Steamboat Springs Ski Resort – Top Reasons Why People Love This Mountain

Steamboat Springs Ski Resort – Top Reasons Why People Love This Mountain

My family and I have been to Steamboat Springs ski resort many times, but ironically it’s always been in the summertime. It’s a great mountain and town to explore during the warmer months, as I discuss in my post Steamboat Springs in the summer.

This time, however, I wanted to show my girls Steamboat Springs ski resort (AKA, Ski Town U.S.A) during the winter, and actually ski! They’ve skied many times on the East Coast, and it was finally time to show them what out west skiing was all about. And if you’re a skier, well then you know, it’s a totally different ballgame!

I have skied at Steamboat Springs ski resort a few times before in the past with my parents and siblings, and was excited to take my own family now. With a reputation as one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in the country, I thought Steamboat would be the perfect first western mountain to take my kids to. As it turns out, it was. We had a phenomenal trip and will definitely be returning. Here are the reasons why people, like us, love Steamboat Springs ski resort.

Kids at the top of the gondola in Steamboat Springs

Reasons Why People Love Steamboat Springs Ski Resort

“Champagne Powder” Snow

Skiing down the mountain at Steamboat Springs ski resort

One of the main things that sets out-west skiing apart from east coast skiing is the snow – or rather, the fresh powder. But did you know that the powder at Steamboat Springs ski resort is even more special? Nicknamed “Champagne powder”, the percentage of water in the snow in Steamboat Springs (6%) is much lower than other ski areas (15%), making it truly one of the most enviable types of snow to ski in, in the country. “Champagne powder” has long been a term used to characterize the snow here (because the sprinkle of powder on your nose feels just like champagne bubbles), to the point that Steamboat Springs ski resort went so far as to trademark the term. Proud bunch they are! And rightfully so. People love the snow in Steamboat, and come from all over to ski the mountain…including our very own Olympians.

Olympic Heritage

Steamboat Springs mountain is known for its champagne powder

Yes, Steamboat Springs ski resort is home to several Olympians. In fact, Steamboat Springs has produced more Olympians than anywhere else in the country! 89 athletes and counting, that is. In 2014 the ski town sent 14 athletes to the Olympics, and according to Steamboat Springs ski resort’s website, there is 1 Olympian per every 136 people! People love that about this mountain. It’s like the old saying – if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us…if it’s good enough for the Olympians, it’s good enough for us! If you’re a ski lover, a snow boarder, a snow jumper, or any other sport that involves snow, you can’t help but help fall in love with the quality of snow in Steamboat Springs.

Friendly People and Staff

Kids ski instructor was the best at Steamboat Springs ski resort

If there’s one thing you’ll hear over and over about Steamboat Springs, it’s how nice the people are. Steamboat has always been and still is a ranching town, a real western gem in the middle of America’s heartland. No pretensions here like some other fancy Colorado towns, the people are genuine and down to earth. This unpretentious nature can be found throughout the resort, from the townspeople to the staff.

The Steamboat Springs ski resort staff are exceptionally friendly, and the customer service top notch. Honestly, I didn’t have one bad experience. From the ticket sales line to the instructors to the restaurant staff, everyone was so accommodating and nice. I at one point left my cell phone at the group lesson window, but couldn’t remember where the window was, so went to the Help center. A staff member named Kevin helped me locate it and was the nicest guy ever. He preceded to talk to me about the mountain and told me all the good spots to go to eat, as well as some informational tidbits not everyone may know. Steamboat Springs prides itself on excellent staff, and it should – it’s a major reason why people love visiting this resort.

Excellent Kids Programs

Don’t let the Olympic factor intimidate you – Steamboat Springs ski resort is a mountain for all ages and levels. There are a variety of trails to suit any type of skier, and plenty of programs for kids, adults, and beginners no matter what the age. The Kids Vacation Center at Steamboat is fabulous. They’ve made it super easy for families – you can buy lift tickets, lessons and rentals in one location. Ski school is for kids ages 2 and up but they also have a daycare for younger kids.

