Places to Visit: Steamboat Springs Colorado

Winter Park Colorado
> Getting Here
> Steamboat Springs Colorado

Steamboat Springs Colorado

Steamboat Springs has many features, including world-class ski slopes and the Yampa River (which boasts a paved bike path), offering lots of fun year-round; it's a scenic two-hour drive from Winter Park.

  • Steamboat Springs is a thriving mountain metropolis offering world-class skiing, dining, shopping, lodging and other fine amenities and attractions.
  • There are two alpine ski resorts: the Steamboat Ski Area and the Howelsen Ski Area. 
  • The Yampa River flows through this town, making it a major summer destination for kayakers, fishermen and other water enthusiasts. 


Steamboat Springs is known as Ski Town, USA, given its reputation for champagne powder and world-class skiing, and it is known internationally as an affluent resort destination. The Yampa River runs through the town as well and is a major attraction in its own right; the two together give this town a well-rounded attractiveness that draws outdoor enthusiasts year-round.


It's located in Northwest Colorado, nestled at 7,000 feet within the Colorado Rockies; a traveler will drive over Rabbit Ears Pass, along US Highway 40, west of the Continental Divide, before filtering down into the city itself. It is the county seat of Routt County.


Steamboat Springs is a thriving mountain metropolis, with a wide array of lodging, dining and activity options. The Yampa Valley Airport is a capable of harboring larger planes, allowing travelers the ease of flying in, rather than flying into Denver's International Airport and then driving the three hours to get there.


  • The Yampa River is a great place for fishing, kayaking (playboating), tubing and rafting, and a bike path parallels the river, making this a popular biking/walking path for visitors and locals alike.
  • Rabbit Ears Pass is a mecca for snowmobile and other backcountry snow enthusiasts.
  • And of course, there are the two ski resorts for skiers and snowboarders. The main one, the Steamboat Ski Resort, is comprised of six peaks and offers terrain that ranges from groomed cruisers, to bumps and tree skiing, to several terrain parks. It's Colorado's 3rd largest ski resort (with 3,000 skiable acres over 165 trails) and it typically receives about 331 inches of snow annually. The Howelsen Hill Ski Area is the smaller of the two ski areas, but it has the largest ski jumping complex in North America, making it the training ground for many Olympians and other professional skiers throughout its history. There are 15 alpine ski trails, four lifts and 21 km of cross-country ski trails.
  • Snowkiting (where the wind pulls you while on a snowboard) and airboarding (a compact tube/sled that allows you to turn by shifting your body weight) are two new and exciting activities offered during the winter months.
  • There's an extensive shopping district, mainly all up and down this town's main street, and a few spas where you can pamper yourself.
  • Cross-country ski resorts, snowcat adventures, snowmobile tours, riverboarding, and horseback riding opportunities are also available. Contact the local Chamber of Commerce for a full list of activities and related service providers.


  • The Steamboat Ski Resort is the main draw, with world-class ski slopes and amenities that have given it the ability to hold two Alpine Skiing World Cup competitions.
  • The Howelsen Ski Area is a smaller ski resort that popularized ski jumping and is a ski club training ground.
  • Steamboat Springs holds an annual Winter Carnival, which includes ski racing and jumping, dog sledding, light shows, and the most popular - a 'chariot' event where skiers are pulled behind running horses down the city's main street.
  • During the first week of June, another festival called "The Yampa River Festival" which includes a kayak rodeo (a playboating competition) and a Crazy River Dog Contest (where dogs retrieve sticks from the Yampa, passing through a white water section).
  • Music events are held every year as well, including its nationally-recognized summer music festival, "Strings in the Mountains".

Getting Here

From Winter Park, drive west on US-Highway 40 and stay on this road all the way to Steamboat Springs (the road bends to the right after you drive through Kremmling, so watch for signs). You'll travel over Rabbit Ears Pass and then enter into Steamboat Springs; it's 99.6 miles from Winter Park, with about a two hour drive time.

In the Spotlight