Seven thousand feet up in the Colorado Rockies, nestled quietly below one of the largest ski mountains in North America, sits a small ranching community that serves as a constant reminder that the Old West is alive and well. The town got its name when trappers, travelling through the area in mid 1800s, found a spring that made a chugging noise which sounded to them like a steamboat. Ranchers soon followed, and ranching traditions are still preserved by the large ranching community.
Originally, skiing was the only method of transportation during harsh Rocky Mountain winters. In turn, the popularity of skiing as a winter pastime catalyzed development of the town and other communities all over the Rocky Mountains. In 1913, Carl Howelsen, a Norwegian, moved to town and introduced ski jumping. Howelsen built the first jump on namesake Howelsen Hill, now part of the Howelsen Ski Area. He also founded the annual Winter Carnival, a celebration still held each winter. Traditionally, the festival includes ski racing and jumping, dog sledding, and chariot events down Lincoln Avenue, the city’s main street. Light shows on both Mount Werner and Howelsen Hill are highlights.
The Steamboat Ski Resort was largely established by two local men, Jim Temple and John Fetcher. Temple led the effort to develop the area. Fetcher, a local rancher, was the main designer and builder. The resort opened on what was then called Storm Mountain in 1963. Seven thousand feet up in the Colorado Rockies, nestled quietly below one of the largest ski mountains in North America, sits a small ranching community that serves as a constant reminder that the Old West is alive and well.
Known officially as Ski Town USA, Steamboat Springs has produced more winter sport Olympians than any other town in the United States. To date 52 Olympians, including 2 summer Olympians call Steamboat home. Today summer vacations and winter ‘Champagne Powder’ skiing are enjoyed with equal enthusiasm while thriving downtown and mountain commerce areas make Steamboat Springs an active year round community. A local legend says that the Yampa Valley holds a curse: “Once you visit the Valley you heart will be forever captivated, and be compelled to return”.
The nearest major airport is at Hayden, approx. 30 minutes by shuttle from the ski resort. Denver is approx. 4 hours drive.
|Longest Run||4.8 km|
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Station Mall, 293 Bay St., Sault Ste Marie, P6A 1X3
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