noodles and More. This pub is a gem and anyone who is into finely crafted beers needs to go there at least once during their visit! Not sure what you want or want them all? They sell flights of beers in addition to regular pours. They also offer some creative "Jam" cocktails and good wines by the glass. Hungry? You can order off their pub menu which has a few nicely done lite bites. Try the pretzels and cheese or the sliders. You can also order food from Noodles and More or the Greek restaurant and eat in. The Barley also has many large screen TV's to watch your favorite sporting events.

BUTCHERKNIFE BREWERY Butcherknife has a fantastic tasting room offering the best views of just about any brewery you will ever go to. The tasting room offers tastings as well as full pours (not for free!) and even Growlers. The friendly staff will be happy to tell you about how they make their beers and the story of the brewery. It’s located about a mile past 13th street heading west. Go right onto Elk River Road and they are located about a 1/2 mile on the left. Get a flight of their different beers, which change depending on season and what the Brew Masters’ are inspired by. Don't forget to pick up a hoodie, T-shirt or hat; you won't find a cooler Souvenir! Can't make the trip? Look for their beers in many of the local restaurants.

STORM PEAK BREWERY Another brew pub on the way to Butcherknife. Located at the intersection of Rt40 and Elk River Rd, Storm Peak is named after the original name of Mount Werner (ski resort). They have a much larger facility and is located next to Moe’s BBQ and a wood-fire pizza shop (haven't tried yet). However, you are going for the beer! Storm Peak has an excellent assortment of beers that are worth taking the extra 5-minute drive out of town for. Like Butcherknife, grab a flight, and check out some of their very cool logo'd wears. Best overall if you want to session and have some tasty food.

CARL'S TAVERN- See above, Carl’s offers a good selection of beers, wines and drinks. Good place to watch a game or catch live music.

SUNPIES BISTRO Sunpies is a true locals bar. The New Orleans themed bar is unpretentious, fun and has some really good food! Located on Yampa.

MAHOGANY RIDGE is not just a bar, it’s also a good place for dinner but is mostly known for Après Ski. Mahogany has a wide assortment of great appetizers, sandwiches, pub style foods and their unique "Dipping Entrees". Mahogany gets packed every day so get there early unless there's still powder on the mountain.... Mahogany is also a brewpub, but I would go to the other Brew Pubs listed if you are looking for more of a craft brew experience.

SLOPESIDE GRILL on the mountain. Slopeside is a classic. Located on the mountain in the Torian Plum area, Slopeside offers great wood oven pizzas and fun appetizers. It tends to get extremely crowded and inside is equally loud.

T-Bar, see above as well. T-Bar offers some of the best on mountain food and drink. Go, enjoy although it can be very crowded and loud.

The Paramount- see above, good food, great coffee also serving beer and wine.

COFFEE

BIG IRON COFFEE Coffee is sacred to me. Big Iron Coffee is hands down the best coffee shop and roaster in town. Big Iron is located at 625 Lincoln, in the "Mall" which is down stairs at 7th next to BARley, two of my favorite Steamboat places. Bowen and Nina, the owners and roasters are passionate about their coffee. Head on in and tell him "Ron" sent you. He always has a few different roasts and pulls a great shot. Excellent hot cocoa there too! I pretty much drink his coffee every day. If you are staying in a condo and need coffee, do yourself a favor and stock up with some REAL Steamboat coffee. Big Iron also has some really cool hats and Tee's.

EVENTS

There is always something going on at The Boat! Here are the "Best Of" Steamboat Festivals and Events

Steamboat Resort Activitiesfor Winter and Summer time

Steamboat Chamber of CommerceCalendar of events

TREAD OF PIONEERSlocated on 8th and Oak (one block to the north of Lincoln) is a museum featuring the history of Steamboat. It’s a "must do" and please don't miss this gem. Packed with exhibits about the history of the town and area, our Olympic athletes and much more!

YAMPATIKAis a non-profit organization that offers winter and summer guided tours of the area. This organization offers phenomenal snowshoe, cross-country tours and hikes to local points of interest on Emerald, Buff pass and Rabbit Ears pass. They also do a Steamboat Hot Springs tour exploring the 6 hot springs located within the town. This tour is a gem! You can even do private tours. They offer programs for children as well. This is another fantastic program that should be considered.

ACTIVITIES

Steamboat offers a wide array of fun and interesting things to do. Even if you don't ski, there is a ton of stuff to do.

If you need specifics feel free to PM me but here's a quick list of cool stuff to do!

- Cross country and Skate skiing- you can actually ski and skate on the same trails as the Olympians at Howelson! There are many locations for these activities including on Buffalo Pass and Rabbit Ears pass.

