Steamboat Springs Lodging Guide & Tips

Steamboat Area

Steamboat Area

Steamboat Springs has become a major resort destination since the ski area broke ground back in 1958. The majority of lodging that has been built in Steamboat since then is found in the "Mountain Village" area, which surrounds the ski area base. Steamboat Springs has been around much longer than the ski area though. In fact, Steamboat's first and smaller ski area is the longest continually operating ski area in all of the United States! Howelsen Hill was named after Carl Howelsen, who founded the Winter Sports Club and Nordic ski operations way back in 1914. This planted the seed of skiing for sport, and has led Steamboat Springs to become the home town of more United States Olympians than any other place in the country! Howelsen Hill is just across from downtown Steamboat Springs, also known as Old Town. Downtown lodging consists mostly of hotels and motels, but there are also an increasing number of private homes, town homes, and condos available for vacation rental in this area. There are also some lodging options within the 3 miles that lay in between the Mountain Village area and Downtown area. There are lodging options spread throughout other areas of Steamboat Springs as a city, and in rural Routt County outside of town.

Steamboat Central Park

Steamboat Central Park

Central Park is the area in between the Mountain Village and Downtown. This area includes some lodging options that are less expensive with the benefit of being close to both the ski area and downtown. This area is also home to 2 major grocery stores, many good restaurants, shopping, the movie theater, and is also very close to both the Yampa River and Fish Creek.

Steamboat Downtown

Steamboat Downtown

Downtown Steamboat Springs is also known as “Old Town.” That’s because it was here long before there was a ski area! In the late 1800s, early settlers were brought to this area due to its lands perfect for raising cattle, as well as some significant mining activities to the north near Steamboat Lake. Lodging in downtown is limited to mostly hotels and motels, though there are some chic & modern new loft style condos and private homes available for short term rental too. If you want to be in downtown, and not in a hotel or motel, book farther in advance! Downtown has always been and remains a center of activity in both winter and summer. Home to the majority of the area’s shops, restaurants, bars & nightlife, any guest is sure to visit this area during their visit. There is more to like about Downtown Steamboat than commercial activity. The Yampa River is renowned for fly fishing & river tubing, and in spring or the earlier parts of summer, for rafting & kayaking. Howelsen Hill Park is home to the year round ice rink, the alpine slide, baseball fields, volleyball and basketball courts, horseshoe pits, a skate park, bmx track, and the rodeo grounds. In winter, it includes alpine and nordic skiing for a fraction of the cost of the main resort. In summer, it is the base of Emerald Mountain, which includes hundreds of miles of mountain biking and hiking trails! Downtown also includes the Old Town Hot Springs Recreation Center, and the central section of the Yampa River Core Trail, a paved path along the Yampa River that stretches from west of Downtown all the way up to the Mountain Village.

Steamboat Mountain Village

Steamboat Mountain Village

The Mountain Village is the area around the base of the ski resort. This area has been built up since the 1960s, and contains more than 80% of the private homes, town homes, and condos for rent. This area has restaurants & bars, shops & retail, small grocery & liquor stores, hiking & biking trails, and of course, the ski resort’s base, which is centered around Gondola Square. Gondola Square itself includes the ski school & ticket office. It’s where everyone starts their ski day, as well as the home of concerts, special events, and lots of activity in winter and summer. The base area slopes are surrounded by lodging, dining, & shopping options, all interconnected by the heated Promenade pathway, which makes walking around the base area not just easy, but fun. In summer, lots of activities sprout up. The “kids adventure zone” includes rock climbing wall, ropes course, bungee trampolines, mechanical rodeo bull, and more. Burgess Creek flows through the base area in a controlled level that is perfect for kids and pets to play in. There’s even a sandy “beach” with lounge chairs! Perhaps the best feature is the Gondola itself, which in summer ferries hikers, mountain bikers, up to over 9000 feet. The sunset happy hours at the top of the Gondola have become very popular!