There is also the Kids Ski Free and Grandkids Ski Free program at Steamboat. When parents or grandparents purchase a 5 day or more pass, kids 12 and under get to ski free those same days. As for us, we hired an instructor named Michelle for a private group lesson and she was, simply, awesome. My kids are for all intents and purposes – especially out west – beginners and I was a little nervous about how they would do on the mountain. Michelle whisked them away and I never looked back. They loved her. She was spunky and fun, but most importantly she was an excellent teacher and my girls improved their skiing by leaps and bounds.

Off the Beaten Path


Steamboat Springs ski resort is in the northwestern part of Colorado, and serviced by a small airport called Hayden airport. The closest big airport is Denver International, which is three hours away. Flying into Hayden isn’t always so easy. For example, I believe there is 1 direct flight a day from New York to Hayden. Don’t quote me on that, as things are always changing, but the pickings are slim. As a result, however, Steamboat is more off the beaten path and not as crowded as some other mountains. Which means…no super long lines! Or at least not as long as some of the other popular ski mountains. That is such a bonus in my book…I am impatient and hate waiting around forever to board a chairlift. Who doesn’t!

Steamboat’s Tree Trails

Tree skiing at Steamboat Springs ski resort

When I asked my brother what his favorite thing about the Steamboat ski resort was, he said the tree trails. Steamboat is known for its adventurous and excellent tree trail skiing, and the pure quantity of tree trails. Some say it’s the best tree trail skiing around. Just be cautious and use common sense, though (especially with kids), as these trails are not marked and could be a bit dangerous in parts.

Good Dining Options

Whether you’re at the base of the mountain at Gondola Square, or at Thunderhead Lodge, Rendevous Saddle Lodge, or Four Points, there are some really great options for ski in/ski out dining. Hazie’s at Thunderhead Lodge offers a good menu (including a $25 all you can eat buffet) and cocktail list, along with amazing views. Ragnar’s is famous for its nighttime sleigh rides to its restaurant. And down below, Slopeside, Paramount, the Truffle Pig and Bear River Bar and Grill are the spots to go for an après drink and food; Bear River has live music and is always hopping.

As for eating with kids, our ski instructor Michelle informed me that all restaurants on the mountain (except for the cafeteria at Thunderhead) offer a kids menu with good prices. She took us to the restaurant Rye, near Slopeside. Sophisticated, good food, and surprisingly not crowded, this restaurant up until a year ago used to be a private club and many people don’t know it’s now a public restaurant! Nearby (not necessarily for the kids although we took our kids there) is the excellent Café Diva, the best restaurant in Steamboat according to many people. Our meal was delicious and could compete with the best big city restaurants any day.

Convenience Factor

Walking around the mountain village of Steamboat Springs ski resort

This section sort of sums up my post, and that is the convenience factor. Steamboat Springs ski resort is very easy. There is lodging right on the mountain (the Steamboat Grand, Sheraton Hotel, and several condominium complexes, to name a few) as well as in downtown Steamboat, of which all offer shuttle services. There are plenty of dining options on the mountain, and if you’re a family with kids, the Kids Vacation Center, being a 1 stop deal, makes it super easy to navigate with young ones in tow. The ski resort is set up so that everything is right at your fingertips.

Finally, there are plenty of other winter activities to do while on vacation in Steamboat, as well as the cute town of Steamboat Springs itself. Think hot springs, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, even Steamboat resort’s own mountain coaster…all coming up in my next post on things to do in Steamboat besides skiing!

You may also enjoy:

R + R in Steamboat: Hot Springs + Shopping

Adventurous Activities in Steamboat Springs

PIN it for later

Top reasons to visit Steamboat Springs ski resort

Linking up with #Citytripping


Wander Mum


  1. March 7, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    Great post! I loved seeing the kids having fun in the snow! I didn’t realize “champagne powder” was a trademark — ha. It definitely is something to be proud of.

    • March 8, 2018 / 10:54 pm

      I didn’t know it either until I researched a bit more…they were smart to trademark!

  2. March 8, 2018 / 4:44 am

    I’ve never heard about Steamboat Springs before, but it really looks like a lovely place for a ski holidays. #FarawayFiles

    • March 8, 2018 / 10:55 pm

      It’s a really great mountain, for so many reasons. Thanks for the comment.

