Colorado is home to some of the best ski resorts around, with some close enough to one another you could visit multiple in one trip! With its claim to fame of “champagne powder” slopes, Steamboat Springs boasts one of the best ski resorts in the state and the oldest operating ski area in the country.
Beyond Steamboat Springs in Routt County, both neighboring Eagle and Grand counties would make for a great day trip. In under two hours you can be skiing at at least two other resorts, one being among the most luxurious resorts in the state, and the other is one of the best learning areas. All the resorts offer their own unique terrain and features.
Here are the ski resorts closest to Steamboat Springs, CO, in order of proximity:
Howelsen Hill Ski Area – 0.5 miles / 10 minute walk
Located in downtown Steamboat Springs is North America’s oldest operating ski area, the Howelsen Hill Ski Area. Running since 1915, the ski area has become widely recognized over the world for its training of nearly 90 Olympians and distinguished recognition from the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame.
The ski area boasts the largest natural ski-jumping complex in the country along with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club – the oldest ski club west of the Mississippi.
Offering 50 acres of skiable area, two terrain parks, 17 alpine and 9 nordic trails, four chair lifts, and runs for beginners up to expert. The ski area sits at a base elevation of 6,696 feet (2,041 meters) and its summit elevation reaches 7,136 feet (2,175 meters). The annual average snowfall is 170 inches.
Access to Howelsen is found via 5th street, just across the Yampa River in town.
Steamboat Ski Resort – 3.6 miles / 10 minutes
The Steamboat Ski Resort rests just 3.5 miles outside of the main part of town in Steamboat Springs. Its epic “champagne powder” is what draws visitors in from all around the world and makes it one of the most popular ski resorts in the state.
The areas of Pioneer Ridge, Sunshine, and Storm Peak are where powder seekers will find Steamboat’s legendary Champagne Powder™. While nearly 85% of the ski terrain lends itself to intermediate and expert terrain, novice skiers and riders will find a nice collection of beginner runs as well. And for those looking to test those special skills, the resort is home to several terrain parks.
The resort operates with 18 chair lifts and 169 trails, all spread across 2,965 acres of terrain. Within its boundaries, Steamboat Ski Resort is a complete mountain range itself with Sunshine Peak, Mount Werner, Storm Peak, Thunderhead Peak, Christie Peak, and Pioneer Ridge.
Its base elevation sits at 6,900 feet (2013 meters) and its summit elevation rests at 10,568 feet (3,224 meters), with a vertical rise of 3,668 feet (1,118 meters). The annual snowfall averages 314 inches.
Granby Ranch – 82 miles / 1.5 hours
Designed and operated with families in mind, the Granby Ranch ski resort is well known as one of the best areas in Colorado to learn how to ski or snowboard. Its storied past began back in the 1980s as the Silver Creek Resort, and since then changing names four times to the now Granby Ranch ski resort.
The resort is anchored by a large base area with two mountains, the east side and west side. Each mountain offers a variety of terrain, with the east side home to more green and blue runs and the west side offering more difficult blues and blacks.
Its base elevation sits at 8,202 feet (2,500 meters) and its summit elevation stands at 9,202 feet (2,805 meters). The resort operates within 406 skiable acres, five chair lifts, and 33 trails. The annual average snowfall is 220 inches.
If you want to extend your trip even further, Winter Park Ski Resort is another 30 minutes southeast on HWY 40.
Beaver Creek – 85 miles / 1 hour & 45 minutes
Known as one of the more upscale ski resorts in Colorado, Beaver Creek Resort is not just a place to ski but a luxurious mountain experience not to be missed. All about sophistication and glamour, Beaver Creek raises the bar for Colorado ski destinations.
Discover world class hotels, fine dining, classy boutiques, picture-perfect skis runs, and scenic mountain views, all at Beaver Creek Resort. While glamorous in nature, Beaver Creek Resort is also family-friendly with its ski school and beginner-friendly terrain.
Known as the “World Cup Mountain,” Beaver Creek Resort hosts the annual World Cup Men’s downhill race, plus several women’s world cup events.
Powder hunters can explore 150 trails, across 1,800 acres of terrain, ranging from beginner blues to expert double black diamonds. 23 chair lifts all offer access to three distinct base areas, where fresh, homemade chocolate chip cookies are served daily at 3:00 p.m.
Its base elevation lies at 8,100 feet (2,469 meters) and its summit elevation reaches 11,440 feet (3,488 meters). Its average annual snowfall is 325 inches.
If you want to extend your trip from Beaver Creek, Vail Ski Resort is another 15 minutes east on I-70.
Why stop there? For the avid explorer who is willing to drive two hours or more from Steamboat Springs, the ski resorts of Summit County are other great options as well. Jump from chair lift to chair lift at Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, and Copper Mountain – all within thirty minutes of one another. And then hurry back to Steamboat Springs as its hot springs are waiting for you.
It’s no wonder we call Colorado, ski country!