Steamboat Springs Ski Resort

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

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Steamboat Springs Ski Resort has the biggest vertical rise in the Colorado Rockies and over 30 feet of snow a year. Visit this northwestern Colorado resort to see what happens when the Wild West and powder snow mix.

A winter sleigh ride with Steamboat Springs Ski Resort in the background. (Colorado Tourism Office)

The huge resort is famous for their Champagne Powder® snow, which is dry, smooth and perfect for skiing. The town of Steamboat Springs has great lodging and dining options and has even been quipped “Ski Town U.S.A.”

As one of the capitals, if not THE capital of skiing in the U.S., Steamboat is a truly world-class resort.

Steamboat Resort occupies Mount Werner, Sunshine Peak, Storm Peak, Thunderhead Peak, Pioneer Ridge and Christie Peak. At its base, the resort is 6,900 feet and rises to a summit of 10,568 feet on Mount Werner. All of the areas are within 30 minutes from downtown Steamboat Springs.

Boasting more than 120 kilometers of groomed trails on almost 3,000 acres of terrain, Steamboat is a great destination for every kind of skier, from families to Olympic hopefuls. You might even see a few cowboys on their slopes…

Each year, Steamboat hosts the Cowboy Downhill race, which pits local professional rodeo stars against each other on the slopes. Just how do they keep their ten-gallon hats on while tearing down the mountain?

Another popular winter event is the Steamboat Winter Carnival. This annual festival includes ski racing and jumping, dog sledding and even chariot events that run down Lincoln Avenue, the town’s main drag.

The relatively low elevation of the Yampa Valley keeps wind and temperatures temperate at Steamboat, without sacrificing snowfall. The 30 feet (360 inches!) of powder they receive each year rivals even the big name resorts like Vail and Aspen in other parts of the Rockies.

Of the 165 trails at Steamboat 14% are rated as beginner, 42% intermediate and 44% advanced. The resort also has one of the country’s premier ski and snowboard Super Pipes, the Maverick Super Pipe. “Why Not” is their longest trail, at three miles long.

The Yampa Valley also offers fantastic cross-country skiing and ice-skating opportunities when you’re ready for a break from skiing. Or, if every kind of physical strain is not what you’re looking for, head to Steamboat’s hot springs for total relaxation.

The town itself was named after one of the geothermal hot springs in the area that used to sound like a Steamboat engine. Nowadays, there are two springs that are open to the public: Old Town Hot Springs and Strawberry Park Hot Springs.

Old Town Hot Springs has eight large pools, two waterslides and a convenient downtown location. It’s something like a geothermal water park. Strawberry Park is the more rugged, natural hot springs, seven miles out of town. Strawberry Park Hot Springs is a fantastic option for visitors who want to soak their tired muscles while stargazing and skinny dipping under the vast western sky.

The Highmark Steamboat: This luxury hotel is located at the foot of the mountain, adjacent to the Silver Bullet gondola. It is a six-story Bavarian-style tower with 23 beautifully decorated suites. Amenities include a heated outdoor pool, multiple hot tubs, state-of-the-art health and fitness club, and a pedestrian plaza with heated sidewalks. With a slogan like “A journey into luxury,” nothing else in Steamboat Springs can compare!

Door 2 Door Ski Valet: Rent online from Christy Sports and they’ll bring your gear right to your door when you get to town! This innovate company will send their expert technicians to deliver and custom fit your boots, skis and boards. Forget about waking up early to battle those long rental shop lines in your all your sweaty ski gear. Head right to the slopes and make first tracks!

Rabbit Ears Motel: This fun, family-friendly motel has been a great value in Steamboat for the past 50 years. It is family owned and operated and located in downtown Steamboat across from the famous Old Town Hot Springs. Take a free bus to the Steamboat Ski Resort or walk to great dining, shopping and the town’s ice-skating rink. In the summer, it’s close to attractions like raft trips, mountain biking, fishing, boat and ATV rentals and horseback riding. Guestrooms come in a variety of sizes- ready to fit any budget!

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