Skip to main content

Steamboat Magazine

Skiing a Winterwonderland

11/22/2021 01:54PM ● By Rachel Miller

Chris Rhodes and his daughter, Anna, ski the historic slopes at Howelsen Hill. Photo by Noah Wetzel.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO – There’s something special about experiencing wintertime in Steamboat Springs. The mountains surrounding Steamboat are the stuff skiers’ dreams are made of, with stashes of the best powder in the state. Bundle up and strap into those ski or snowboard boots for an unforgettable skiing and riding experience in the Yampa Valley.

The base at the Steamboat Ski Area will have a different look this year as the resort continues improving the skiing experience on and around the mountain (see page VG 23 for more information), but the skiing is as excellent as ever. Whether it’s corduroy cruisers or untouched Champagne Powder®, enjoy a full day on the slopes with over a hundred groomed runs for all skill levels. Learn why Steamboat has a reputation for top-notch tree skiing and powder. Get adventurous with bumps and jumps or hit rails and perform tricks at one of the resort’s terrain parks.

Venture downtown to experience Steamboat Springs’ skiing heritage at Howelsen Hill. Named after Carl Howelsen, the founding father of recreational skiing in Steamboat, Howelsen Hill offers 17 Alpine runs through varying terrain for all abilities. Witness Olympians soar through the air off the famous ski jump or weave through aspen groves and rolling fields to experience powder and Nordic skiing right in the heart of downtown. Breaks in the snowy meadows offer panoramic views of the valley.

When it comes to cross-country skiing, the options are endless around Steamboat. Tour the backcountry of Buffalo Pass on tele skis to earn your powder turns, or, just a 20-minute drive east of town, find countless trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking on Rabbit Ears Pass. With options for beginners and experts alike, there’s nothing quite like experiencing the backcountry on skis.

Closer to town, you’ll find the cross-country skiing with the postcard-worthy backdrop of Mount Werner and Emerald Mountain at Haymaker Golf Club. Offering gradual slopes and rolling hills, Haymaker Nordic Center is a perfect setting for more casual cross-country skiers. About six miles further south, visit Lake Catamount’s Nordic trails. The Lake Catamount Touring Center, part of the privately owned Catamount Ranch and Club, allows public access to its Nordic trails during winter. Ski alongside the lake and through acres of snowy meadows while viewing the beautiful scenery surrounding the property. The Steamboat Ski Touring Center offers nearly 10 miles of groomed cross-country trails for all skill levels, passing through aspen groves and along Fish Creek for convenient winter sightseeing. Stagecoach Reservoir and North Routt County also offer many options when it comes to cross-country ski trails.

Whether you’re an experienced skier or rider, or you’re strapping on a board for the first time, there is terrain for every skill level in Steamboat. With world-renowned tree skiing, ample Olympic heritage and abundant Champagne Powder®,the Steamboat Ski Area is worth the journey. Ski the storied slopes at Howelsen Hill and experience all the Rocky Mountains have to offer by exploring one of Steamboat’s many cross-country trails and Nordic centers. Ski or ride through a winter wonderland.