The base area of any given mountain can make or break a resort, and Steamboat’s base area definitely makes it!
The base area provides entertainment after the mountain closes and during the day for those who either don’t ski or chose to take the day off. It truly adds to the atmosphere of the mountain by encourages people to gather, with outdoor seating and fire pits and some great restaurants and shops.
There is always something going on in Steamboat… from concerts, to ski races, to fun spectator events, Steamboat’s base area is a fun place to hang out. Right at the bottom of the mountain there is a larger stage. In early January they hold a large Music Fest there every year (pictured above). We also went during the annual Cowboy Downhill, where cowboys in chaps and hats raced down the mountain on skis, and had a little roping and saddling competition. There was live music, sky divers, and plenty of family fun.
The gondola will take you from the base up to the top of the mountain where you can have a meal, ski down or take pictures. It will also take you to the parking lot, if you drove to Steamboat. Even though we stayed at the base, we took the gondola to the parking lot simply to take a picture of the iconic barn that is directly adjacent to it. It may be the most photographed landmark in Steamboat. There is also a free shuttle that will pick you up at the base and take you to the surrounding hotels. It comes in very handy when you are carrying all of your ski or boarding gear.