For the last of my Steamboat Springs post, I’m letting you in on a little secret:
The ski resorts that Colorado is famous for aren’t just for skiing.
OK, it’s not that big a revelation, as number of visitors who come during the non-winter months are almost catching up with those in the ever-popular winter. We see evidence of that every Friday afternoon to Sunday evening along Interstate 70, in the form of more LA-like traffic trudging through the mountains.
Mountain bike, if you’re into that sort of thing
But summertime is still a fantastic time to visit the Colorado high country resorts and hit those snowless slopes. Most of them are open for mountain biking, a natural use for those winding ski runs and trails.
Steamboat Ski Resort is no exception. Ramps and bridges appear right in the middle of the mountains to aid the hundreds of biking enthusiasts who zip and twist their way down these routes.
Unfortunately, this kind of extreme sport isn’t for me. I can ride a regular bike along a smooth paved road, no problem. But get me on a specially fitted model that’s made for going over incredibly large bumps and boulders and 12% gradient slope? I suddenly become balance challenged. And I value my life, thank you very much.
So what do I do instead? Hike with my honey, RAS.
It may not be as adrenaline-charged as mountain biking, but hiking suits me just fine. Besides, if we throw in a little trail running, I’ll get a sufficiently good workout. Plus I don’t have to worry about falling off a bike at screaming top speed.
Hiking on the Steamboat slopes
That’s what we did on our last day in Steamboat, when we both realized that we faced a 3 to 4 hour car trip back to Golden, and we needed to get some exercise in. The condo we stayed at would’ve been a great ski in, ski out place if there had been skiing, but in this case it was right next to one of Steamboat Springs’ main face runs.
After a steady climb on a wide path, it narrowed down to a single track:
These trails continue winding up to the top of the mountain, which something RAS and I would’ve done if we had the time. You do have to dodge a few of the descending mountain bikers along the way, but they are a courteous bunch. Most will let you know they’re coming with a “Heads up!” and some even will say how many more in their party are coming.
Once we headed down, we walked a little further from our condo to the grounds of the Steamboat Sheraton. This is the kind of place that only RAS and I would stay in, if it were just the two of us…and if we had a boatload of bucks…or if they were sponsoring my stay (hint, hint). Even in the summertime and shoulder seasons, this is one of the most expensive hotels in the area.
At some point, I will write about Steamboat’s more well-known winter charms. But for now, I love its summer get-up.
Have you ever been to Steamboat? Let me know what you’ve experienced there!