Champagne on the Mountain 10

Steamboat Springs Ski Resort and the Trailhead Lodge

Famous for it’s “Champagne Powder Snow” Steamboat Resort is an internationally known winter ski resort destination. Located just a stone’s throw east of Steamboat Springs, Colorado the resort is on Mount Werner just west of the Continental Divide and Rabbit Ears Pass. Steamboat/Hayden Airport (HDN) is nearby and accepts flights from 14 different cities, making it easy to get in and to get out from just about anywhere in the US.

It was my senior year of high school in 1980 and my friend’s big sister was a member of the The University of Northern Iowa’s ski club. They had two openings for the spring break trip to Steamboat Springs and we grabbed them. My first trip to Colorado became the benchmark that I have compared all my future ski adventures to. It received a high mark not only because of the awesome skiing on the same mountain as local legend Billy Kidd, but the fact that we were snowed in on the last day and couldn’t leave. Lucky for us a famous rock band’s tour bus was stranded as well. Needless to say we rocked the night away in a small bar with the band members of “38 Special” singing at the top of our lungs “hang on loosely but don’t lose control.” Impossible to top, right?

Fast forward to December 2016, yes, I hear you doing the math. I’m returning for the first time to Steamboat Resort with my spouse and two teenage children for a family holiday trip. I’m pumped and apprehensive. I’ve already hyped it up to and my reputation is on the line. Turns out there was no need to be concerned – Steamboat is still my top benchmark for skiing anywhere in the USA and Canada and my family wholeheartedly agrees!

Steamboat Resort did not disappoint. When you are fortunate to be blessed with awesome weather comprised of blue skies during the day and magical snowfalls at night one cannot find a single complaint to be made. Picking up our lift tickets and ski rentals for four people was a breeze and we found ourselves on the slopes in no time. We were on the front end of the holiday season with short lift lines and lots of excited and spirited Christmas cheer everywhere. In fact at the base of the mountain Santa personally told me that we were the first to see him along with his reindeer before his upcoming worldwide deliveries just a few days away. We did not get to see the famous Billy Kidd but we did snap a photo in front of his statue at the base. The evening holiday parade of torches down the mountain was inspiring and another permanent family memory.

Our high benchmark for the resort carried over to our accommodations and again, we were not disappointed. Trailhead Lodge is a fully furnished suite lodge located in the heart of Wildhorse Meadows, Steamboat’s only master-planned community. We enjoyed the peace and quiet, we compared it to coming home to a residential neighborhood, while benefiting from the convenient access to Steamboat’s many activities and adventures. The property shares a parking lot with Brick Restaurant, an authentic yet modern Italian Pizzeria located just yards away from the Trailhead entrance.

Trailhead Lodge offers many lodging options including: studio, one bedroom with optional den, two bedrooms with optional den, or a three bedroom condo. Each unit comes with wireless internet, bath robes, top quality bath products and an in-unit washer & dryer with detergent provided during the ski season for your convenience.

The teenagers, and yes adults too, took advantage of the Trailhead Lodge amenities including the pool, hot tubs (plural), fitness center, game room, deluxe boot drying facility and access to the Wildhorse Gondola which goes from the property up to the base of the ski area. We also enjoyed the underground parking and on-call shuttle service that we used multiple times to pick up groceries in town.

Thirty-six years, that’s the math. From my first visit as a teenager to present day with my own teenagers for their very first Colorado ski trip. Their own benchmarks have been set, perhaps they will check them again at Steamboat Resort in another thirty-six years like I did. In the meantime we will be returning again and again as a family. Thanks Steamboat!