  3. March 8, 2018 / 11:20 pm

    It sounds like a wonderful ski resort perfect for young children & experienced skiers. I have never heard the term “champagne powder” used when describing a snow field, but it makes it even more appealing!😊

  4. March 9, 2018 / 12:59 am

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Steamboat! Nice to read more about it. I’ve just been to Tahoe – first time skiing in the States! Next time will definitely be in Colorado.

  5. Clare Thomson
    March 10, 2018 / 7:54 am

    Definitely fancy some of that Champagne snow, Corey! This looks like an amazing place to take kids skiing.

  6. March 10, 2018 / 9:54 am

    We just got back from our first time at Steamboat Springs and LOVED it for all these exact reasons! We were even able to ski right over to our condo (only about 10 steps after taking off our skis). We loved the Truffle Pig & there was a free Donavon Frankenreiter concert while we were in town!! There’s so much to do there. I love this post. 🙂

    • March 11, 2018 / 11:09 pm

      Thank you! I agree – there is so much to do in Steamboat, we love it! So fun, and so easy!

      • Danielle Myers
        July 30, 2018 / 12:52 pm

        Hi, we are looking to going to Steamboat in March 2019. Where did yall stay. We have kids and want something ski in-out. Thanks!

        • August 2, 2018 / 1:31 am

          Hi! We stayed at the Dulaney condo which is ski in/ ski out. You could call and ask about their rentals. Also, the Sheraton and Steamboat Grand are ski in/ski out and very popular. Hope that helps and have a great trip!

  7. March 10, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    This makes me want to go skiing again, which I haven’t done in so long (so probably not a great idea 🙂 ) What I love most about places like this is warming up by the fire after a day spent playing outside in the cold. Looks like a great place for a family getaway!

    • March 11, 2018 / 11:11 pm

      Oh yes, apres skiing is half the fun! Same here – love to warm up by a fire with a good meal and drink after a long day exercizing in the cold. Feels very rewarding!

  8. March 15, 2018 / 4:08 am

    Even if you do not ski, resorts are well worth visiting for their beauty and après ski. Looks like a great place. #farawayfiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:28 am

      You’ve got that right – as I actually didn’t ski! Tore my acl and had surgery two years ago and am still a bit weary. Next post is all about things you can do besides skiing :). Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles

  9. March 15, 2018 / 4:35 am

    No skiier here, but it looks like you had a good time 🙂 #farawayfiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:30 am

      I know it’s a good trademark to have!

  10. March 15, 2018 / 5:22 am

    Wow, definitely pinning, we love trying new places for skiing & boarding. #FarawayFiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:31 am

      Great! Honestly, everyone loves Steamboat. Everyone is so nice.

  11. March 15, 2018 / 6:07 am

    I know it’s kind of ridiculous, but I grew up literally right on the bottom of a mountain with a ski hill but never learned! Having lived a short drive from Whistler, BC will spoil you for snowy mountain locations, but I have to say Steamboat Springs looks like it would give Whistler a run for its money.

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:32 am

      I am dying to go to Whistler! Have heard such fabulous things about it. Hope to make it there some day!

  12. March 15, 2018 / 6:23 am

    That’s so awesome so many people have come from Steamboat Springs to be in the Olympics! There must be something in the water I guess haha I actually just realized that I recognize this place from a CNN commerical haha #FarawayFiles

  13. March 15, 2018 / 7:48 am

    Looks and sounds like you had so much fun! Coming from THE ski nation Austria I’ve learned how to skii before I could walk and getting to ski in the US one day is a big goal for me 😀 #FarawayFiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:33 am

      Oh, well nothing compares to Austria I’m sure! My friend was just there skiing and her photos are unbelievable.

  14. kriebelbeth
    March 15, 2018 / 10:37 am

    Love the sound of “Champagne Powder!” Looks like you had a snowy stay. Sounds like fun and great for families. Winter ski trips can be very intimidating to plan for families who don’t ski often. Thanks for all the info!

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:34 am

      I completely agree. I think even for avid skiers a family ski vacation is a lot of work no matter how you slice it. Just getting the boots on the kids alone! Exhausting!

