Steamboat is famous for offering some of the finest and most consistent ski conditions in North America. The resort – a Warren Miller favourite and one you would never tire of returning to – averages 8 metres of snowfall annually, and has trademarked Champagne Powder™ for its light, fluffy and unique snow.
Unlike other ski locations, which retain on average 15 per cent water content, Steamboat enjoys a low six per cent on average, meaning its powder snow is incredibly dry.
To put that to the test Morningside Park is hidden gem on the back side of the main ski area. It is an absolute must on a powder day. The chutes at the top of this winter playground are fun, inviting and open out to tree runs, which are not overcrowded.
Speaking of trees, Steamboat is a paradise for glade skiing, and the sugar-frosted birches are a signature shot to snap for your selfies and GoPro clips. Deep blue skies and frosty trees make for magic images sure to get you plenty of likes.
Steamboat’s longest run is Why Not, spanning five kilometres. Long, rolling groomers are another Steamboat signature specialty. The resort delivers a huge nearly 3,000 acres / 724 hectares of terrain, with 60% of it tree terrain.
Despite the reliability of the resort snow, the Steamboat Powdercats are also well worth a visit, delivering up a taste of Buffalo Pass in Colorado’s superb backcountry. Best to hit the cats – one of the oldest snowcat operations in the state – the day after fresh snow on the inbound areas has been skied out.
Tip: Steamboat is a fair bit lower than many Colorado areas, so it’s a good choice for your first destination on multi resort trips – the base village sits at 6,900′ / 2100m, the summit of Mt Werner reaching 10,568′ / 3,220m.
New for 2018-2019 is the awesome Taco Beast – a Taco food van mounted on top of a snowcat, so it can be shifted around the resort serving up great Mexican food and beer! Yum! After a hard morning charging the glades you’ll be ready for some for sure.
Steamboat Kids/Grandkids Ski Free
Steamboat has long been a family favourite, after pioneering the first Kids Ski Free program back in 1982. Steamboat’s Kids/Grandkids Ski Free program, valid the entire season, allows children ages 6 to 12 to ski free the same number of days as their parent or grandparent when a parent or grandparent purchases a 5-or-more-day adult lift ticket. This offer is on a one-to-one basis, with one free child per paid adult.
Steamboat mountain village and town
There is plenty of nightlife on the hill in the mountain village, which has nearly 20,000 resort beds.
The TBbar – a favourite of locals on the home trail – is a great place to kick off your aprés session. For that authentic, stuck to the roof American experience, be sure to order a Peanut Butter panini — a deep fried peanut butter, honey, bacon and banana sandwich! Guaranteed to get you through a day of powder skiing.
To stay the iconic Steamboat Grand is excellent value for money. If you are organised, early bird specials can deliver an upgraded room. It is a short walk to the main lifts, and comes with a deluxe valet service and locker room. The Grand’s hot tub area is expansive. While it does not face uphill, the tubs are large, almost pool-like, and no one is left waiting for space, as can be the case at some other properties.
The 112 year old silver mining town, with its western charm, is only a short shuttle ride away, delivering extensive food, drinking and shopping options.
Getting to Steamboat
Steamboat/Hayden Airport (HDN) for winter 2018-2019 will provide non-stops from 15 major airports on key U.S. carriers – Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, and United Airlines, featuring convenient connections from more than 350 other airports nationwide and worldwide.
For Aussies and Kiwis heading to Steamboat daily flights from LAX, daily from Houston, and twice daily from Dallas are the best gateway airport connections.
Hayden airport is approximately 22 miles/35 km west of Steamboat Springs off Highway 40. From the airport, take the access road about 2 miles/3.2 km out to Highway 40 and turn right. Shuttle services are available on the link here.
Driving to Steamboat: it’s 157 miles/250 km northwest of Denver, an easy 3 hour drive. Take I-70 west through the Eisenhower Tunnel to Silverthorne, Exit 205 (67 miles/107 km). Take CO 9 North to Kremmling (37 miles/59 km), then West on US 40 to Steamboat Springs (53 miles/85 km).