In northern Colorado’s Yampa Valley you’ll find the charming mountain town, Steamboat Springs.
A three-hour drive from Denver, Colorado, laid-back Steamboat Springs is home to the family friendly Steamboat ski resort, which boasts champagne powder and slopes to suit all abilities. In Steamboat Springs, everything centres around the mountain – extending beyond skiing to include other mountainous activities such as horse-riding and mountainside bathing at the geothermal Strawberry Hot Springs.
In the town itself, Western hospitality abounds; comfort food and craft cocktails are king here, serving as ‘fuel’ for your next outing on the mountain…
Read on for our full ski guide to Steamboat, Colorado.
Where To Sleep
The Steamboat Grand
With a prime location at the ski resort’s base area, The Steamboat Grand is a choice hotel from those looking to embrace the mountain’s robust offering – from challenging slopes to cool vintage stores. Cutting an impressive shape, on entry you’ll notice the hotel’s distinctively cosy, Rocky Mountain atmosphere. Suitable for both small and larger groups, the hotels 328 rooms range in size from Double Queens to Luxury Penthouses. Suites are expansive, comprising of comforting fires, cloud-like beds, and en-suite bathrooms, some of which come kitted out with jacuzzi tubs (your aching muscles will thank you later). Other notable facilities at the hotel include: a heated outdoor pool and health club – which offers a complete selection of cardiovascular and weightlifting machines, a sauna, and a steam room – and in-house restaurant, The Cabin, which serves up classic American eats.
Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas
If you’d rather a rental accommodation over a hotel, Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas offers a variety of options, including studios, condos, and villas. Primely located in the heart of the Steamboat Base Area (right next to the Christie Peak Express) the resort villas offer ski-in ski-out access, elevated dining options, and on-site spa (as well as an outdoor heated pool). Rental accommodations offer free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, and most villas also come with a full kitchen and washer/dryer facilities (useful when you’ve been hitting the powder hard).
Hit the slopes
Steamboat ski resort is expansive, with slopes to suit all skiing abilities. Depending on your skill level, consider signing up with an instructor for day one. They can help you sort out your skiing gear, as well as any other outstanding ski-related admin, before whisking you off on a gondola in search of your first run.
Whether you’re skiing sessions are guided or independent, on the whole, queues at Steamboat are more than manageable, even in high season. Our advice: download a Steamboat trail map before you head out on the slopes for an overview of ability access (as well as providing an overview of some key pitstops). Speaking of, when hunger strikes there are various restaurants plotted piste-side where you can stop off for lunch or a famous Steamboat Bloody Mary.
Go horse riding
Embrace your inner cowboy at Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch, a remote spot in Clark, Colorado. Beginners and more experienced riders will be equally well catered to here, with a variety of horses available, for a 90 minute countryside hack. The affable, animal-loving staff are on hand to answer any questions you might have along the way.
Relax at Strawberry Park Hot Springs
For a change of pace (and an afternoon sans skis) make the short trip to Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Set along a mountain creek, bathe in open-air hot and cold pools (challenge yourself to take a dip in the latter, it’s truly invigorating and boasts many health benefits) surrounded by pine trees.
Note: Evening sessions are clothing optional.
Refuel, Steamboat Style
Located at the foot of the slopes, the retro Paramount is a Steamboat hotspot. At its busiest at breakfast, choose to dine inside or out, feasting on the usual suspects – avocado on toast, waffles, and pancakes. For something a little different, try the house special: pita with artichoke hearts, spinach, roasted tomatoes, hummus, and a fried egg. It will really set you up for the day.
Join the locals for après ski at no-bookings bolthole, Los Locos. Kickback with a couple of rounds of well-earned Margaritas and nab a seat on the outside terrace to soak up the last of the sun come golden hour. Feeling a bit peckish? Los Locos range of Mexican snacks serve as a great pick me up after a day on the slopes.
Boasting contemporary bites (alongside a few American classics), Laundry’s rustic-chic setting offers Steamboat visitors something a little different. Order the ‘Pow Pow’, a medley of crispy rice flour shrimp, spicy aioli, sesame powder, and pickled ginger, and crispy potatoes, served with truffle-parmesan, pistachio pesto, and black pepper aioli, to start. Follow these small plates with some classic fried chicken and wash it all down with a Henry Weinhard’s root beer. Round things off with a generous wedge of blueberry cobbler.
Particularly atmospheric in winter, when you can get cosy by the fire-pits with a glass of something bourbon-based in hand, E3’s riverside location makes this a top Downtown dining spot. A ranch-to-table restaurant, unsurprisingly, meat takes top billing at E3. The beef comes from the family ranch in Fort Scott, KS and is truly remarkable. For the less carnivorous amongst you, choose from an extensive selection of fish dishes.
At Mazzola’s, diners are encouraged to “dress down, eat big, talk loud, and break a few rules”. After a hardcore day on the slopes, Mazzola’s is precisely the place you’ll want to kick back and refuel (read: carb-load). Tuck into hearty portions of pasta – the pesto rigatoni was chef’s kiss – and lip-smacking pizzas (choose from small, medium, large, or calzone); opt for one of their ‘designer pies’ or, alternatively, build your own.
Plating up elevated comfort food and mixing some next-level craft cocktails, Table 79 is a bit of a catch-all. The dress code is casual; the vibe is ‘let the good times roll’ (note: happy hour is from 4-6PM daily, just FYI. Dessert here is pretty great – double down with a crème brûlée and a cast iron cookie to share – and pair with a cocktail order of the photogenic ‘As You Wish’ and ‘Magic Man’, which taste even better than they look.
How To Get Around
The best way to travel in and out of town – where the main restaurants and shops are located – is via a complimentary shuttle service – check with the concierge at your chosen hotel for run times/further details.
Steamboat is available to ski on the Ikon Pass which gives skiers and snowboarders access to 50 unique destinations worldwide. New for the 22/23 season, Ikon Pass holders will have access to Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley in France. Ikon Pass priced from $1,079.