Nestled in an area of mountains, ranches and farms 115 mi/185 km northwest of Denver, Steamboat, Colorado, has an authentic Western feel, even as it hosts many visitors, most of whom go for the skiing.
The secret to the town's appeal for skiers is its ability to blend world-class downhill conditions with small-town warmth and charm. It also helps that it's blessed with more than 300 in/760 cm of snow a year.
Though by no means rustic, the resort has foregone the outlet stores, ritzy restaurants and jewelry shops that are found in some other ski areas. It's popular with families attracted to the kids-ski-free program and a specially priced teen lift ticket.
Farther from the Interstate 70 ski corridor than other ski resorts, Steamboat doesn't get the heavy Denver traffic. It's largely an intermediate skier's mountain, but there are also expert and beginner runs. In all, Steamboat has 142 trails and 2,940 acres/1,190 hectares of skiable terrain. Though long, groomed trails are plentiful, the distinguishing feature of Steamboat is some of the best tree skiing in the world.
The ski area has a slightly lower elevation (10,388 ft/3,165 m maximum) than most other Colorado resorts, making it warmer and less windy. There are several snowboard parks in the ski area and one of the longest superpipes in the country.
Flights into Steamboat use Yampa Valley Regional Airport, 22 mi/35 km from town.
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