Tucked away in Colorado’s northwest corner, Steamboat Resort catches storm fronts tracking from both Utah and Wyoming, so it often boasts powder days when other areas report scant snowfall. Pair that trademarked “champagne powder” with Steamboat’s abundance of moderate-angle glades, and you get some of the best lift-served tree skiing anywhere.
While there’s no off-the-chart extreme skiing here, the accessible terrain also makes it ideal for intermediates looking to get better, or a multi-generation ski trip that appeals to skiers of all ages: Grandparents and children alike can find their bliss on easy-going cruisers. Kid-centric ski instructors and a relaxed atmosphere round out the family appeal. Credit Steamboat’s distance from major cities (the closest is Denver, 150 miles away) for preserving authentic character at the resort and the adjacent town of Steamboat Springs.
Homesteaders settled this cowboy town long before the lifts started spinning, and even now, you’ll see as many Stetsons as ski hats on downtown sidewalks. Don’t forget to bring yours. - Kelly Bastone
COME FOR THE...
TERRAIN VARIETY The Shadows offers 2,000 vertical feet of tree skiing that begins among high-alpine spruces and ends in paper-white aspens.
LOCAL FLAVOR Check out—or enter, if it’s your thing—the Cowboy Downhill in mid-January.
DOWN-DAY ACTIVITIES Become Wild West outlaws at The Crooked Key, an escape room offering a fun, interactive game for all ages.
MUST DO Visit F.M. Light & Sons on Lincoln Avenue for legit Western duds, souvenirs, and more. A Steamboat staple since 1905.
TREE STASH To sample some of Steamboat’s famous trees, take the Sundown Express to Twilight. Well-spaced, leg-burning glades await.
FAMILY ACTIVITY Don’t be surprised if you crush boot-top powder for three days and all the kids want to talk about is the new Outlaw Mountain Coaster, the longest such ride in North America.
DINNER PICK In an increasingly brilliant downtown dining scene, Table 79 stands out, and has even made up a new word, calling itself a “Foodbar.” Try the Smoked Elk & Chorizo Meatballs.