STEAMBOAT RESORT GUIDE

Steamboat
Itineraries

Steamboat Resort Overview

July 2021

Champagne powder and glades are a perfect combination and a signature feature here. Steamboat, also known as "Ski Town USA" is located in the Northwestern corner of Colorado slightly off the beaten path (I-70 corridor) but well worth the trip. One of the larger Colorado resorts, Steamboat spans six peaks, has169 named trails and plenty of accessible backcountry terrain. Incredible fall lines enable skiing or riding almost anywhere, so long as you are willing to navigate the trees (which cover about two-thirds of the area). Though large, it is easy to loop between peaks by way of the backside (Morningside Park). The  peaks and trail are cleverly named, providing an indication of difficulty and a clue into the best time of day to ski relative to the sun. 


Steamboat is part of the Ikon Pass and is only 30 minutes from the Hayden airport, which has direct service from 15 major cities. Kids 12 years and under ski free with the purchase of a 5-day or more adult lift pass. The resort has an outstanding ski school program, a dedicated Kids Vacation Center for the younger ones, a range of accommodations easily accessible to the mountain and the feel of an authentic Western town. The area also has natural hot springs, perfect for keeping your legs spry and ready for more powder.

Snow Reliability

Snow-Making & Grooming

Travel Convenience

Terrain Variety

Extreme / Off-Piste Terrain

Ski School

Accommodations

On Mountain Dining

Quick Take

Let's Go

  • Champagne powder and the best tree skiing in Colorado - what else do you need?

  • More reasonably priced accommodations than other mountains of comparable size (Vail and Aspen)

  • Family friendly with a dedicated Kids Vacation Center (KVC) for children 6 months - 6 years

  • Lower elevation (base at 6,900 ft) can be easier to acclimatize

  • Natural hot springs in the area are a nice respite for the legs after working through the powder

Hesitations

  • If you are looking for long, super steep terrain, it is more limited, the steepest areas are short

  • If you don't like tree skiing, think twice, Steamboat is below the treeline and nearly two-thirds of the mountain is gladed

  • Harder to reach, direct flights are pricier and limited to 15 cities to / from Hayden; driving from Denver is ~4 hours and can be limited by weather

  • Lower elevation requires constant snowfall to keep terrain in good shape and season can be shorter than other Colorado resorts

Insider Tips

  • When visibility is low, try to stay in the trees, there are plenty of gladed areas and visibility can be much better

  • Steamboat has a unique climate. Sunny days often have inversions. Don't be deterred by very cold temperatures at the base, on bluebird days warmer air rises as cold air sinks and temperatures at Thunderhead, mid-mountain are higher than those at the base

  • There is significant lodging at the base, though amenities in the pedestrian village are limited and you will likely want to venture into the town of Steamboat Springs (~10 minutes away by car)

  • Steamboat's 3-year, $135 million Master Plan to enlarge the base area, build the fastest gondola in North America and open 600+ acres of new skiable terrain is underway 

Trail Map

For an in-depth breakdown of Steamboat's terrain, head to our Mountain Guide. Top trails and mountain stats included. 

Steamboat

Getting To & Around

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Though not essential, we prefer to have a car here. The town is 3 miles from the mountain base. Mountain base offers close parking for $15/day or free parking slightly further away. Having a car is convenient for going to/from downtown, grocery shopping and visiting the hot springs.

Getting To

Closest Major City: Denver, CO

  • Distance: ~180 miles South East

  • Travel Time: ~ 3.5 - 5 hours (varies based on traffic and road /weather conditions)


30 miles from Hayden, CO, ~30 minute drive


3.5 miles from Steamboat Springs, CO, ~10 minute drive

Neighboring Resorts

Steamboat stands alone in Northwest, CO; the closest resorts on the I-70 corridor are ~2 hours away. For a longer trip, consider combining a visit to Steamboat with Winter Park, Copper or Vail


Closet Neighbors on the Ikon Pass​


Other Colorado Resorts within ~2 Hours

  • Beaver Creek (83 miles, ~1 hr 45 mins)

  • Vail (90 miles, ~1 hr 50 mins)​

  • Breckenridge (101 miles, 2 hrs 10 mins)

Travel by Plane

Closest major commercial airport: DEN - (Denver International Airport)

- ~180 miles South East, ~4 hrs


Closest regional airport: HDN (Yampa Valley Regional Airport)

  • ~24 miles West, ~30 minutes

  • Direct service to 15 major U.S. cities


Private planes can also come into / out of Yampa Valley

Travel By Bus
  • The City of Steamboat Springs runs Steamboat Springs Transit (SST), a system of free buses between the ski area, downtown, most hotels and condos, grocery and entertainment locations. Buses run every 20 minutes from 7AM - 1:45AM

  • Airport shuttle services is available to / from DEN and HDN
    Go Alpine locally owned

  • Storm Mountain Express is convenient for groups

Travel by Car
  • We prefer to have a car here, Steamboat Springs is 3 miles (~10 mins drive) from the mountain base
    Pros: Convenience, rental car area easily accessed from HDN airport; amenities at base are limited
    Cons: Premium parking costs $15/day; free lots at base are a little further away

  • Ride shares (Uber and Lyft) operate in Steamboat but service is limited so we would not rely on them

Steamboat
Itineraries