96 Hours in Snowy Steamboat Springs, CO | Planning a Winter Ski Vacation

Steamboat Springs, CO takes skiing seriously. The destination has produced 88 Winter Olympians and counting, which is more than any other town in the North America. If those credentials don’t convince you it’s worthy of your turns, then consider its “Champagne Powder®.” It’s that perfectly ski-able snow that’s dry and light and falling in abundance during the winter months in Steamboat. That’s why they trademarked the name! And we can’t discuss Steamboat without mentioning its generations-old ranching heritage, which makes it one of the most friendly, down-to-earth ski spots in the U.S.

Champagne Powder

If this is right up your alley, then check out this Steamboat Springs itinerary, which has a long weekend in the Rocky Mountain utopia planned to perfection:

Thursday in Steamboat Springs

3:00 p.m. After a day of travel, enjoy a little rest and relaxation from the good people at Rocky Mountain Day Spa. If you’re renting a home, they’ll come straight to you with their masseuse-magic, or for the full spa experience you can visit them at 2220 Village Inn Court.   

5:00 p.m. Dress warmly because the cowboys at Saddleback Ranch are picking you up for a winter Dinner Sleigh Ride under the stars. Everything’s taken care of during this four-hour excursion: a warm wool blanket, a cup of hot cocoa and a delicious home-cooked meal with favorites like New York strip steak on the menu. After dinner, they’ll give you a lesson in roping followed by some dancing to end the night. And yes, there is a full bar.

Friday in Steamboat Springs

8:00 a.m. With your First Tracks lift ticket, take the gondola up to the top to enjoy the mountain 30 minutes before everyone else! Ski and ride Spur Run/Huffman's to Sundown Express. Then enjoy Steamboat's legendary snow or groomed corduroy on other parts of the mountain. In all, there are 165 trails that spread over a complete mountain range with terrain for all ability levels. Tickets may be purchased online or at any lift ticket point of sale or by calling Steamboat Central Reservations at 877-783-2628.

Steamboat Springs Skiing

12:00 p.m. Grab a bite for lunch at The Paramount, which is conveniently located at the base of the mountain in Torian Plum Plaza at 1855 Ski Time Square Drive. Its American cuisine is delicious with interesting twists like ginger-pineapple iced tea and green chili cheese fries.

1:30 p.m. You’re in Ski Town USA, so get back to skiing or riding!

4:00 p.m. Après ski time. Head right over to the well- known T-Bar, which calls itself a “5-star dive bar” with interesting and tasty renditions of old favorites like craw fish mac and cheese and BBQ pork panini. Grab a drink and a bite and enjoy the views as you catch some late afternoon rays.

Steamboat BBQ

6:00 p.m. Take a stroll in downtown Steamboat Springs. Make your first stop the 107-year old store, FM Light & Sons at 830 Lincoln Ave. Here, you’ll find cowboy and cowgirl fashions in a store that hearkens back to the days when customers arrived by horse. After you buy yourself an authentic pair of boots, head to Laundry Kitchen & Cocktails at 127 Eleventh Street for a gastropub menu that focuses on small plates and has a longer list of cocktails, spirits and aperitifs. End the night with a visit to Off the Beaten Path at 68 9th Street, a charming bookstore with a killer cup of coffee.

Saturday in Steamboat Springs

10:00 a.m. After sleeping in, put your warm gear back on for a Gourmet Snowshoe Tour. It’s not only educational but taking the vistas of Mt. Werner in by foot will make you glad you took some time off from your skis. You’ll end the tour at Hazie’s where you’ll indulge in stunning views of the Yampa Valley while enjoying homemade soups, carving stations and perhaps even a spicy burner Bloody Mary.

3:30 p.m. For an early dinner, head to Taco Cabo at 30475 E US Highway 40 for fresh, authentic Mexican food.  They make their salads with heirloom tomatoes from their greenhouse and feature dishes like ceviche, bacon-wrapped jalapenos and perfectly-layered chicken nachos.  When the owner invites you back for breakfast because he just roasted a pork belly, you won’t be the first to accept.

6:00 p.m. Ski under the stars! The Christie Peak Express high-speed chairlift will take you up 8,000 feet above sea level where you can choose from five trails that accommodate every skill level.

Sunday in Steamboat Springs

Snowmobile Steamboat

9:15 a.m. High Mountain Snowmobile Tours will pick you up and bring you to one of their mountain cabins to get suited up for your adventure. From there, you’ll take forested trails to the high mountain peaks of Routt National Forest. Snacks are included on this ride that includes some serious high speed action in the snow.

12:00 p.m. Celebrating 10 years in business, Freshie’s is good spot to grab a sandwich or other popular lunch items like salads and soups. For vegetarians, they have the delicious Avocado Griller.

Steamboat Springs Hot Springs

1:30 p.m.  Just outside of Steamboat Springs, nestled alongside Hot Springs Creek, lies one of the most spectacular mineral pools: Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Take the shuttle to relax in the 104-degree water while snow gently collects in the surrounding forest.

Places to Stay in Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs Lodging

The Antlers at Christie Base at 2085 Ski Time Square Drive is in the middle of it all. This luxury, ski-in/ski-out condominium resort is located adjacent to the slopes. It offers three- to five-bedroom townhomes with gas fireplaces, private patios, covered decks, and in-unit washer and dryers. You’ll enjoy the ski valet service and heated boot lockers, on-call shuttle service, slope-side heated outdoor pool, hot tub and of course easy access to the mountain!  And they don’t make you pay for Wi-Fi.

Trailhead Lodge Steamboat Springs

For on-site access by gondola to the mountain, Trailhead Lodge is a good choice. It’s located at 1175 Bangtail Way in the heart of Wildhorse Meadows, away from the hustle and bustle of the resort area. It’s unique for offering the services and amenities of a hotel with the comforts and conveniences of a vacation rental home. You can book anything from a studio to three-bedroom condo that sleeps 10 people. You’ll have access to complimentary Wi-Fi, bath robes, fine bath products as well as a pool, three hot tubs, a fitness center and a game room on-property.

Start planning a Steamboat getaway now.