Best time to Visit Steamboat

When is the Best Time to Visit Steamboat?

One of the most asked questions we receive either by email or over the phone from guests is if we know when the snow will be best for Simply Steamboat luxury vacation planning.

If we had the gift of snowfall clairvoyance, we would probably not be available by phone or email, as we’d be in Vegas trying to see if this skill translated into big predictions on which black jack table might be the winner.  Or we’d be doing a round the country lotto ticket buying road trip – trying our hand at that.

Fortunately, the odds of fantastic Steamboat snowfall anytime during the ski season are WAY better than the odds in Vegas.  And meteorologists have come a long way since the Farmer’s Almanac.

So here are a few fun variables to consider when planning your Steamboat vacation with or without a snowflake crystal ball…


This year Thanksgiving is on November 28, later than last year which bodes well for Steamboat’s ski area.  When Thanksgiving falls a week earlier, it can be a bit more of a crap shoot as to whether or not conditions will be good for opening day.

The runs that are open are ideal for beginners and intermediates.  Most of the steeps are kept closed, so the family actually gets to ski together.  No one feels bad for taking the easy way down – there’s usually just one route and it’s fairly fast and easy.  And if your ski legs aren’t in perfect shape yet, there isn’t a lot of pressure for LONG thigh burning ski days.  You can still make up excuses for spending inordinate amounts of time in your Simply Steamboat hot tub.  We can’t think of any right now, but we’re sure you can.

Bonus, if you can’t button your ski pants after a big turkey feast, you won’t have to spend a lot of time on chairlifts getting all the way to the summit.  Just enjoy the gondola or Christie lift and the fun runs that are easily accessible from their mid-mountain peaks!

And since we’re talking turkey …. no need to spend all day over a hot stove stuffing your bird.  You can have the best of both worlds with a fabulous Thanksgiving spread inside your gorgeous Simply Steamboat home away from home.  Just call Steamboat Meat and Seafood Company or The Drunken Onion for their portable Thanksgiving feasts.  Then settle into the comfy couch, watch football and count your many blessings–especially the blessing that nobody had to cook or wash massive amounts of pots and pans for this year’s turkey day dinner.

Simply Steamboat tip: order the prepared to go Thanksgiving meals ahead of time.  They have very limited supplies for last minute walk-in’s.  All of the turkey dinners are reserved ahead of time.

Early December Vacations

This is a great time to beat the crowds (not that Steamboat EVER feels as crowded as other resorts, because it doesn’t).  But because it’s a time period where people are usually not traveling, it’s a great opportunity to get some good deals.  Early season rates apply for our luxury lodging and lift tickets also are less at this time of year before high season kicks in.  Restaurants are still running specials to entice the locals into taste testing new winter menus. Spas and other Steamboat activities and amenities usually offer great incentives as well to entice early season business.

As far as snowfall is concerned, there are years when the snow this time of year is absolutely incredible.  There can be days of deep powder completely un-tracked except by locals and other years where the temperature is low and perfect for a little supplementing of mother nature’s goodness (i.e. snowmaking).  This results in a nice fast base on groomed trails, which can’t be beat either.

The shops downtown are a great spot to pick out some unique holiday gifts for family and friends.  And the quaint shopping experience is much more relaxed and fun than parents elbowing each other out of the way in metropolitan Toys ‘R Us areas.  At least we like to think so.

After Christmas to New Year’s Day

Mother Nature does like to keep us on our toes and play a few tricks on us this time of year.  I remember several EPIC powder days that fell smack dab on Christmas Day. In fact, just last Christmas Day was one such epic day! I considered convincing the kids that Santa Claus brought us powder rather than presents and seeing how that went over.  Instead, we opened presents and thought about the visitors that got to enjoy massive amounts of snow with barely seeing another person on the hill.

Mother Nature likes to repeat this same pattern on New Year’s Day to keep late night partiers from staying out too late and making sure they get up early to appreciate her bounty and vow not to repeat their hangover.  This is always a great time to visit, Steamboat is in full swing.  The energy is a blast and this year’s new night skiing amenity starts December 20!

January and February

The sky pretty much opens up in these months with a never ending supply of the white stuff.  The oh so fun and crazy Cowboy Downhill is a must see in January.  This year will be the 40th annual, Cowboy Downhill, so there might be some extra bells and whistles to celebrate this hilarious event.  February kicks off with the 101st Winter Carnival.  If you’ve never been to Steamboat during Winter Carnival, we highly recommend planning some requisite sick days right now and reserving your Simply Steamboat luxury condominium.  From the street events downtown, to the snow ski parade and lighted man, there’s a good reason this tradition has lasted 101 years….


March’s weather is a win/win any way you slice it.  There have been many years where March’s snowfall outnumbers any other month of the year.  And there are years when the sun is shining so brightly that your whole ski day is centered around enjoying apres-ski in its finest form.  Outdoor live music, hanging out on “the beach” of Slopeside Grill.  Just don’t forget the sunscreen….

No matter the snow conditions on the slopes, there’s plenty to do in Steamboat.  The media has praised our little town for providing way more than one could possibly tackle in just a few short days.  Pretend you’re in the Iditarod with a dog sled adventure, hone your winter driving skills at the acclaimed Bridgestone Winter Driving School, explore the back country by snowmobile.

The ideas on and off the slopes are endless and these are just the tip of our icicle.