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The Steamboat Springs Experience

Visitors to Steamboat Springs are often struck by how Colorado’s authentic Western history seamlessly intertwines with Steamboat’s world-renowned ski scene.

This charming ranching town is not to be underestimated, as the blend of tradition and innovation makes for unforgettable vacation memories, especially for those seeking bucket-list-experiences. In our small corner of the Rocky Mountains, Steamboat Springs combines the allure of top-quality snowsports opportunities, with a rich tapestry of American heritage.


A Historical Vacation in Steamboat Springs

The town’s array of historical sights compel visitors to embrace the legacy of the American West, where cowboy culture meets modern sophistication. We’ve curated a list of the most intriguing places of historical significance in Steamboat, so that you can confidently journey through our distinctly American ranching town, immerse yourself in Western charm, and get to know our welcoming community.

So, kick off your ski boots, and let’s take a tour around the best historic sights in Steamboat Springs.


1 – Bud Werner Memorial Library

Bud Werner Memorial Library surrounded by green trees

Nestled between Little Toots Park and West Lincoln Park is a vibrant local library with a past just as remarkable as its present.

The Bud Werner Memorial Library’s humble beginnings originate in the 1880s as a collection of 1000 volumes donated to Union Church upon the death of Harvard medical student, William Denison, after which the original library was named.

Over the years, the library was transported from building to building, meeting the needs of the town’s small population. A devastating fire in 1910 destroyed all but 400 volumes of the book collection, which was followed by a many-decades-long cycle of re-openings and closures for this small town library.

In 1964, a local Olympic skier named Wallace “Bud” Werner tragically died, and the Bud Werner Memorial Building was erected in his memory. The original purpose for the building was to be a ski patrol headquarters and space for community meetings, however, it didn’t take long before the historically nomadic books collection found its permanent home in the Bud Werner Memorial Library.

Since then, the building has grown exponentially in size. The library has become a cornerstone hub of community, knowledge, and celebration. Visitors can enjoy daily events, an array of clubs, and an expansive catalog of books, magazines, newspapers, audio provision, ebooks, and more!

2 – Sunshine Olympian Trail


Olympian Erin Simmons Nemec stands with her sign on the sunshine olympian trail

If you’d like a dose of history whilst shredding the slopes, look no further than the Sunshine Olympian Trail. This remarkable ski trail is located on the Quickdraw run, a fantastic blue run with steep terrain at the top, flowing into a gentle gully towards the bottom. 

As visitors slalom through the aspen trees, the trail is dotted with large signs featuring famous Olympians from Steamboat history. You might even bump into one of the Olympians themselves who have been known to visit their signs!

3 – Tread of Pioneers Museum

The Tread of Pioneers Museum on a sunny summers day

Situated in an enchanting 1901 house that was once home to the Zimmerman family, is a remarkable museum that seeks to preserve, share, and celebrate the heritage of Steamboat Springs.

The Tread of Pioneers Museum was founded in 1959 and offers a full calendar of exciting events, intriguing exhibits, and the preservation of historical collections. For visitors to Steamboat, this museum is an unmissable opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the area, and gain a deep understanding of the town’s Western heritage.

For all slopeside sport enthusiasts, we recommend stopping by the permanent exhibit ‘Ski Town USA: The History of Winter Sports in Steamboat Springs’. This exhibit follows the growth of Steamboat’s ski scene, from essential winter-time transportation to world-renowned training ground for winter Olympians.

Young children are welcome to immerse themselves in Steamboat history too, as the ‘Pioneer Kids Hands-On Discovery Exhibit’ allows children to try on pioneer clothing and historic replica toys from the turn of the 19th century.


4 – The Mad Creek Barn

An old barn stands in a field of lush grass and dandelions, in Steamboat Springs

Located along the Mad Creek hiking trail is the closest thing to a time-machine you’ll likely experience in your lifetime.

After walking across an incredible canyon landscape, past the gushing waters of the Mad Creek, and through towering aspen trees, rising from the grassland hikers will find a picturesque barn. The Mad Creek Barn is a pioneer style U.S. Forest Service cabin homestead, preserved from the early 1900s, and visitors like you are welcome to explore this historic site.

By explore, we really mean explore. As guests enter the barn, everyone is welcome to climb up a sturdy ladder onto the second story and peer down into the depths of what once was a flurry of animal activity.

The builder of The Mad Creek barn was James (Harry) Ratliff, who went on to be appointed Forest Guard, and was deeply influential in Steamboat’s early conservation efforts; he limited the number of cattle that could be grazed on federal lands, he ended the cattle-sheep feuds to allow sheep to come into Colorado from Wyoming, and he regulated the amount of timber that could be cut. Ratliff’s impact can still be felt today as Steamboat seeks to preserve the local wildlife through ongoing eco-friendly initiatives.


5 – The Old Town Pub

A grainy black and white photo of Old Town Pub

This historic building, built in 1904, was originally the Albany Hotel. Over the last 100+ years, this space has been home to some of Steamboat’s most iconic businesses. From hotel, to hospital, general stores, post offices, a movie theater, and even a dance hall!

Located on Lincoln Avenue, amongst a variety of Steamboat’s most luxurious dining establishments, The Old Town Pub stands out as a historic hub for the community. From within its walls, guests are welcomed with fine American cuisine, a packed calendar of music and cultural events, and can even be hired out for private parties.


Steamboat’s Remarkable Legacy

Steamboat Ski Resort’s historic legacy dates back to 1958 when James Temple cleared the way for a few ski trails and a liftline on Christine Peak (formerly, Bear Claw.)  By 1970, Steamboat was considered a serious ski resort destination due to the installation of a remarkable 90-cabin gondola. 

Steamboat’s multi-million-dollar expansion is a continuation of the historic building boom that began in the 1970s, and fully embraces the town’s past whilst looking eagerly towards the future. Today, Steamboat has flourished into a hugely desirable vacation destination for pioneering adventurers who want to immerse themselves in American history – all whilst zooming down a ski slope.

Here at The Astrid we make it possible for people like you to play their part in Steamboat history, by laying down roots and building a long-lasting legacy for your family. We’re determined to contribute towards the ever-advancing story of Steamboat Springs, where beauty, elegance, and authentic Western hospitality meld together to create the ultimate luxury escape.

If you’re looking for the perfect vacation home in Colorado, where American history is respected and the future is whole-heartedly embraced, then we invite you to consider yourself part of The Astrid community. Our community is made up of people just like you – people seeking an exquisite ski-in ski-out retreat with a fantastic local community, and historic ties to the land.

To join our community, simply provide us with your name and email address. By doing so, you’ll be invited to join our exclusive mailing list. As part of this list you’ll gain access to insider information, behind-the-scenes content, and a highly personalized email experience reserved only for members of The Astrid community.

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