There are 2,965 skiable acres at Steamboat Ski Resort. Not a skier? That still leaves more than 1.5 million acres of peaceful forests, vast meadows and stunning vistas. And with hundreds of miles of trails, there’s more than one way to explore Routt County and the Yampa Valley around Steamboat Springs.
I find that the longer I live here, the more time I spend off skis and exploring the Yampa Valley in new ways. It turns out, most of the trails that make Steamboat a summer paradise are still accessible in winter! You just need the right tools:
There’s nothing quite like a 600cc engine to propel you through the backcountry. Combine big horsepower with unforgettable scenery on a half-day, full day or evening tour. Steamboat Snowmobile Tours offers tours on Rabbit Ears Pass, in North Routt County and in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Saddleback Mountain Ranch has miles of trails, beautiful sweeping views and the added bonus of snow tubing and horseback riding on site. Both offer shuttles from Steamboat Springs.
Local’s tip: I had an unforgettable outing with friends at Steamboat Snowmobile Tours’ sunset dinner tour. A hearty meal atop the Continental Divide in a secluded cabin in the Routt National Forest was a great way to wrap up the fun outing.
It’s like sledding on steroids. Zoom down a groomed track on a special inflatable tube and you won’t be able to wipe that smile off your face for days. For fun for the whole family, try a foray out to Saddleback Ranch complete with steaming hot cocoa. Right in downtown Steamboat, historic Howelsen Hill offers night tubing under the lights.
Did you know a sled dog can run 150 miles in a day? Iditarod musher Kris Hoffman, owner of Grizzle-T Dog Sledding, has 33 years of experience in breeding, raising and racing his energetic and friendly Alaskan huskies, and you can have the chance to drive a sled yourself or take a guided ride across the frozen expanse of the Yampa Valley. Not only is it a thrilling way to see the valley, it’s a glimpse into a faraway culture and a way to connect with human’s best friend.
See winter in a whole new way as you shuffle through a wonderland of glittering snow and fresh pine scent on snowshoes. It’s winter’s hiking, and you can practically hear the snowflakes falling lightly on the trees. A favorite spot is Rabbit Ears Pass, where the west side of the Continental Divide is free from snowmobiles and filled with a variety of routes and loops. I love the trails up in North Routt County: a stroll around Pearl Lake and a winter night in the yurt is my favorite way to play in the snow off the slopes.
Local’s tip: Be mindful of winter trail closures. Popular routes like Spring Creek and Mad Creek are off limits in the winter, but there’s still plenty of close-to-home options like Emerald Mountain and the Uranium Mine Trail.