Steamboat Springs

As you walk through the town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, you may find yourself singing the Talking Heads song, Living in the Wild, Wild West. However, don't be fooled into thinking that the Stetsons you see are part of some sort of masquerade. Since ranching is a popular means of livelihood in this area, the town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado is authentic cowboy country.

Aside from exploring Steamboat Springs "cowboy culture" and Steamboat Springs skiing, many people come to Steamboat Springs Colorado for the waters, which were discovered by French fur trappers in 1865. If you visit, you can enjoy the springs at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Strawberry Park is also the Steamboat Springs cultural center, where you can enjoy jazz and other types of performances.

The history of Steamboat Springs Colorado can be viewed in various attractions throughout the town. Be sure to pay a visit to the Treads of Pioneers Museum, which was built in 1908. The museum features a period-furnished Victorian home along with exhibits highlighting the history of Steamboat Springs, Colorado skiing. The museum also has an interesting selection of Native American arts, ranching, mining and pioneer heritage. Check out the World War II snowcat that sits in an outdoor exhibit space.

If you plan to take an historic walking tour of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, take a look at the Lorenz building on Lincoln Avenue. It was built in 1893 and used as a store. Then, in 1912, the building became the first courthouse in Steamboat Springs. The courtroom occupied the upper floor and the clerk, treasurer, and jail were situated the ground floor. The jail, which had wooden doors, served as the courthouse until the present courthouse was completed in 1923. In the early 1930's, a dance hall named the Social Benefit Association hall was upstairs from the courthouse. Today, the Lorenz building is used for office space and retail business.

If you are interested in Steamboat Springs skiing history, take a walk through Howelsen Hill, which is located on the south side of the Yampa River. The hill is named for Carl Howelsen, the "flying Norseman" who was a well-known Barnum and Bailey Circus star. In 1914, Howelsen came to Steamboat Springs and introduced the town to ski jumping. The hill was first used for jumping in 1915. The slalom and downhill courses were added in the late 1930's. The first tow, built in 1934 was a "boat tow" which consisted of two sleds pulled by a cable that was powered by a car motor. It was one of the longest "ski lifts" in the United States. In 1950, a 90-meter jump had been built and named for Douglas Graham, who was a local businessman. The Graham Jump drew many Olympic training camps. It was the site of several noteworthy jumps. The most impressive was Ansten Samuelstuen's 316-foot jump in 1951. This jump set a record that remained unbroken till the 1960s. Today, Steamboat Springs boasts 69 Olympic athletes.

Modern Steamboat Springs skiing has come a long way since that first boat tow. Steamboat Ski Resort has over 18 lifts, including the Gondola and brand-new Christie Peak Express high-speed, six passenger lift; 165 trails, and 2,965 acres/1,200 hectares offering a diversity of terrain for all ability levels. Steamboat Springs Ski resort averages 338 inches of its signature Champagne Power® snow, enticing avid powder hounds from around the globe. The term Champagne Powder was coined in Steamboat and this is the only place to find this incredibly light, dry and fluffy snow. Steamboat Springs Ski resort is an excellent place for a family ski vacation.

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