Steamboat celebrates its 44th annual Cowboy Downhill, one of the most unique ski racing events in Colorado. It’s held on Monday, January 15th, 2018. Professional rodeo cowboys are invited from all over, with this year’s contestants (over 100) from as far away as Canada and New York. Cowboys race each other two at time, with best overall time winning.
The Cowboy Downhill started in 1974 when Larry Mahahn, a world champion cowboy, and Billy Kid, an Olympic medalist in skiing gathered ProRodeo stars from the Denver Stock Show to Steamboat Springs for ski races.
ProRodeo Champions from across North America compete, as well as from Australia and Europe. There will be live music, Bud Light tents, and activities in the Gondola Square starting at 12pm.
- Registered in National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver.
- Member of ProRodeo Cowboys Assoc. or Professional Bull Riders
- Wear chaps and cowboy hats while competing.
Monday’s Events at Cowboy Downhill
The party kicks off at the base with a 4H animal petting zoo, a learn to rope clinic and limited edition Bud Light Cowboy Downhill logowear. The dual slalom races begin at 1pm down Headwall, a green at the base of mountain. Two cowboys ski between flags, then hit a single jump, and perform a unique twist at the end: they must lasso a person, saddle a horse and sprint across the finish line.
The final race is the Stampede, which pits every cowboy against themselves in a mass race down Headwall. After the individual races are over, all cowboys are invited for the Cowboy Stampede where they rush for the finish line simultaneously. It’s fun to watch.
This video shows the Cowboy Stampede, the final event of the Cowboy Downhill.
Night Skiing at Steamboat
Steamboat Ski Resort is one of few Colorado ski areas to offer night skiing. The mountain provides access to the top of the Christie Lift, which is a good 1100 feet of vertical, and a few fast groomers & beginner terrain park.
It’s $37 for adults at the window and $25 if you pre-buy online, seven days in advance. Night hours are Thursday through Monday, until 8:30pm or 9pm, depending on the date. It begins mid December and runs through March.
Tiny Howelsen Hill also offers evening turns in town. Their hours are Tuesday through Friday ’til either 6pm or 8pm. It’s much less vertical, but there’s a nice pitch on the main run and it’s only $10.