Howelson Hill Ski Area

Howelson Hill Ski Area

Located in downtown Steamboat Springs, Howelson Hill Ski Area is the oldest ski area in continuous operation in Colorado. It is also the site of the largest natural ski-jumping complex in North America.

It has two lifts, two magic carpets, 17 alpine and nine Nordic trails and a 440-foot vertical drop. It might be small by today’s standards, but it has a storied history and a soul that few other ski areas have.

The History of Howelsen Hill

Howelson Hill Ski Area has a remarkable history. It is the oldest continuously operating ski area in the United States and has the largest and most complete natural ski jumping complex in North America.

Howelsen Hill Ski Area has been the training ground for over 95 Olympians and has sent more skiers to international competition than any other ski area in the United States. It is also acknowledged as a “Pioneer Ski Resort” by the International Skiing History Association and the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame.

During the summer, Howelsen Hill becomes a year-round community park with biking trails, rodeo arena, skate park, baseball fields and tennis courts. It is a premier ski training facility and a great place for families to enjoy outdoor activities in the summer.

Howelsen Hill Ski Area is one of the best places for skiing in Steamboat Springs. It is open daily and has some of the most affordable lift tickets in town.

The Ski Jumps

Skiers and snowboarders love Howelson Hill for its series of world-class ski jumps. It’s the largest natural ski jumping complex in North America and has a reputation as one of the best places to train for freestyle skiing and snowboarding.

The area, once known as Elk Park, was renamed in 1917 for Carl Howelsen, a Norwegian immigrant who founded the ski resort. Before he arrived in Steamboat Springs, Howelsen toured Europe as a skier and jumper.

In 1914, he brought a wooden scaffold to the hill and started building the first ski jump. Construction was finished in time for the second annual Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Carnival.

Until the 1950s, town volunteers did most of the engineering and construction work, clearing vegetation, building jumps, developing drainage systems, and installing lifts. In the 1980s, an Olympic-size ice rink was installed at the base of the mountain, and Howelsen Hill became a year-round sports park.

The Nordic Trails

In addition to the alpine ski area, Howelson Hill Ski Area also offers miles of Nordic Trails. These trails offer a unique way to spend the day while enjoying beautiful Yampa Valley views and fun.

Howelsen Hill has 13 miles of rolling, beautifully groomed trails. These trails are a great place to learn to Nordic ski, or to improve your skills as an experienced skier.

A quaint, historic lodge on the slopes is the stepping off point for miles of groomed trails for all ability levels. There is a full pro shop with rentals and sales of all types of skis and snowshoes, plus lessons.

Nordic skiing has a rich history in Steamboat Springs and Routt County, with many of the local ski clubs hosting regular lessons for all skill levels. You can also go backcountry skiing at Rabbit Ears Pass and Pearl Lake, where trails are sheltered from the wind and are perfect for family-friendly excursions.

The Night Skiing

If you’re looking for something a little different from the typical night skiing experience, Howelson Hill Ski Area is a great option. With 15 trails open and 440 feet of vertical drop, you’re sure to have a blast!

This quaint ski area is a popular destination for locals and travelers alike, and the night skiing is a big part of that. It’s a great way to end your day of skiing, and you can even take a ride underneath the lights of downtown Steamboat Springs afterward!

While the night skiing at Howelson Hill hasn’t gotten the attention of larger mountains like Winter Park and Granby Ranch, it’s still an amazing addition to the area.

The resort has a Poma lift and a magic carpet lift that you can use to access the slopes after dark. They also offer a variety of other options for you to enjoy during the evening, such as snow tubing and ice skating.