View from the Sky - Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
Steamboat, Colorado gets its name from the Steamboat Hot Springs located in downtown. The hot springs were notorious for their gurgling and whistling sounds that sounded very similar to a steamboat. While construction for the railroad silenced the Steamboat Hot Springs in 1908, Steamboat still has other active hot springs including the picturesque Strawberry Park Hot Springs about 25 minutes northwest of town. I moved to Steamboat, commonly referred to as “Ski Town USA,” with my family in the fall of 1990 and fell in love with the area and legendary champagne powder for which it’s known. One of the best perks of Steamboat is its remote location as unlike many Colorado resorts, it is located 78 miles from Interstate 70 – most other resorts are just a stone’s throw from the highway.
Steamboat was a ranching community before the ski area was developed in 1963 and as such it has an old town feel. Steamboat has a long tradition of skiing starting in 1913 when Carl Howelsen built the first ski jump and started what is now a famous winter carnival. Steamboat Springs has produced more winter Olympians than any town in North America. After school activities for many kids are provided by the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) whereby they head to Howelsen Hill for ski practice and can then ski into the evening on the illuminated slopes. The Steamboat Ski Area (Mt. Werner) has an annual snowfall average of 331 inches and is constantly at the top of the snow fall list for resorts in Colorado. Steamboat is also frequently rated one of the best family ski areas in North America. The Base Elevation is 6,900 ft with a vertical rise of 3,668 ft. From the top of Storm Peak at 10,568 ft, there are beautiful views of the Yampa Valley, Sleeping Giant and the Flattop Mountain Range. I have been fortunate enough to enjoy many days on Mt. Werner with friends and family, and look forward to skiing Steamboat for the 19th season in a row this winter.
Steamboat is also home to advanced atmospheric research as the Desert Research Institute operates the Storm Peak Laboratory located at 10,500ft to study the weather and atmospheric conditions. Storm Peak Laboratory is uniquely situated in the path of ‘upwind fetch’ which creates the ideal conditions to monitor the free troposphere. This laboratory has been recording data for over 20 years. Aside from skiing, the Strawberry Park Hot Springs is a local favorite and a lifesaver after a day of hitting the slopes. If you have the opportunity, I highly suggest a visit as Steamboat Springs, CO offers an experience you will never forget.
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