Trail Progression

Progression is a theme at Steamboat Resort. From improved snowmaking technology and capabilities to an additional out-of-base gondola to the top of Sunshine peak, and a wonderfully revamped Steamboat Square, progression is noticeable across the resort. What might be less noticeable is the now seamless trail progression from your very first turns to becoming an intermediate level skier or rider. With Steamboat Resort’s recent Full Steam Ahead updates and improvements, it is now easier than ever to progress through beginner to intermediate terrain across the mountain.

The Wild Blue gondola is pivotal in giving skiers and riders access to the terrain to progress from beginner to intermediate level. With the most beginner terrain at the base area along the publicly accessible Wrangler Carpet, the natural next step would be beginner trails like Wild Blue Way and Stampede, serviced by the midway point of Christie Peak Express. Once those runs are mastered, the Wild Blue gondola’s mid-station provides access to several other trails that are great for beginners.

Swinger is a top pick for beginner terrain, which is accessible from halfway up Wild Blue gondola, along with other green trails like Right-O-Way and Giggle Gulch. Also accessible at the mid-station of Wild Blue gondola is the Greenhorn Ranch Express, servicing another beginner favorite, Rough Rider. While the Terrain Based Learning features and magic carpets at Greenhorn Ranch are only accessible for SnowSports school, Rough Rider is open to the public, along with the high-speed quad lift.

Why Not trail, accessed either from the mid-station at Wild Blue gondola or by utilizing Thunderhead Express or the Steamboat Gondola, features numerous educational animal signs along the way, and mellow terrain that is great to learn on. With excellent valley views, nice variety, and an education about native fauna, Why Not is a must-do for beginners (just make sure to pay attention when trails merge and always look uphill).

Once these beginner, green trails have been conquered, it’s time to progress higher up on the mountain with a ride to the top of Wild Blue. Now North America’s longest and fastest gondola, Wild Blue whisks you from the base to the top of Sunshine Peak in an impressive 13 minutes! Spanning a distance of 3.16 miles, the views are stunning and the 10-person cabins are luxuriously spacious. And the best part of all: Wild Blue allows you to access the next level of terrain as you progress from a beginner to an intermediate skier or rider.

Locally known as “Wally World” to many, the Sunshine Bowl trails are great for learning beginners and newer intermediate level guests. Sundial to Tomahawk is your best bet for starters, or Rendezvous Way gives you more of a cat-track experience if that’s what you prefer (again, just make sure to look for uphill skiers and riders as you cross slopes). As you progress to more intermediate, blue terrain, start with Quickdraw, Flintlock, Sunshine Lift Line and High Noon, all serviced by Sunshine Express. Broadway is a green and scenic favorite in the area, giving you access to both Elkhead Express and Sundown Express. And lastly, Moonlight is another perfect trail for the newly intermediate level skier or rider, accessible from the top of Elkhead Express.

Sunshine Peak trails are perfect for intermediate level skiers and riders, and guests should feel comfortable and confident before moving on to other blue trails across the mountain. Now fully serviced by the Wild Blue gondola, remember that downloading back to the base area is always an option and often a good idea when your legs are tired at the end of the day (plus, the ride down is scenic, smooth, and fast). With a natural flow and progression of trails at Steamboat Resort, skiers and riders can more comfortably and confidently progress from their very first turns to becoming intermediate level. Thanks to the addition of Wild Blue gondola, trail progression is not only seamless, but stunningly scenic as well. Happy trails!

Written by Erin Campbell