- Fat bike riding - There are many locations in town that now ofer ridge on groomed trails or venture out on ungroomed trails. There are many shops in town that rent fat bikes and you can ride your bike from the shops to the trails. I love fat bike riding and if you are a mountain biker, you really need to try this out!

- Snowshoeing

- Horseback riding

- Winter fly fishing; Steamboat has incredible fly fishing and you can fish almost year around

- Dog sled tours

- Snowmobile Tours

- Art Studios

- Downtown shopping

- Cooking classes

- Hiking on Emerald

- Walking the "core trail" a 7 mile (one way) paved path along the Yampa spanning the length of the town

- Day spa's

- Yoga studios

- Tubing

- Old Town Hot Springs- featuring several pools, flumes and a modern work out facility. This is located downtown and is a great place to take the family.

-Strawberry Park Hot Springs This iconic hot spring offers several all-natural pools of varying temperatures. It is set in the forest and is very popular. You have to drive or take their shuttle. If you drive, a 4wd vehicle is strongly advised especially at night. Be advised, after sunset, only 18 and older admitted, clothing is optional.

BRIDGESTONE WINTER DRIVING SCHOOL Want to learn or master your winter driving skills? The winter driving school is a fun way to learn how to drive on winter roads. From novice to seasoned drivers, the professionals at the school will safely teach you the skills you need to handle snowy icy roads.

HOWELSON - Downtown Steamboat.

◦ -Ice Skating at Howelson Rink

- Bumper Cars on ice at Howelson Rinkclick on this link to see a YouTube video. This is a blast!

- Bowling at SnowBowlSnowbowl is a local’s favorite with disco light bowling and a lot of fun twists on bowling.

MASSAGE THERAPY

HEARTFIRE MASSAGE is consistently voted (Best of the Boat Awards) as the best location for a therapeutic massage. Erica Olson and her staff will melt away tired, knotted, strained muscles to keep you going on the mountain! Heartfire is conveniently located on the corridor near the mountain. Erica will evaluate your specific needs and blend different style of massage therapy to get the best results. She can vary the intensity and pressure level to your preference. She is more like a Physical Therapist, but she can also do "relaxing" massages too. I have been a client of theirs for several years. I know there are other therapist that are excellent but I can only speak to her skills.

REALTORS

So now you have visited our little slice of paradise and you want in on the game? I used Jon Wade who owns The Steamboat Group when I bought my condo and then home. Jon has been a recipient of the "Best of the Boat" awards for the past 5 years. Jon's philosophy is that "Our clients are smart so his job is to help people be smart about Steamboat and their real estate here. We focus on Steamboat and give back to match their passion to keep Steamboat special. We feel lucky every day to live in Steamboat so we give our time and money to local causes that help Steamboat stay a special place".
Hope to make it out there someday. Sounds like heaven.
 
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ksampson3

Giving 80% effort 100% of the time
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Ice Coast
Ron,
I'm thinking about taking the wife and kids to Steamboat next Christmas. You say "The resort is spread out over six peaks in the Park Mountain Range and with short lift lines." How short? I'll ask the dreaded question: Now that Steamboat is on the Ikon Pass, how much more crowded is it at Christmas? We wouldn't be skiing any of the beginner terrain and probably staying off of the groomers. Bumps and trees, more bumps and trees are what the wife and kids like.
Also (and I know that this completely varies from year to year as evidenced by the difference between this season and last season), how much terrain is typically open at Christmas, i.e. is there enough coverage in the trees to ski them.

Thanks much
 
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Ron

Ron

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Steamboat Springs, Co
Ahh, I dusted off my crystal ball and magic 8 ball. :D So, all resorts are crowded at Xmas. But, here’s the deal, unless you buy a full ikon pass, you are blacked out on holidays so in someways, it’s helped mitigate some of The madness. The terrain open will depend on snow as you mentioned. I won’t go into trees until there’s 60” or more. Others are more willing to risk spiral fractures and rib injuries or death. Your comfort level May vary. If you can wrangle the troops and be at the Gondi by 8 or buy first track passes, you can get a jump on the masses which typically don’t show up until 10. Once you get up, and stay high, it’s not horrible. All bets are off on powder AMs though. Buy a first tracks pass. Historically the 3rd week in December +/- has been really good. I would say getting here before Xmas is preferable but I understand the whole school issue.
 

DaveD

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Feb 4, 2020
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Doylestown PA
Thank you for the very comprehensive and helpful article. ((((Dare I suggest an addition))))...

The FREE mountain tours are a great way to learn the mountain. Many different kinds available...

 
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