Steamboat Stories — Ray Heid
Steamboat Native, Rancher, Horseman, & Author

Ray Heid makes the inaugural run down the Cowboy Downhill race course in Steamboat

Ray Heid, a fourth-generation local legend, and perhaps known better around town as the “man in the elk duster” has Steamboat flowing in his veins. Born in Steamboat Springs in 1937, Ray donned his first pair of skis at the age of three so he could ride the boat tow up Howelsen Hill. Beginning as a college freshman, he would begin competing in what was then catching on as the hot new sport in town, ski jumping. Ray went on to claim an alternate placement on the 1960 U.S. Olympian Jump Team.

After his competing and coaching days, Ray later settled down with his family in north Routt county to fully realize his lifelong dream to be a “ranch kid.” This Steamboat legend continues to earn a living riding horses and skiing for pleasure. The Heid family can still be found at their ranch, Del’s Triangle 3 where they introduce guests to the real West via horseback rides, buggy tours, and hunting camps year-round. If you enjoyed this, we’d recommend picking up his book “Ray Heid, The Man Behind The Duster,” that is as much the story of Steamboat as it is the man himself.

Ray Heid gathering horses in winter

To help celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Steamboat Resort, we have compiled stories of people who have shaped the mountain from its humble beginnings to the resort of today, sharing their deep roots, traditions, and memories.

If you would like to add your own stories and memories of Steamboat, please tag your social media posts with #steamboat60.