  15. Clare Thomson
    March 15, 2018 / 10:40 am

    This honestly sounds like a dream ski area for families, Corey. I can hardly believe so many Olympians were born here. #FarawayFiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:35 am

      The Olympian heritage is a true testament to the quality of the mountain. If it’s good enough for them it certainly is for us!

  16. March 15, 2018 / 2:32 pm

    Would love to visit Steamboat one day! Houston has direct flights there but only during winter months. One of my coworker’s daughter has a house there and goes all the time, jealous!! Love that they have a good kids program, my son loves to snowboard!

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:36 am

      That’s great that Houston has direct flights there because not all places do. I hope you make it there some day!

  17. March 15, 2018 / 3:41 pm

    We skied in the east (lots of ice, lots of fun) and the west, As you say no comparison. Never got as far as the champagne powder mountain . What a lovely family memory to make ( impressed that there are no injuries, we never made it home without at least one visit to the emergency room!)

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:38 am

      Oh I know all about ski injuries trust me! Tore my acl skiing 2 years ago. I do get nervous with the danger factor and kids skiing…thank god they wear helmuts these days.

  18. March 15, 2018 / 4:12 pm

    Just the sight of those slopes made me smile – Colorado is our favourite place to ski & we so nearly ended up booking Steamboat Springs, but headed to Breckenridge instead, spending 2 great holidays there. Reading the blog has made me want to head back soon – the slopes are great, the facilities superb & such a wonderful family holiday. #FarawayFiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:39 am

      My friend was just in Breckenridge when we were in Steamboat. She said she loved it. I love the whole state of Colorado – can’t go wrong no matter where you are! Have you been to Telluride? It’s the best.

      • March 16, 2018 / 12:09 pm

        Breckenridge was just superb and we long to head back for another visit. The whole Colorado ski experience was fantastic & with Denver not that far away it was perfect (although we ended up not getting to the Ice Hockey match we’d booked to see there due to the deep snow!) – We haven’t been to Telluride, but I have heard it is superb, so perhaps if we get the chance we’ll take a look there too.

        • March 21, 2018 / 1:20 pm

          Sounds fab. Definitely check out Telluride – coolest town ever!

  19. March 15, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    Enjoyed reading the post. I am not a skier and also have no knowledge about Skiing. The Champagne powder snow fact was so interesting to read. Sounds like you had great fun. #Farawayfiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:40 am

      Oh thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

  20. Ruth
    March 15, 2018 / 9:19 pm

    I am not that familiar with the world of skiing so, it is nice to learn more about it. I found very interesting your explanation of why the snow at Steamboat Springs is good. I hear my friends and coworkers talking all things skiing but I get lost. I will throw the term Champagne powder to see if they know what it is. #FarawayFiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:41 am

      Haha – yes, Ruth ask them about Champagne powder – a lot of people don’t know. You will now sound like an expert!

  21. March 15, 2018 / 10:35 pm

    Wow! I haven’t skied in years, but I used to be an avid skier, and reading this makes me want to get back out there! Looks like a fabulous family vacation! I just know my boys would love it! #farawayfiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:42 am

      Nice! Where did you used to go skiing? Outside of Seattle?

      • March 16, 2018 / 11:05 am

        Yes, there are many resorts within a short drive of Seattle. I used to go every weekend for years!

  22. March 16, 2018 / 12:22 am

    I love the idea of champagne powder–it makes me imagine it would almost bubble in my hands. It’s great the ski school starts at age 2. My daughter just turned 3 and I’ve been wanting to take her skiing. #farawayfiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:44 am

      I think 3 is a great age to start. Challenging, but the earlier they start, the earlier they will be more independent. It’s definitely a tiring sport with young kids but worth it in the end!

  23. March 16, 2018 / 6:43 am

    It’s the first time I learn about champagne powder snow haha! Have never skied before, I wonder if it’s easy or would you fall most of the time? 🙂 #FarawayFiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:45 am

      Totally depends. Everyone is different. Once you get the hang of it, the falling will ease up!

  24. March 16, 2018 / 7:20 am

    Looks like a gorgeous place to go and ski. We came back only a few weeks ago from our first family skiing holiday. The kids loved it so much that it’s going to be become a yearly thing I reckon. #farawayfiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:46 am

      Oh that’s great. Family ski vacations are the best. They are not for lightweights though – as much fun as they are they can also be quite exhausting! But so worth it.

