This offseason at Howelsen Hill Ski Area will be among the transformative in its storied history. For one, a new SkyTrac triple will be replacing the Barrows Chairlift this summer, as the parts have begun to arrive at the ski area. We have known about the lift replacement for a while now, as they auctioned the chairs off in March. According to Steamboat Pilot & Today, the new portion of offseason plans though includes a new trail. The new run will be South of the Mountain View and Town View runs on the Face of Howelsen Hill. The run will either be a beginner or intermediate run and will have to be approved by the city council for the grading to commence. The reasoning for this addition is that many skiers accidentally ski down to the black diamond Face run, and need to hike back up to the easier terrain. This run will help create an easier run in this section of the hill. An eight-meter dirt jump will be constructed next to the magic carpet for younger ski jumping athletes, and will not be accessible to the public. Finally, an old lift shack could be repurposed to sell lift tickets. Construction on the chairlift and jump are underway, but the new trail and lift ticket shack plans will be presented to the Steamboat Springs City Council in October.
Howelsen Hill is tiny in comparison to its mighty counterpart in town: Steamboat Ski Resort, but it packs a punch with its variety of winter sports options. According to them, they are North America’s oldest operating ski area. It is home to one of the most impressive ski jumping facilities in the country, and the Nordic Center track goes around the hill. Another great feature of the hill is their Ski Free Sundays, where guests can shred for free during specific time slots on Sunday, providing a great alternative to the large weekend lines over at Steamboat Ski Resort. With their noisy neighbors making some transformative changes as well, it’s great to see Howelsen Hill continue to make improvements to keep the mountain accessible to the locals.
Image Credits: City of Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation