We Sing the Slopes Fantastic

COLORADO :: STEAMBOAT

    Photo: courtesy, Steamboat Ski Resort/Larry Pierce

MOUNTAIN STATS:

SUMMIT, 10,568 feet
VERTICAL, 3,668 feet
SKIABLE ACRES, 2,939
ANNUAL SNOWFALL, 339 inches
LIFT TICKET, $69
800-922-2722, www.steamboat.com

SOMETIMES COLORADO'S I-70 is a bit, well, constipated, so head for secluded Steamboat, some two hours north. We're talking relentless powder, some of the West's best tree skiing, and a chill ambience—on the slopes and back at the lodge.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Located in the Park Range—where Pacific-born storms usually hit first in Colorado—Steamboat soaks up heavy snow dumps that often skip peaks to the south and east. And many of the aspens are perfectly spaced, as if a gift from God. From the mountain, take a free shuttle the three miles to tiny, colorful Steamboat Springs, where you'll find a surprising slew of kick-back bars and upscale eats.
NUMBER-ONE RUN: Step into the Closet, a forested roller coaster spilling down the west side of Storm Peak, and shake off the dust. Just make sure you've got your turns dialed—and wear a helmet.
HOT LODGE: Across from the gondola, the plush 327-room Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel serves up a deluxe spa, a fitness center with steam bath, an elegant steak-and-chop house, quiet rooms replete with hardwood furniture, and a cavernous stone lobby with, yep, a stream running through it. (Doubles from $159; 877-269-2628, www.steamboatgrand.com)
SOUL PATCH: On the Grand's spacious deck, which looks out on 8,239-foot Emerald Mountain, two truly giant Jacuzzis and a heated outdoor pool offer some of the most luxuriant après-ski lounging in the Rockies.

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