One of the best ways to experience Steamboat in the summer, is on the mountain, in what we like to call The Land Up. Here you’ll find the best of what Steamboat has to offer, plenty of summer activities, and endless opportunities to explore. Summer at Steamboat is beginning earlier than ever this year, with the mountain officially opening Memorial Day weekend. Summer operations begin on May 26, providing visitors with access to numerous on-mountain activities.

Scenic Gondola Rides

There is no better way to experience the beauty of Steamboat, than with a scenic gondola ride up Mt. Werner. The ride takes about 15 minutes, and delivers spectacular 360-degree views of the Yampa Valley. At the top, you can go for a hike along the Vista Nature Trial, take a spin on your bike, or enjoy lunch on the Oasis Sundeck.

Summer wildflowers below the gondola

Wanderlust Hiking Trails

One of my favorite ways to explore the mountain in the summer is on foot. Whether you are an experienced hiker, or just looking for a casual walk in the woods, there is an option for everyone. If you want a more challenging hike, I recommend the Thunderhead Trial. This 3.8 mile trail starts at the base area, and climbs 2,180 vertical feet to the top of the gondola. The trail is mostly single track, with gradual switchbacks that lead you through beautiful aspen groves. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy lunch, then ride the gondola down for free.

Hiking the Thunderhead Trail on Mt. Werner

If you are looking for something a little easier, the self-guided interpretive hike on the Vista Nature Trail is a great option. Located at the top of the gondola, this trail offers an easy one-mile loop, perfect for families and nature lovers. Tickets to ride up the gondola can be purchased at the ticket office in Gondola Square. Later in the summer, you can participate in guided hiking tours with a Steamboat Ambassador and Yampatika Naturalist.

Mountain Biking

The resort offers over 30 miles of cross-country mountain bike and multi-use trails on Mt. Werner. All of the uphill and multi-use trails are free for public use. If all that uphill is not really your thing, you can purchase a day pass and take your bike up the gondola. The Bike Shop, located at the Sheraton in Gondola Square, is always available to help answer questions and offers a wide variety of rentals and lessons. In addition to cross-country biking, the Steamboat Bike Park includes over 50 miles of flow and tech trails, specifically for downhill biking. The Steamboat Bike Park will open for summer operations on June 15.

Outlaw Mountain Coaster

This awesome new attraction is easily accessible at the base of the mountain. It is the longest coaster of its kind in North America, stretching more than 6,280 linear feet. The track itself sits 40 feet above the ground, and features dips, hairpin turns, steep descents, and exhilarating 360-degree circles. As you race down the track on your sled, you can reach speeds of up to 27 mph. The mountain coaster has been a great addition to the base area, and continues to be one of my favorite places to take friends and family when they come to visit.

Flying down the Outlaw Mountain Coaster

Maverick Mini Golf

There is just something about mini golf that brings out your inner child, and this new 18-hole course does not disappoint. Each hole on the terraced course features iconic local landmarks, including Fish Creek Falls, and the historic Steamboat barn.

The Land Up Activities

In addition to all of the amazing on-mountain activities available this summer, you can also find a number of family friendly options at the base area. The Land Up Activities include scaling the Kilimanjaro Climbing Wall, racing through the Challenge Ropes Course, and soaring into the sky on the Boomerang Bungee Trampolines.

Conquering the Kilimanjaro Climbing Wall

After a busy day exploring, kick off your shoes and relax at one of the Burgess Creek Beaches along the promenade, or hit up happy hour at one of the many restaurants around Gondola Square.

Relaxing at the Burgess Creek Beach

The mountain will be open weekends through June 10, with weekday operations beginning on June 15. Memorial Day weekend may be considered the unofficial start to summer, but here in Steamboat, we are officially open for summer fun!

Emily Hines is the marketing and special events coordinator for the City of Steamboat Springs. Emily was born and raised in the Yampa Valley and attended the University of Oregon, where she received a Bachelor of Science in business administration with concentrations in marketing and sports business. In 2013, after seven years working on the East Coast for a lifestyle and sports marketing agency, she found her way back home to Steamboat. She loves the outdoors and enjoys sharing her adventures and all that Steamboat has to offer.

Read more from Emily here.

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