#18 in 2023 Best Ski Resorts in the USA
Steamboat is known for its unusually dry snow producing its legendary Champaign Powder. It is also synonymous with some of the best glade skiing in the state of Colorado.
Steamboat Ski Resort in Colorado has an average snowfall of 313 inches and boasts one of the longest winter seasons in the country. Situated against the western ridge of the Continental Divide, surrounded by national forest and wilderness areas, Steamboat Ski Resort comprises six peaks: Mount Werner, Sunshine Peak, Storm Peak, Christie Peak and Pioneer Ridge. With nearly 3,000 acres of terrain, Steamboat offers a diversity of trails for all ability levels.
It is considered a solidly intermediate to advanced resort with plenty of advanced and beginner-friendly trails. Skiing or snowboarding from the summit of Mount Werner (10,568 feet) to the base of Steamboat Resort (6,900 feet) will add 3,668 feet to your vertical feet bank.
Steamboat Ski Resort offers a variety of ski and snowboard lesson programs for kids, teens and adults including daily group lessons, private lessons, Ski Weeks lessons and first-timer lessons for 18 years and up. There are five locations in the base area that provide gear rentals and the resort offers complimentary delivery and storage. Kids Rent Free enables children ages five to 12 to rent free the same number of days as their parent when a parent purchases a five-or-more-day rental. Lift ticket categories range from ages four and under to senior (70+). Skiers and snowboarders can choose from all-day, half-day, night skiing and first tracks options and can save 15 percent when purchasing tickets seven days in advance.
The resort has more than 100 restaurants and bars, a spa and many other activity offerings, such as snowmobile tours and tubing.
The ski season at Steamboat runs from late November to mid-April. The best times to visit Steamboat Ski Resort are right after the holidays when the resort is not as busy and late February/early March when bluebird powder days are the most likely. The worst times to visit are the week between Christmas and New Years, Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and President’s Day weekend.
Daily lift ticket prices are subject to change depending on the time of year, and even the day of the week. However, you’re guaranteed to save 15 percent by purchasing your tickets online in advance. Steamboat also offers a variety of packages, and is an Ikon Pass destination.
Find a vacation rental with Vrbo.
*We are an affiliate and may earn commission when you book
There are 18 lifts and 169 named trails within Steamboat’s 2,965 acres. Forty-four percent (72) of the trails are considered advanced, 42 percent (68) are intermediate and 14 percent (23) are considered beginner. The longest run, Why Not, is over 3 miles long. The best tree runs are Shadows, Closet, Twilight and Triangle 3, while the best bump runs are Sundown Lift Line, Priest Creek Lift Line, Three O’ Clock, Storm Peak Lift Line and Nelson’s. There are also three freestyle terrain trails and three snowshoe trails. According to Maren Franciosi, the resort’s digital communications manager, these are the best Steamboat trails for each skill level:
For beginners, Why Not trail is an excellent option as you can ride the Gondola and make your way to the base area down this run that spans over 3 miles.
Tomahawk is a favorite among intermediate skiers. The run begins as Tomahawk Face, a blue that is mildly steep and transforms into a rolling green.
Closets and Shadows are by far the most famous when it comes to Steamboat’s legendary tree runs. Expert level skiers can enjoy Champagne Powder snow among the glades.
For the best ski in/ski out hotel experience, stay at One Steamboat Place . These luxury condos are spacious and are located within a short walking distance to the Gondola. Guests have access to owner amenities during their stay, such as happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. that serves free beer, wine and kombucha on-tap as well as heavy appetizers daily. Reservations can be booked through Moving Mountains .
The Steamboat Grand is located at the base of the Steamboat area and has one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums, while the Steamboat Hotel is often the most pocketbook-friendly choice and is less than 2 miles from the slopes.
After long days of skiing and hot springs soaking, finding a good place for dinner isn’t hard. Steamboat Springs has a nice array of restaurants that serve everything from cheap eats to fine dining. Salt and Lime is exceptionally good and reasonably priced. The chile relleno, fresh guacamole, and cauliflower hash with cashew salsa are popular menu items. Those who prefer fine dining will enjoy Laundry’s eclectic mix of small and large plates. Other good bets are Timber & Torch, Mazzola’s, Cafe Diva and Taco Beast.
In addition to the fantastic skiing and snowboarding, Steamboat also has a host of après-ski activities such as snowshoeing tours and sleigh ride dinners, but the real draw is the accessibility of local hot springs. The town of Steamboat Springs is known as a hot springs haven. Old Town Hot Springs is located right downtown and boasts eight natural mineral hot water pools and two waterslides. The main pool is a family-friendly environment and there’s a kiddie pool. Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs is seven miles from downtown, but the views and vibe at Strawberry Hot Springs make the tricky drive worth it.
Ski bums love the T Bar for its casual atmosphere (see: dive bar) and affordable ales. Mountain Tap Brewery, Storm Peak Brewing Company, Mahogany Ridge, and Butcherknife Brewing Company are good bets for skiers and snowboarders looking to quench their après thirst with local craft beers. For something a little more highbrow, give Yampy’s a go and have a Dirty Monkey or a Drunken Affogato. Rye Wine & Whiskey Après, located in the Torian Plum Plaza, serves a special selection of local and hard-to-find whiskey, wines and other spirits.
The Yampa Valley Regional Airport is located 30 minutes from downtown Steamboat Springs. There are nonstop flights from 15 major U.S. hubs on Alaska, American, Delta, Jet Blue, Southwest and United Airlines in addition to connecting service from more than 350 other domestic and international flights.
Steamboat is 160 miles northwest of Denver, an easy three-hour drive on I-70 west through the Eisenhower Tunnel to the Silverthorne exit (No. 205), then go north on Colorado Highway 9 to the town
Steamboat Springs is a skier’s wonderland, with the Steamboat Ski Resort stretching across seven Rocky Mountain peaks. With 18 lifts...
|Vertical Drop (ft)||440||3,340||3,450||865||3,128|
|Skiable Area (ac)||150||310||354||245||235|
|Number of Trails||16||167||195||27||128|
|READ MORE||READ MORE||READ MORE||READ MORE||READ MORE|