Top Menu

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Pinterest Instagram RSS

A Wintry Escape for A Steamboat Skiing Adventure

A great wintry escape for a Steamboat skiing adventure!

Christmas morning came early to the Colorado mountains. Outside the window of our vacation rental apartment, there was a loud bang and clatter that woke us from a deep slumber. It was still dark outside. Guessing it wasn’t Santa on the roof, I peeked out the window and the answer was clear: snow plow. That meant fresh snow and a white Christmas for our Steamboat skiing adventure. A smile appeared on my lips as I rolled back over for a few more hours of sleep.

Despite living in Colorado for over two decades, I’d never been skiing at Steamboat Ski Resort. Now living thousands of miles away on the East Coast, we thought we should rectify that and hatched a plan to ski Steamboat.

Visiting Santa Claus in downtown Steamboat Springs.

Steamboat Springs isn’t like other ski resorts. First and foremost, Steamboat Springs was a town long before there was skiing. Today, the 12,000 residents welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors every winter to hit the slopes. At just over 150 miles from Denver (a three- to four-hour drive depending on weather conditions), Steamboat is not for day skiers. People coming to ski Steamboat Springs need to stay over. We opted for a vacation rental to save money over some of the more expensive hotel options in town. It also gave us a chance for good home cooking.

We stayed in these vacation rental homes during our Steamboat skiing adventure.

The Gondola Square at the base of the Mount Werner is the home base of the Steamboat Ski Resort. Here are ski rental shops, restaurants, bars (for that important après-ski). We got our lift tickets. I was in for a big surprise. Those paper lift tickets that go on the wire wicket are long gone. Instead, we were given a QuickTrax card (the size of a credit card). It goes into your jacket pocket and lets you pass quickly through turnstiles using RFID technology. It speeds up the ski lift the process significantly!

The gondola (which was the first eight-person ski gondola in the world) whisked us up to the mid-mountain lodge. We pointed the skis down the hill and we were off!

Colorful chairs in Steamboat's Gondola Square.

A fresh four inches of snow had fallen overnight. We were far from the first people to be skiing Steamboat that morning, yet there was still plenty of fresh powder for us to experience. After skiing on the hard ice of the East Coast, Colorado’s fluffy powder was a rare treat.

Hitting the slopes at the Steamboat Ski Resort.

On our first run, we pointed the skis down the Why Not trail – the longest at Steamboat Ski Resort at over three miles. Three miles is a long way. Three miles at over 9,000 feet above sea level is a really long way. Heading down the trail, I felt the muscles burn and knew we’d be sore the next day.

Laura on her Steamboat skiing adventure.

Laura hitting the slopes at Steamboat Ski Resort

We spent the morning skiing several runs off the Thunderhead Express lift before grabbing lunch at the Thunderhead Lodge. Our expectations for resort food are pretty low. You’re a captive audience, so they don’t really need to put a lot of effort into it. With our low expectations in tow, we stopped into the Stoker Bar & Restaurant for lunch. We ended up with the nachos topped with Colorado chili and the Werner Waffles – big puffy waffles topped with a mountain of gravy goodness. It was excellent and was certainly not what we’d expected for resort food, but it fueled our afternoon of Steamboat skiing.

Eating lunch at the Steamboat Ski Resort in the Thunderhead Lodge at the Stoker Bar & Restaurant.

The afternoon took us up the Storm Peak Express and Christie Peak Express lifts in search of different terrain – and giving us the chance to push the limits of our abilities. Laura excelled. I was left feeling the over 9,000 feet of elevation and pushing hard through the last runs of the day.

Catching the ski lift at the Steamboat Ski Resort.

At the end of the day, heavy snows started on the mountain, brought by equally strong winds. We wanted our way into the Bear River Bar for an equally strong beverage. It was just what needed after a hard day skiing Steamboat.

I’d like to say we hit the town and really lived it up. That didn’t happen. We both sank deeply into the leather couches of our rental condo and pretty much fell asleep to the soft glow coming from the fireplace. It was an early night.

Renting a house and skiing Steamboat Springs was the perfect winter escape!

The next morning, we woke up sore – just as expected. During a previous visit to Steamboat Springs in the summer we discovered the Strawberry Park Hot Springs. We figured the warm water would do wonders on our sore muscles, and we weren’t disappointed.

Dipping into the Strawberry Park Hot Springs after a Steamboat skiing experience.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs is just one of the many things do in Steamboat Springs besides skiing. These natural hot springs sit way up a remote valley about eight miles from downtown Steamboat. The naturally hot water bubbles out of the ground near boiling and is cooled by the mountain spring waters. Rock pools built into a river bed offer varying temperatures – from 104 degrees to basically ice cold.

The hot springs in Steamboat are a great way to help your sore muscles from skiing.

Soaking in the hot pool, we discussed our Steamboat skiing adventure. The mountain was more challenging than we expected. Did we mention it is over 9,000 feet in elevation? But it was also more rewarding than we expected. Steamboat Ski Resort is an incredible mountain and the snow was spectacular!

Soaking in the Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs.

For us, it’s difficult to imagine a more perfect ski vacation. There’s a cute town, an incredible ski mountain, amazing snow conditions, and a fantastic hot springs to soothe our aching muscles. A Steamboat skiing adventure is the perfect wintry escape.

A cabin at the Steamboat Springs hot springs known as Strawberry Park.

We were guests of Steamboat Ski Resort. As always, all opinions of cold and vigorous are our own.






Need Another Hit? Related Posts

Subscribe to our email newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Get exclusive content
  • Receive personal updates
  • Sneak peeks of future trips
No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

114 Shares
Tweet
Share31
+111
Pin72
Stumble
Flip