24-HOURS IN STEAMBOAT SPRINGS
How to spend the ultimate day in this unique, cowboy-loving slice of snowy paradise.
Steamboat Springs is big on personality. Born out of a railroad boom, the locals started skiing here in 1910 - and although a world-class ski resort has since carved its way into town, the place has never lost sight of its Western heritage.
There’s a lot to see, do, eat, drink and - most importantly - ski. And so if you have limited time but want to enjoy maximum adventure, here’s your 24-hour guide to Steamboat Springs.
7am - Breakfast in downtown Steamboat
Be one of the first to get yourself through the door at Creekside Cafe, a longtime Steamboat favourite; especially on the weekends, when the line snakes down the block. Locals recommend the eggs Benedict made with all-local produce.
Or if it’s just coffee and a snack you’re after, pop into Mountain Brew. Word on the street is that the coffees are loved even by Aussies, and the hot chocolates are made with shaved Ghirardelli chocolate. Plus ‘jumpstart’ sandwiches and burritos the perfect size to tuck into a jacket pocket.
7.45am - First tracks at Steamboat Springs
Steamboat is so confident in the quality of their light, dry, fluffy snowfall, they’ve trademarked it Champagne Powder®. So you’ll want to be early on the slopes to experience the best of it - and with limited numbers on sale, Steamboat’s First Tracks lift ticket is well worth the cash.
You’ll just need to be an intermediate and above skier or boarder to get your exclusive access to terrain from the Sundown Express, Sunshine and South Peak Lifts, plus Priest Creek.
9am - Just keep skiing
Once you’re on the slopes, it’ll be tough to stop. But there’s no way you’ll get bored - Steamboat has 169 runs to explore, with 18 chair lifts and gondolas servicing the 2965 acres of terrain, along with over 1000 metres of vertical.
On a powder day, you’ll especially want to head into the forest - Steamboat’s tree skiing is the stuff of legends, with perfectly-spaced pines and aspens all over the mountain.
Noon - Lunch on the mountain
While you won’t want to drag yourself away from the snow, Four Points Lodge is the perfect place to ski in for a healthy yet hearty lunch. With everything from bison chilli to turkey pot pie and giant salads on the menu, nestle in to eat with a view over Storm Peak, 9,716 feet above sea level.
1pm - Laps, laps, laps
Time to get back out there. If in doubt, head to Twilight on Sunshine Peak for perfect glades, or the Storm Peak side of the mountain for leftover powder stashes among the steep and deep.
3pm - A little après
When the drinks are calling after a big day, there’s only one place to go - Tbar. The locals call it a ‘five-star dive bar’, with owner Tres fresh from a culinary school background opening this bar in a doublewide trailer. Ski straight there, order your champagne, shots or regional craft beers and take a seat at a picnic table or on one of the beer kegs.
4pm - Explore downtown Steamboat
Pop your skis off for a lap on foot around town, discovering how Steamboat has stayed true to its cowboy roots. If visiting in February, you might be in luck - the Steamboat Winter Carnival is an annual celebration of a whole new level, with giant snow sculptures everywhere, skijouring (a combination of horse racing and skiing) races down main street and themed parties.
Throughout the rest of the season, there’s still plenty to discover downtown; from outdoor retailers and boutique shops to local galleries and distilleries. Craft beer is also a big deal here, and while there are a few breweries to choose from, Mountain Tap is a top pick for wood-fired snacks alongside your brew. Get the popcorn, trust us.
5pm - Unwind in a hot spring
A soak at Strawberry Hot Springs is the perfect way to unwind after a big day on the slopes, with all-natural, therapeutic mineral pools weaving through the rocks and trees.
If you’re soaking by nightfall, even better: the team behind the hot springs keeps the pool setting as natural as possible, turning the lights down for better star-gazing.
7pm - Dinner by gondola
Wind up a big day with a big dinner at Hazie’s - only accessible via a gondola ride. Take in the views as you ride up, then relax and enjoy a three-course dinner, all with panoramic views over the Yampa Valley.
9pm - A cheeky nightcap
With so many activities crammed into the day, there’s only one thing to do before heading to bed: one last drink. The Barley Tap & Tavern comes highly recommended for those that want to drink among the locals; or, for a very chic option, head to Laundry, housed in the historic Soda Creek building and home to the Steamboat Laundry from 1910 to 1977.
Whatever time you wrap up - Bed
All good things must come to an end… but only for a few hours while you rest your head, ready to ski and snowboard again in the morning.
Ready to plan your own 24 hours in Steamboat? Find out more about our latest package offerings by clicking here.