Bluebird Backcountry experience will include lodging in 2022-23 season
The folks who opened Bluebird Backcountry between Steamboat Springs and Kremmling two winters ago will be offering guests a new opportunity this winter by bringing on-site lodging to the ski area for the first time.
“It’ll be up to about 40 beds,” said Jeff Woodward, Bluebird Backcountry co-founder. “There will be a total of six or seven domes or cabins you can skin to — I think that’s seven — plus three or four near the base.”
The ski area, which Woodward founded with Erik Lambert, takes pride in offering a safe, backcountry skiing experience with many of the same amenities found at a traditional resort. Bluebird Backcountry includes ski patrollers, instructors, guides, a base hut, gear rentals, a mountain warming hut, designated trails and avalanche-hazard reduction, and now lodging.
For its lodging, the ski area will utilize hunting cabins as huts and add several dome structures so adventure-seekers can get a full taste of the backcountry skiing experience. Skiers also will be able to spend the night at Bluebird Backcountry and avoid having to travel to a nearby town for lodging.
The new lodging will offer the lift-less ski area up to 40 beds for guests, ranging from a single-bed, hostile-like experience to cabins and domes at different points around the mountain.
“We’re offering a few things,” Woodward said. “There are skin-to-huts in some existing ranch cabins. Guests should think of a more hut-like experience with a wood stove and maybe a little gas kitchen, but no running water, power or anything like that.”
Woodward said it’s a perfect addition for the 1,200-acre ski area at 12210 Colorado Highway 14, on a private ranch on Bear Mountain between Kremmling and Steamboat Springs.
Last year, Bluebird Backcountry hosted close to 5,000 skier visits during a 70-day season. The ski area is busy preparing for the 2022-23 season, which is expected to open in late December and run through March.
“We make backcountry skiing more accessible for people. We’ve put huts in that you still skin to and can still have a hut experience, but they are a mile away from the base and located in avalanche control zone,” Woodward said. “We just think we can like lower the barriers for people to be able to go on hut trips.”
For a limited time, those hoping to venture into the backcountry at Bluebird can take advantage of both lodging and season-pass discounts. Woodward said he is optimistic those savings will continue to draw people to Bluebird Backcountry when the 2022-23 season begins, and those early season discounts will go away at the end of September.
“People should expect a lot of hut-like amenities,” Woodward said. “But we may offer a few things — we may offer a service that would bring people’s bags or their food up to the hut. We haven’t quite figured all that out, but that’s totally something we could offer.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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