Whether you’re looking for family fun or something a bit more thrilling, there are plenty of things to do in Steamboat Spring during the winter.
For a unique experience, try riding a snowmobile across a frozen lake. Or, take a hot air balloon tour for an unforgettable adventure!
Steamboat Springs is well-known for its iconic Champagne Powder(r) and family-friendly resort, but the town and mountain also offer a number of marquee events that keep visitors coming back year after year.
One of the most unique ski races in Colorado, Cowboy Downhill invites professional rodeo cowboys from all over to compete on Steamboat’s slopes. They race each other in a dual slalom course that leads to a jump and lasso challenge.
This event started over 40 years ago when Billy Kidd, director of skiing for Steamboat Ski Resort and Larry Mahan, six-time All Around World Champion cowboy, decided to invite a few of the ProRodeo stars to the slopes for a day of fun. That one invitation quickly grew into the largest ski rodeo in the country.
Today, over 100 professional rodeo cowboys head to the slopes for this fun and unique event sponsored by Bud Light each winter. Cowboy Downhill has become a signature Steamboat event, and it’s free to watch for everyone.
Winters in Steamboat Springs can be long and cold, so locals have been celebrating the season with their own version of a festival. Since the early 1900s, the Winter Carnival has helped cooped-up locals blow off some of their cabin fever while also having fun and getting together with friends.
The weekend-long festivities kick off with 100-meter Nordic ski sprints down Lincoln Avenue that anyone with a pair of skis can participate in. The races are followed by an entertaining show featuring a variety of ski and snowboard stunts.
Keeping with the town’s Western heritage, horses are incorporated into many events. Among them are the classic shovel speed races in which grown adults race on shovels pulled by a horse.
The Night Extravaganza is a spectacular finale to the Carnival, featuring athletes skiing down Howelsen Hill in the dark with flares and LED lights. The event also features the Lighted Man on Skis, a pyrotechnic skier who skies down Howelsen Hill shooting fireworks from his suit.
MusicFest at Steamboat
MusicFest at Steamboat is a six-day, 200+ hours of live music event that happens every first week of January in the world-class ski resort of Steamboat Springs. Its lineup of top Texas and Americana artists plus the powder-covered slopes that give it its name make this event one of the best music festivals in the country.
The festival is organized by Dickson Productions, a company that puts its focus on bringing together great musicians and friends in the best possible way. Founder John Dickson is a music fanatic who aims to promote and support singer-songwriters.
The event features a diverse schedule of shows and performances across sundry venues including; a stage that resembles an old barn/hunting lodge, a huge dancehall/tent, a pub, an intimate saloon, and a luxurious ballroom. Packages also include lift tickets and lodging (book early to snag ski-in/ski-out options).
Snowshoeing is a great way to get out in the winter, explore the mountains, and stay fit. It is popular among hikers and skiers, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Snowshoing is relatively easy to learn and is a great workout for your whole body. The best way to start snowshoeing is on flat terrain and gradually work your way up to hillier trails.
The most important tip for snowshoeing is to keep your balance. To do this, push the uphill side of your snowshoes into the slope to create a shelf as you walk along.
Then, try to stay perpendicular to the slope when climbing. This keeps you from sliding back down the hill and losing your balance. It also helps prevent you from over-swinging your leg, which can cause the back of your snowshoe to catch and throw you off balance.