Huffpost Travel

Steamboat Ski & Resort: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide

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A chairlift carts skiers up one of Steamboat's peaks amidst snowfall.
A chairlift carts skiers up one of Steamboat's peaks amidst snowfall.

Steamboat Ski & Resort in Colorado is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Steamboat Ski & Resort, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.

The Basics

At Steamboat Ski & Resort, a world-class ski village intertwines successfully with a historic Western town nestled in the Rocky Mountains, 157 miles northwest of Denver International Airport. It's only a three-hour drive from Denver to champagne-powder snow on the resort's six mountains. For an alternative to Denver's busy airport, some travelers opt for the much-smaller Yampa Valley Regional Airport, which is 22 miles west of Steamboat and offers shuttle and taxi service to the resort. Steamboat Ski & Resort is about two miles southeast of the town of Steamboat Springs.

The Mountain

Steamboat Ski & Resort typically opens in late November, and the season stretches until mid-April. The resort's six peaks are Mount Werner, Christie, Storm, Sunshine, Pioneer Ridge and Thunderhead. The longest vertical drop measures 3,668 feet, one of the highest in Colorado, and the highest summit is 10,568 feet. The longest run goes on for more than three miles. Steamboat boasts some famous tree runs on Sunshine Peak, along with bump runs, cruisers and a total of 165 named trails with 2,965 acres of skiable terrain. Expert skiers flock to Mount Werner and its double black-diamond runs, mogul trails, chutes and powder bowls.

Trails And Lifts

Steamboat Ski & Resort classifies its 165 trails as 14 percent beginner, 42 percent intermediate and 44 percent advanced. The lift system consists of an eight-passenger gondola; a high-speed, six-chair lift; five high-speed quads; one conventional quad chairlift; six triple chairlifts and two doubles. The annual snowfall tops out at 349 inches, and the resort's snowmaking machines can blanket about 375 acres. Mavericks Superpipe for freestylers is 450 feet long and 56 feet wide, with 18-foot walls and a 22-foot transition. Steamboat's terrain park features an outdoor sound system, sliders, rainbows, mailboxes, double barrels and a Mini-Max, which is a mini version of the superpipe with 8-foot walls for novice riders.

In The News

Caroline Lalive, who retired after 13 years on the Women's U.S. Ski Team (she participated with the team in three Olympic Games), works at the Billy Kidd All-Mountain Camps for kids at Steamboat Ski & Resort. Throughout the winter, she also co-hosts with fellow Olympian Deb Armstrong the Women's Ski Camps, and Lalive writes a blog for skiers about resort and town happenings. Steamboat puts its own spin on a huge variety of well-known specialty clinics for beginners and intermediate-level skiers and snowboarders. The resort also hosts a renowned racing and training program.

Cost

Purchasing from Steamboat's website ensures the best day rate for lift tickets, which start at $41 for kids, $70 for adults and $67 for seniors. Packages can also include lodging, skiing lessons and other services. Rentals for skis and boards range from $22 to $53. Equipment rental discounts are available for longer-term rentals. Ski rentals are available at slope-side shops, and helmets can be rented for $9.

Apres-Ski

Steamboat features more than 100 bars and restaurants on the mountain. Options range from sleigh-ride dinners to Hazie's haute cuisine and Western BBQ. In the heart of Gondola Square, Bear River Grill serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner with indoor or outdoor seating, and Gondola Joe's base-area coffee bar offers piping hot soups and chili. On-site shopping ranges from brand-specific stores to shops where guests can make their own T-shirts. Hotels like the luxurious Sheraton Steamboat and the Steamboat Grand offer day spas that offer muscle-relieving massages and other treatments that promote deep relaxation. The Alpine Lodge in downtown Steamboat Springs is steps from the Steamboat hot springs, a popular spot for soaking sore muscles after a day on the slopes.

WATCH: Steamboat Ski & Resort

A skier navigates a maze of trees at Steamboat Ski & Resort.