Steamboat

Closed
Steamboat
Kylie Dingman
SnowPak Local Insider
Kylie Dingman

Pros

  • Unbeatable glade skiing
  • Known for their trademarked 'champagne' powder
  • No crowds!
  • Great ski school

Cons

  • Low elevation results in poor snow quality on lower half of the mountain
  • Expensive lodging
  • Limited dining and shopping options
  • Far from Denver compared to other Colorado resorts (3.5-4 hours drive)

Overall

4.3

Serving up some of the best glade skiing in Colorado combined with its trademarked Champagne powder, Steamboat is undeniably one of the best in the state. There are incredible tree runs to suit everyone from intermediates to experts and hike-to-terrain packed with freshies. Unlike the big corporate ski resorts in Colorado, Steamboat maintains a local atmosphere in its Cowboy ski town as it's further to get to from Denver than most other resorts in the state and sees less day-trippers. To top it all off, the geothermal hot springs in town make for the perfect après ski activity after a long day on the slopes!

17/18 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

January and February

January and February is the best time to visit because they are snowiest months to experience amazing Champagne powder!
Airplane

FLY TO

Denver International Airport

Car

DRIVE/SHUTTLE TO

Steamboat Springs (3.5-4 hours)

Base of Steamboat (Walk)

  • Ski-in/ski-out accommodation available
  • Expensive lodging
  • Less restaurants and shops than in town

Find accommodations around here

Steamboat Springs (5-8 km)

  • Wide range of affordable and luxury lodging
  • Free shuttle bus services around town and to ski resort
  • Has various restaurants and stores

Find accommodations around here

For beginners

Steamboat is great for beginners with tons of connecting green runs from the top of Christie Peak Express! For beginners with more skills, check out at the top of Sunshine Peak Express for some steeper green runs! Around Rough Rider Basin, there's a poma lift for the little ones to lap all day while skiing through small buildings, little bumps and short trees, fantastic for practicing turns.

For intermediates

Intermediates can find suitable trails across the whole resort! Buddy's run is a popular and fun first track run with great snow! Intermediates can also get a taste of Steamboat's amazing glade skiing in "Wally's World" the area off the Sunshine Express lift. The area isn't too steep and there is plenty of room for intermediates to weave comfortably between the trees.

For experts

For a ton of fun with groomers, bumps and glades, our pick for experts is to take on the black runs off the Four Points lift and Storm Peak! Closets and Shadows are the most popular glades (and for good reason) but for fresh champagne pow, experts can find it at the Christmas Tree Bowl, No Name and other hike-to glades on Mt Werner.

Find freshies

The large skiable terrain at Steamboat means freshies are less likely to get tracked out quickly. Most of the time, the mountain will get a "second dump" from the powdered trees which is even better since there are fewer crowds than a powder day to track it all out! If you're willing to hike 10-20 minutes, you can also find pockets of fresh snow at the Christmas Tree Bowl to plough through.

Ditch the crowds

The Gondola lines can get quite long in the morning so as an alternative, take the Christie Peak Express and ski to the Thunderhead Express which will take you to the same place! Though be warned, Christie Peak Express can also get a bit busy in the morning. When the Storm Peak Express gets packed, hop on the Pony Express instead and explore quieter yet fun terrain off this lift!

Non skiers

Besides the hot springs Steamboat is known for, there's not a whole lot on offer for non-skiers. Snowmobiling and riding the Mountain Coaster (the longest coaster in North America!) are some things non-skiers could do but with limited shopping and activities in this small Cowboy ski town, non-skiers might be left disappointed here.

Families

For some fun family-friendly skiing, Steamboat has it all. Christie Peak and Thunderhead Express are the most family-friendly areas for beginners while intermediates will enjoy the numerous blue runs off Sunshine Peak and in Wally's World. This area is especially ideal for more advanced parents who can also have fun while taking their kids through the glades!

Steamboat vs
SteamboatArapahoe Basin
beginner14 %10 %
intermediate42 %30 %
advanced44 %37 %
expert-23 %
total runs165 109
ski area1,200ha 388ha
summit elevation3,221m 3,978m
total lifts18 8
child lift ticket$10 USD ($13 AUD) Free
adult lift ticket$165 USD ($219 AUD) $100 USD ($133 AUD)
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall566cm 455cm

Steamboat Reviews

Superb

4.5 / 5

based on 68 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Good!

3.9 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
TMTravis M.
intermediate snowboarder
Steamboat is definitely a fun resort to play at. The runs take you past a halfpipe and down right into the village area. Suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and skill levels, the only complaint i have is how long the line for the main lift can be down at the bottom. It is a very family friendly resort town.... More
Very Good!

4.2 / 5

Nov 24, 2017
DCDale C.
advanced skier
Steamboat is a special place. It is more about the experience than just the mountain. It is an old West feel with amazing snow and a great town. You can get a laid back on mountain experience or a true Colorado mountain town experience. More Authentic than Vail, more real world than Aspen. Far enough from Denver so not as crowded with day skiers.... More
Superb!

4.9 / 5

Nov 23, 2017
DTDean T.
expert skier
Me and my spouse went to steamboat during the December festivities and it was absolutely fantastic. Skiing that champagne powder snow which they are known for was absolutely world class. On another note I would sum it up as a drinking town with a ski problem!!!... More
Fabulous!

4.3 / 5

Nov 23, 2017
HGHelen G.
advanced skier
Steamboat is not a hardcore charging mountain but it has a great variety of terrain with steep tree runs just a short hike up. Super friendly town with plenty of options for top notch dining and accomodations.... More
Fabulous!

4.5 / 5

Nov 22, 2017
CConnor
expert skier
Steamboat is a mecca for skiing, the most winter olympians come from here for a reason, the skiing is great and the whole town lives and breathes the culture. Steamboat is that place that always seems to get just a couple more inches than everybody else from any given storm and it is the official home of champagne powder, as light and fluffy as... More
Superb!

4.9 / 5

Nov 21, 2017
ELEdward L.
expert snowboarder
I love Steamboat. Its a huge mountain with somwthing for everyone. I sent a friend off on a ski lesson and ahe was able to meet up with us for a few runs at the end of the day. The mountain cam be crowded but its big enough for you to find space. ... More
Superb!

4.6 / 5

Nov 17, 2017
KDKyle D.
intermediate snowboarder
Was a really great mountain to visit. Had many great runs of all terrains. The best part is americas number one hot spring nearby. Strawberry park was amazing! Will be back here soon. ... More
Superb!

4.8 / 5

Nov 17, 2017
GGreg
advanced snowboarder
this is one of my favorite trips to date, the back side of the mountain with fresh powder. the main gondola was never overly crowded. shuttle services were on point.... More
Fabulous!

4.3 / 5

Nov 12, 2017
ZOZach O.
beginner snowboarder
Steamboat provided slopes of plenty of different difficulties allowing myself to work my way to more and more difficult of slopes. I will definitely be coming back here in the future.... More
Average!

2.8 / 5

Nov 11, 2017
AOAndrew O.
advanced skier
I've been around the block here in Steamboat. Started off working for the resort but quickly learned it isn't worth it. Employee housing is now 3 people sharing a small room. An outdated gondola from the 70s isn't worth the price of the ride. And even though Steamboat's located all the way up here in the middle of nowhere we still receive massive... More
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