While not limited to the following list, these are some of our favorite activities and places to visit when taking a break from the slopes.
Backcountry Skiing – For a truly epic winter adventure, you can take a guided back country snow-cat skiing trip with Steamboat Powdercats. One of their skilled guides will escort your group out to an area of pristine un-tracked powder near Buffalo Pass, and you will be treated to a day of back country skiing that you will not soon forget!
Cross-Country Skiing – Cross-country skiing is both a great workout and a relaxing pastime, and offers an enjoyable change of pace from downhill skiing. There are hundreds of miles of cross-country ski trails in and around Steamboat Springs, including at the fantastic Steamboat Ski Touring Center. Steamboat has amazing nordic skiing opportunities, which is a big part of why so many Olympians have come from Steamboat. Right in town, you can ski where the Olympians train, at Howelsen Hill. Other options include the Sheraton Golf course, the extensive network of trails at Catamount Lake or right up Mt. Werner. Further outside of town there is a network of trails around Rabbit Ears Pass and Steamboat Lake. No matter which trails you decide to ski, the terrain varies, but you are guaranteed gorgeous views of the valley and surrounding area.
Fly Fishing & Ice Fishing – If you are interested in winter fishing, Bucking Rainbow Outfitters offers guided fishing excursions that are customized to your preferences and your skill level. No kidding here, there is great fishing available in Steamboat Springs during the winter. We have some spectacular Tailwater fisheries that never freeze and in late February or early March miles of great water opens up. If you are a fly-fisherman and haven’t fished here in the winter make sure to plan to ski in the morning then spend a half day fly-fishing with a local guide.
Helicopter Rides – If you’d like to see the Steamboat area from a bird’s-eye view, Zephyr Helicopter Company offers helicopter tours of the spectacular Yampa Valley.
Horseback Riding – For scenic winter horseback rides, we recommend Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch and Saddleback Ranch, each located within a 20-30 minute drive. Free shuttle service is offered by Saddleback for your convenience.
Hot Air Balloon Rides – One of the most unique winter experiences you can take part in is to float high above the Yampa Valley in a hot air balloon. Wild West Balloon Adventures offers early morning flights over the Yampa Valley, with breakfast and champagne included!
Hot Springs – Just 10 miles away from The Porches is Strawberry Park Hot Springs, one of the most beautiful mineral springs in Colorado. Featuring pools of varying shapes, sizes, and temperatures, it is the perfect place to unwind after an intense day on the slopes. Please be aware that clothing is optional after dark! In addition, Old Town Hot Springs is located in downtown Steamboat and offers access to 3 hot mineral pools along with a fitness center, waterslide, sauna, and much more.
Ice Climbing – Have fun and adventure in a spectacular mountain setting while climbing a frozen waterfall! Rocky Mountain Ventures is the only permitted guided ice climbing outfitter in Steamboat. Expeditions are very safe and no experience is necessary, although all climbers must be at least 13 years of age. If you love the mountains, don’t miss this uniquely exhilarating experience.
Ice Skating – Colorado’s premier indoor ice facility is Howelsen Ice Arena, featuring an Olympic-size indoor ice rink for hockey, ice skating, figure skating, and broomball.
Massage & Spa Treatments – Our favorite local spas include Rocky Mountain Day Spa, Sol Day Spa, & Life Essentials. Please consult their websites for full spa treatment menus.
Skiing & Snowboarding – Steamboat Springs is known as “Ski Town USA” for very good reason! Steamboat Ski Resort is a world-class 3,000 acre ski resort that is getting better every day due to an impressive slate of upgrades and new projects. You will be amazed at how good Steamboat’s ultra-dry, ultra-light champagne powder is! In addition, Steamboat Springs is the home of Howelsen Hill, the oldest continually-operating ski area in the U.S., which offers skiing as well as numerous opportunities to watch Olympic hopefuls strut their ski-jumping stuff.
Sleigh Rides – There are a handful of local ranches that offer scenic sleigh ride dinners on winter evenings, most notably Saddleback Ranch, Dutch Creek Guest Ranch, and Elk River Guest Ranch. You will enjoy a cozy horse-drawn sleigh ride followed by a delicious dinner served in either a tepee or a lodge, depending on your preference, for a rustic and charming winter experience that is perfect for the whole family. Sleigh rides are often thought to be magical or romantic, and those in Steamboat successfully capture both feelings. As you sink in to the comforts of the sleigh and warm up with your wool blanket, the sleighs take you on a moonlight tour of the woods, stopping for a warm, beautifully prepared dinner. Set in different locations around Steamboat, your significant other or family will love this experience. Whether you decide to ride through the Aspen groves at Sunset Ranch, enjoy your dinner in a cozy tepee at Elk River Guest Ranch, or ride behind a snowcat across the ski mountain, the experience will leave you breathless.
Snowmobiling – There is a nearly endless supply of spectacular snowmobile trails criss-crossing the Steamboat area, many of which are concentrated around Rabbit Ears Pass and north of Steamboat in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness. We recommend Steamboat Snowmobile Tours and High Mountain Snowmobile Tours.
Snowshoe Tours – There are thousands of acres of land that are perfect for snowshoeing in and around Steamboat. Yampatika and Rocky Mountain Ventures each offer guided snowshoe tours if you’re not quite sure where to go to explore. Or just rent some snowshoes, head to the top of Rabbit Ears pass, and strap ’em on! Snowshoeing opportunities are nearly unlimited, and is an activity that can be well planned in advance or can be a spur of the moment trek right out your front door. Local trails, such as Spring Creek or the 5,000 acres on Emerald Mountain can be easily accessed from downtown. Along with these, Rabbit Ears and nearly unlimited National Forest and wilderness offers trails with stunning views of the Valley. If you are interested in a guided tour, the mountain offers a snow shoe tour which ends with a gourmet lunch. Whether you are following the cross country trails on Emerald or just heading off into the woods, the expansive trail system around town is more than enough to tire yourself out.
Tennis – Adjacent to our property is one of the finest indoor/outdoor tennis facilities in the country, The Tennis Center. During the winter, you can enjoy the use of their 6 newly-renovated indoor cushioned hard courts, by reservation only.
Tubing – Snow tubing is available at Saddleback Ranch‘s Yee-Haw Hill. Saddleback offers a free tubing shuttle for your convenience.
Winter Driving – If you’ve always wanted to learn the fine art of professional winter driving, the Bridgestone Winter Driving School offers winter driving instruction for all ability levels. Their ice/snow covered courses are world-class, and their skilled guides will soon have you navigating winter terrain like a pro!