A Steamboat Summer
Welcome back to Steamboat Resort for the summer! The mountain is a beautiful shade of emerald green, Burgess Creek is flowing and sparkling in the sunshine, the skies overhead are often a deep Colorado blue and wildflowers are colorfully decorating some of my favorite trails. It sure is a nice time to be in Steamboat!
Steamboat Resort was last open on March 14th (my birthday, which is why I remember so easily), and since then, not only have there been two changes in seasons (spring and now summer), but there have also been some changes at the resort related to COVID that you should take note of.
In Steamboat Springs, it’s a community wide effort to minimize the spread of COVID, and you will see all of these guidelines and regulations around Steamboat Resort, as well as around town at other restaurants, shops and activities. Please be aware that Steamboat’s guidelines may differ from where you live, so please familiarize yourself with community guidelines and adhere to them. For detailed information, please visit the Coronavirus Information page on Steamboat’s website. If you need to buy a mask, you can get one at Steamboat Mercantile at the base area, as well as many other retail outlets around town.
For the summer, Steamboat is offering scenic gondola rides, exhilarating rides on the Outlaw Mountain Coaster, an 18-hole mini golf course, a disc golf course, hiking, cross-country mountain biking and even a mountain beach where Burgess Creek provides a shallow and natural pool, perfect for young kids to play in. Also open for the summer is the Timber & Torch Grill at the base area and the Oasis Sundeck at the top of the gondola. You can find more detailed information on the Activities page of Steamboat’s website regarding operating hours and activity details.
While the Steamboat Bike Park is closed for the summer, some of Steamboat’s best cross-country singletrack is open and in perfect condition. There are 30 miles of cross-country and multi-use trails on Mt. Werner, all of which are free (unless you were to take your bike on the gondola to skip some of the uphill). One of my most favorite rides in all of Steamboat is pedaling up Pioneer, continuing up Sunshine Trail to Cathy’s Cutoff, and continuing all the way to the summit of Mt. Werner. On the way down, I like to cut back across the mountain on Sunshine Trail (towards the Rainbow Saddle), connect into the Elkhead Loop before heading down towards Valley View, which will take you back to the base of Thunderhead Lift. With an elevation gain of 3,668 feet, it certainly is a grueling climb, but worth every minute of it once you reach the summit and get to enjoy not only the gorgeous and expansive views, but also the miles and miles of downhill singletrack ahead of you.
Hiking is also a great option at Steamboat Resort. The Thunderhead Trail will take you from the base of the mountain to the top of the gondola over the course of 3.8 relatively steep miles. At the top of the gondola, the Vista Nature Trail is a very casual one-mile loop that offers spectacular views of the valley. As a mom of young boys, we’ve enjoyed many hikes on the Vista Nature Trail, not only enjoying the views, but also enjoying all of the educational animal signs posted along the way (the same ones you’ll find along Why Not during the winter).
While Steamboat may feel a bit different with all of the COVID regulations in place, as long as we all respect and adhere to these guidelines, there is plenty of summertime fun to be had by all on the mountain and around town. The beauty and calmness of the great outdoors can often be a perfect remedy for stressful and unusual times. By implementing responsible guidelines regarding Coronavirus, Steamboat Resort is able to share its beauty and calmness of the great outdoors with you, and bring you plenty of summertime fun.
Enjoy the bike, enjoy the hike, enjoy the coaster or gondola ride, enjoy the mini-golf, enjoy the beach and enjoy summer at Steamboat Resort. Have a great day on the mountain!
Erin Campbell, Mountain Biker, Alpine Skier & Snowboarder
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