Top 10 Steamboat Winter Activities That Do Not Involve the Ski Slopes

While skiing or snowboarding is typically the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a ski town like Steamboat Springs, those activities are clearly not all we have to offer for outdoor winter activities.

Telemark ski racing
That’s me on my way to winning Overall National Championships in 2012


Here are 10 other winter activities to be enjoyed in The ‘Boat:

1.  Breath in the beauty of the backcountry on cross country skis. The Yampa Valley offers hundreds of miles of nordic skiing opportunities, check out the Steamboat Springs Nordic Council for that list.

Nordic skiing in Steamboat Springs, CO
Nordic skiing in Steamboat Springs, CO

2.  We dare you NOT to smile while tubing Howelsen Hill – it can’t be done! Rides to the top of the hill via the magic carpet means no lugging kids and tubes making this a great family outing. Steamboat’s snow tubing will have everyone laughing and smiling.

Snow tubing Steamboat’s Howelsen Hill

3. Horseback riding is not just for warm weather months, it’s great in the winter too. Let the folks at historic Saddleback Ranch take you on a snowy ride followed by a warm-up of hot cocoa and cookies.

Winter horseback riding
Winter horseback riding

4.  Snowshoeing is a great way to explore Steamboat’s back country. Local environmental stewards, Yampatika, offer snowshoe tours for all levels and even offer full-moon tours.

Champagne powder snowshoeing available here
Champagne powder snowshoeing available here

5. If the wind in your face is a must have while on vacation, then snowmobiling may be just the activity for you. There are miles and miles of snowmobile terrain to explore in and around Steamboat Springs.

Snowmobile the Yampa Valley
Snowmobile the Yampa Valley

6. If you love fishing, don’t let winter get in the way. The fish still bite here, you just need to break through the layer of ice to get to them. Any one of Steamboat’s local fishing shops or outfits will help you find the right ice fishing hole for you.

7. We love our trails and open space here in Steamboat Springs. With thousands of acres of year-round hiking and exploration, there are trails for all levels and abilities. Just be sure to dress accordingly in the winter.

Hiking in Steamboat's backcountry
Hiking Steamboat’s backcountry

8. If driving on snow and ice make you nervous, the instructors at the Winter Driving School can help with that. After a little theory in the classroom they will have you honing your winter driving skills on the track.

Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs

9.  What would winter be without ice skating? Sure, we have indoor ice skating at the Howelsen Ice Arena but to truly experience the crisp air of winter you’ve got to find one of Steamboat’s frozen ponds. Just look for the local families who have already cleared the snow for you.

Ice skating (Photo courtesy of

10.  After all of the fun and activity you have undoubtedly experienced while here in Steamboat Springs, you will want to relax your muscles and your mind at one of our soothing hot springs. There is nothing quite like unwinding from the day in the naturally heated hot springs as the snow falls around you.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs
Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs

These are just 10 of the fun things to do outdoors while In Steamboat Springs in the winter. If you happen to be here in February, don’t miss our annual Winter Carnival going on its 101st year. The celebration goes on for days!

I hope you enjoy your stay in what some call “Winter Wonderland”. I call it home.





Want to learn more about me?

Charlie Dresen
Real Estate Associate Broker |Sotheby’s
Change Your Experience
970-846-6435 |
610 Market Place Plaza, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487