3 Best Places For Snow Tubing In Steamboat Springs
Going snow tubing while visiting Steamboat Springs this year?
Nestled in northwest Colorado in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, Steamboat Springs is an enchanting mountain town that transforms into a winter wonderland each year.
Thousands of people flock to Steamboat for its world-class ski resort. But don’t worry, even if you’re not a skier or snowboarder, you can still have tons of fun during a Steamboat winter.
One of the top winter activities in Steamboat is snow tubing. If you don’t have a ski pass, or just want a break from the slopes, snow tubing is a carefree, fun-filled activity for the whole family to enjoy.
Steamboat Springs Snow Tubing Guide: Where Should You Go Tubing?
Honestly, the Yampa Valley is your snow-tubing oyster. You could rent a tube and find any good hill to slide down. But to help you narrow it down, here are 3 of the best snow tubing spots in and around Steamboat:
1. Saddleback Ranch
This 8,000-acre working cattle ranch is an excellent example of traditional ranching life out West.
But Saddleback Ranch isn’t just about hard work, there is plenty of play to be had too. The ranch offers fun family activities year-round, like cattle drives and horseback riding.
Saddleback Ranch is best known for snow tubing in the winter. Located just 15 miles west of Steamboat Springs, this ranch has its very own snow tubing hill called ‘YeeHaw Tubing Hill”.
There are three different runs on YeeHaw Hill, all groomed and equipped with a unique tube-tow lift system to pull you back up to the top. There is also a lodge at the bottom of the hill where you can take a break from the cold and warm up with a hot drink and snack.
A 2-hour tubing session costs $45 per person (5 years old and up); small children (ages 4 and under) go free. Saddleback Ranch also offers a shuttle service to and from Steamboat, this is included in your reservation. Tubes are provided on arrival.
NOTE: If you do not require a shuttle and you are driving to the ranch, you cannot make a reservation for the tubing hill. Ranch staff will get you on the hill and having fun as soon as possible on a first-come-first-serve basis.
2. Howelsen Hill
Howelsen Hill is the epicenter of Steamboat’s ski culture. This historic hill is Colorado’s oldest continuously operating ski area, dating back to 1915. Since then, it’s been the training ground of over 100 Olympians, thanks to its natural ski jumping complex – the largest in North America.
But today, Howelsen Hill hosts other fun activities for families to enjoy too. In particular, it has an awesome snow tubing slope. “Tube Howelsen” is open for a specific period each winter, and it’s a great way to enjoy sliding without strapping on skis or snowboards.
The tubing hill operates from 10am-6pm, Monday to Sunday. There is no age limit, but tube riders must meet the minimum height of 36 inches.
Each rider must use their own tube as sitting in each other’s laps is not allowed for safety reasons.
The cost per person for a 1-hour time slot is $30 on weekdays. There is a premium ticket cost of $35 on weekends and holidays.
Tubes are provided on arrival, and reservations can be canceled up to 7 days before your scheduled slot. If you cancel your reservation with less than a week’s notice, you will not receive a refund.
3. Rabbit Ears Pass
Just about a 40-minute drive out of Steamboat Springs along Highway 40 is Rabbit Ears Pass. This is the main entryway into the beautiful Yampa Valley. During winter, this famous pass turns into a backcountry playground full of champagne powder snow.
Rabbit Ears Pass is a wilderness area that’s favored amongst outdoor enthusiasts year-round due to the countless hiking trails, off-road vehicle trails, and camping locations that can be found here.
While there isn’t an official snow tubing spot at Rabbit Ears, there are several hills and slopes of varying steepness that you can snow tube down. Just bring your own tube and pull over in one of the many parking areas, then you’ll find the perfect tubing hill in no time.
And if you want to try your hand at any other snow activities, locals and tourists alike drive up to Rabbit Ears for a day of snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling or plain old-fashioned sledding.
Where To Buy or Rent Snow Tubes In Steamboat Springs
As mentioned above Saddleback Ranch and Howelsen Hill include a snow tube in the ticket price for their designated snow tubing hills.
However, if you want to get off the beaten track and search for the perfect tubing hill in the great outdoors, you’ll need to bring your own tube.
But traveling to your winter getaway with snow tubes in tow isn’t exactly ideal… Luckily there are several places in Steamboat Springs where you can rent or buy snow tubes during your visit. Here are a few local stores you could check out:
➡️ Ski Haus
Other Fun Winter Activities In Steamboat
But wait, there’s more! Aside from the ski mountain and fantastic snow tubing opportunities, Steamboat Springs has plenty more winter activities to offer.
Mike and I are avid snowboarders, but when we want a break from the slopes, here are some of our other favorite snowy pastimes:
- Sleigh rides – This one is perfect for a special occasion! Go on a sleigh ride around Haymaker Golf Course and take in the stunning mountain views, then enjoy a warming dinner in the cozy clubhouse.
- Snowshoeing – Just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean you have to stop hiking; just strap on some snowshoes! You can rent snowshoes from any of the retailers we listed above. Rabbit Ears Pass, Buffalo Pass, and Emerald Mountain are some great spots for snowshoeing excursions.
- Cross-country skiing – Another great way to enjoy Steamboat’s winter scenery is cross-country skiing. There are about 50 miles of trails for skiers of all levels. Haymaker Nordic Center and Steamboat Ski Touring Center are two of the best places to start.
- Snowmobile tours – If you’re more of a thrill seeker, why not try snowmobiling? There are several companies in town that offer snowmobiling excursions out in Steamboat’s backcountry like Steamboat Snowmobile Tours.
The Wrap-Up: Steamboat Springs Snow Tubing
So, are you excited to go snow tubing in Steamboat yet? As Steamboat locals, we encourage visitors to explore all that our beautiful mountain town has to offer. Snow tubing is guaranteed fun for the whole family.