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Steamboat's Best Loved Places-Ski Season 14/15

11/10/2014 21:34 ● Published by Christina Freeman

HOWELSEN HILL

Home to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Howelsen Hill has been the training ground for 88 (and counting) Olympians. Overlooking Old Town, Howelsen is a more intimate winter playground than Mount Werner and has several alpine runs, including beginner terrain, a large network of cross country trails, nationally renowned ski jumps, a halfpipe plus night skiing and tubing. After exploring the warren of trails, Howelsen’s unique Nordic history can be experienced by the fre with a hot chocolate in the traditional ski lodge. The oldest continuously operating ski area in the West is run by the City of Steamboat Springs. www.steamboatsprings.net / 970-879-8499

FISH CREEK FALLS

Secreted from the rest of Steamboat Springs, Fish Creek Falls is a magical fnd on a sun-flled winter’s day. The falls are equally as spectacular frozen as they are when they’re rushing with ice melt in spring and summer. A gentle trail meanders atop a rocky hillside to the overlook, where the view won’t disappoint. Pack a thermos of hot cocoa to enjoy at the covered rest stop. If you’re lucky, you be entertained by ice climbers attempting to scale the falls. Strap on snowshoes and head for the base where a relatively steep trail continues for five miles. Alternatively take the Uranium Mine Trailfor dramatic views of Fish Creek Canyon, which begins between the lower and upper parking areas. Free guided snowshoe hikes are offered weekly by Yampatika on the Mine Trail. From Lincoln Avenue, turn north on Third Street, then right on Fish Creek Falls Road. Follow to the end.$5 daily parking fee applies.www.fs.usda.gov and www.yampatika.org

 

STRAWBERRY PARK HOT SPRINGS

Steamboat is synonymous with its springs, but the most enchanting of all geothermal hot spots can be found in the mountains northof Strawberry Park. A rustic collection of pools of various toasty temperatures provides the ultimate soaking ground for muscle-sore powderhounds. Maximize the opportunity for relaxation with a massage or book a private soaking pool. Cool of – if you dare – in the nearby cold creek. Facilities include modern restrooms, a tipi for changing and picnic tables. Open from 10 a.m. daily; clothing is optional after dark and no one under 18 is permitted after sunset. Accessing the springs requires four-wheel drive. Especially in winter, this is rugged terrain; fines are large for cars that undertake the road and become stuck. Instead, opt for a shuttle with Sweet Pea Tours or Hot Springs Adventures. From downtown (U.S. 40), turn north on Third Street. Turn right onto Fish Creek Falls Road and left onto Amethyst Drive. Stay on Amethyst Drive until it merges with County Road 36 to the right and continue until it dead- ends; drive is about seven miles from town. www.strawberryhotsprings.com / 970-879-0342

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN

Nowhere makes you feel more in tunewith Steamboat’s Western heritage thandowntown Steamboat Springs. Historicbuildings lining Lincoln Avenue (U.S. 40)house a variety of family-run shops, boutiques, restaurants, cafés, nightclubs and art galleries. One block south, stroll down Yampa Street under a canopy of fairy lights and take your pick from a smorgasbord of eateries. www.mainstreetsteamboatsprings.com

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