Howelson Hill Ski Area – Colorado’s Oldest Ski Area

Howelson Hill Ski Area

Howelson Hill is a small ski area in downtown Steamboat Springs. It is not your typical alpine ski resort, but it has North America’s largest natural ski jump complex and has been training Olympic competitors since 1915.

The city of Steamboat Springs owns the ski area, which has reasonable prices and offers night skiing for a fee. There is also tubing cross country trails and a chair lift that only runs on weekends.


Howelson Hill Ski Area is Colorado’s oldest ski area and North America’s most complete natural ski jumping complex. Since 1914, the small ski area has played an important role in fostering the development of the sport of skiing.

The first improvements at Howelson Hill began with a 150-seat grandstand, ice skating rink and toboggan slide in 1920. An Alpine slalom hill was added later in the decade.

In the 1980s, Howelson Hill received significant upgrades that turned it into a year-round sports park featuring biking trails; a rodeo arena with calf scrambles, team roping and barrel racing; and ball fields. Howelson Hill is a must-visit destination for locals and skiers alike. It has become a winter staple for the community and has sent an amazing 98 Olympians to the Olympics, more than any other ski area in the country. Today, the site hosts winter events and activities including the Brent Romick Rodeo, a family fun center and snowshoe and fat bike trails.


Howelson Hill is most famous for its natural ski jumps, and you’ll frequently see young competitors effortlessly spinning 360s and 720s off these steep hills. But the mountain is much more than a jump spot. With 17 trails, it’s a great place for beginners, intermediates, and expert skiers.

Despite its small size, the resort is very well-rounded and offers a wide variety of runs for every skill level. It is also one of the top-rated Colorado resorts for night skiing (for a fee), which takes place from 5:30 to 8pm Tues-Thurs.

The nearby town of Steamboat Springs offers a number of accommodation options, and there are several airports in the area that provide scheduled major airline service. If you’re planning to fly, we recommend comparing the different airports and their distances from the mountain using our interactive map. There are also numerous backcountry trails that are accessible from the mountains around Steamboat Springs. Be sure to carry proper safety equipment and be prepared for changing weather conditions when entering the backcountry.


Located in downtown Steamboat Springs, the small ski area boasts a remarkable heritage as Colorado’s oldest continuously operated ski area since 1915 and has the largest natural ski jumping complex in North America. It is a great town hill and offers night skiing, plus nordic and snowshoe trails. One double chair lift and three surface lifts service the mountain.

The ski area has a few restaurants to choose from, and Vaqueros is a favorite. This family-owned Mexican restaurant serves up authentic food with a crazy view of Howelson Hill, Mount Werner and Sleeping Giant. This is a must-stop for all skiers and snowboarders!

You can also check out the newly opened apres bar at Carl’s Tavern in the historic Howelsen Place building. You can enjoy a tasty meal like the Shrimp Basket with Cajun flavor served with Remoulade or Cocktail sauce or a Cuban sandwich stacked with Ham, Salami, Provolone and Artichoke hearts. They also serve a Veggie Muffaletta for the vegetarians out there!


For a very reasonable fee, you can ski at night at Howelson Hill. The hours are Tuesday through Friday from 5:30- 8pm. The mountain has one double chair lift and a small magic carpet, as well as a lodge that sells concessions like soft pretzels and pizza slices. They don’t serve beer, but there is a fireplace and lockers for a dollar.

The hill is famous for its long, natural ski jumps – it has the largest natural ski jumping complex in North America. It has also served as the training ground for over 90 Olympic athletes and over 20 Colorado Ski Hall of Fame members. The city views it as most towns view a local soccer field or tennis court: as an asset to be leveraged for the good of the community.

This is what makes it such a great town hill. It’s only a short trip from downtown and is affordable to ski at.