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Friendly Steamboat combines great skiing and snowboarding with good, old-fashioned Western charm...
Steamboat invented (and trademarked) the term “champagne powder” to describe the delicious, powdery snow that draws skiers and boarders back year after year.
And the best level to have if you want to make the most of all that lovely snow here is intermediate.
Most of the groomed runs are suitable for intermediates, whether they only recently left the nursery slopes behind or are fast approaching advanced status.
But there is less choice for truly advanced or expert snow fans - while there are a few harder black runs around, these are too few to keep you busy for a week.
You can access a wide range of off-piste routes from Steamboat, though, making it a fun destination for powder lovers when there has been some fresh snow.
Resort height: 2,070m
There is also an impressive terrain park complete with outdoor sound system and a superpipe for those who prefer to get their kicks flying through the air.
Beginners are probably the worst served here as a result, although skiers and snowboarders of all levels will appreciate the lack of crowds. The relatively long distance from Denver means day-trippers tend to head to other resorts instead.
It takes about three and a half hours to drive to Steamboat from Denver airport...
Alternatively, you can fly into Yampa Valley Regional Airport (known as Hayden), which is only 22 miles from the resort.
Intermediates will love Steamboat's many well-groomed pistes, while experts will enjoy the fluffy powder off-piste...
There are lots of better ski resorts for beginners in North America, though.
The Western vibe in Steamboat sets it apart from your average ski resort, as does the choice of activities for non-skiers...
Steamboat is not the resort to head to for outrageous parties. However, there are some fun après-ski bars in resort - try the Bear River Pub and Grill and the T-Bar, and head on to Hazie's Western BBQ when hunger strikes. In nearby Steamboat Springs, which is about three miles from the resort, popular bars include the Laundry Kitchen and Cocktails and the Ghost Ranch Saloon, while you can find some good grub at Bistro CV.
The wide range of activities for non-skiers is one of the big plus points of Steamboat. From horse-drawn sleigh rides to ice-climbing and winter fly-fishing, there's something for everyone. Those looking to relax rather than use their muscles can also head to one of the resort's spas, or take a trip to the Steamboat hot springs.
Cost of living 6/10
Prices in Steamboat are low compared to those you might be used to paying in European ski resorts. And you can save even more by staying and going out downtown rather than on the mountain. There's still that long-haul flight to pay for, though.
Attractiveness of the resort 7/10
Steamboat has plenty of attractive, tree-lined pistes, along with bucket loads of authentic Western charm. When it comes to natural attractions, there are also the hot springs. Don't expect to see any steamboats, though. The name actually comes from the springs, which make a chugging sound that early explorers mistook for a steamboat coming down the river.