  25. March 16, 2018 / 9:29 am

    Sounds fab, and seems to tick all the family-friendly boxes too. Skiing in the States is still on my bucket-list. One day! #FarawayFiles

    • March 16, 2018 / 10:47 am

      Oh yes, I hope you can ski here some day, there are some really fabulous mountains!

  26. March 16, 2018 / 10:19 am


    • March 16, 2018 / 10:47 am

      Hope you make it happen some day!

  27. katherinefenech2017
    March 16, 2018 / 1:45 pm

    OK, so I have a question. If the snow has a different moisture content, does that make skiing any different? Or is skiing basically the same on all snow? Can you tell that I’ve never been skiing in my life? I feel like I’m missing out here. #FarawayFiles

    • March 21, 2018 / 1:21 pm

      Yes, it can make a huge difference! The higher the water content, the heavier the snow. The lighter the content, the fluffier it is…that’s why everyone loves Steamboat because it’s light and fluffy!

  28. March 16, 2018 / 2:57 pm

    Oh wow you had me at champagne powder snow! Lucky children what a fantastic place to go skiing. Love the kids activities and the Olympian heritage how inspiring. Thanks for hosting #FarawayFiles

  29. March 16, 2018 / 7:34 pm

    Looks like a fun place for the whole family. Yikes! One week with no power!!

    • March 21, 2018 / 1:23 pm

      Tell me about it! And now experiencing Nor’easter #4 ugh!!!

  30. March 18, 2018 / 9:01 am

    Looks like a fab beginning for your family foray into Western skiing! When kids are happy on the mountain, mama is happy! With mountains in our backyard in Oregon, we don’t have much reason to travel to Colorado, but would love to venture further afield someday! Steamboat has always been on the list. #FarawayFiles

    • March 21, 2018 / 1:24 pm

      Yeah I’m sure Whistler is a big draw for you. So many fantastic mountains to explore!

  31. March 18, 2018 / 9:26 am

    Steamboat Springs looks like an amazing place and so family friendly. And how cool is it that there’s one Olympian per every 136 people in Steamboat Springs! Wow! They can be mighty proud 🙂

    • March 21, 2018 / 1:25 pm

      I know, it seems a little hard to believe – but that’s what the website says! So amazing.

  32. March 18, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    Definitely needs to go on my to-ski list! Champagne snow sounds amazing and I do like a bit of tree skiing! #FarawayFiles

    • March 21, 2018 / 1:25 pm

      Me too – love tree skiing!!

  33. March 21, 2018 / 11:53 pm

    Seems like a lovely place for a ski vacation/weekend! If only I skied… ha! I would happily plop myself on the mountain and enjoy the view though.

    • March 23, 2018 / 10:59 pm

      Exactly – plenty to do for non-skiers as well!

  34. Mayuri
    March 24, 2018 / 10:03 am

    Wonderful post! I love mountains and you have got some amazing shots there!

  35. josypheen
    March 25, 2018 / 12:39 am

    Excellent post!! I am reading it after an amaaazing (but tiring) day in Whistler! I only started to learn to ski this winter and although I love it, I had no idea skiing on the East Coast might be different!

    Steamboat Springs ski resort looks amaaazing, and champagne powder sounds lovely to ski in. Hopefully we can try skiing south of the boarder at some point.

    p.s your kids are so lucky to learn to ski while they are teeny. It’s so scary to start winter sports as an adult!

    • March 28, 2018 / 10:40 pm

      Oh my goodness I can imagine!! I skied as a kid and then took a 20 year hiatus and when I started skiing again once I had kids, even that was nerve-wracking! Give yourself a pat on the back!

  36. Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    March 28, 2018 / 7:02 am

    We loved Steamboat and I still remember our amazing meal at Four Points Lodge and our lunch at Hazie’s. Such a friendly resort.

    • March 28, 2018 / 10:43 pm

      Hazie’s is the best. I enjoyed a cobb salad and a bloody mary there looking out over the hills 🙂

  37. April 7, 2018 / 6:21 am

    This sounds perfect! Ticks so many boxes and great to find somewhere so accommodating for kids. #citytripping

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