Community sledding hill open for winter

Steamboat Pilot & Today
Steamboat Springs’ Rains Sullivan slides down the free community sledding hill at Howelsen in January 2021. The hill is now open again for the winter.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today.

Steamboat Park and Recreation’s grooming team has put the final touches on the free community sledding hill at the Howelsen Rodeo Grounds this week, and the hill is now ready for the winter.

The free sledding hill sits on a roughly 20-foot-high slope, the base of which has been boosted by snowmaking, according to the city. The sledding hill will be open daily, and crews will groom the hill periodically.

Earlier this winter, Steamboat Parks and Recreation turned its snowmaking guns on Howelsen Hill to lay a foundation for the sledding slope. With additional resources and the western portion of the rodeo grounds corralling enough snow, the sledding hill took shape, despite poor snowmaking conditions early in the winter.

Because there are many winter activities at Howelsen Park, city officials are asking sledders to use the Fifth Street entrance to the Rodeo Arena, which features ample public parking. Additionally, sledders should leave parking open by the outdoor ice rinks and stables Nordic area for people enjoying those activities, and the main parking lot for the ski area.

That request comes as Steamboat Springs police are encountering an increasing number of illegally parked vehicles at the Howelsen Hill ski area.

“Affordable skiing is in high demand, and Howelsen Hill has seen a dramatic increase in visitation, especially on Ski Free Sundays,” Ski & Rodeo Manager Brad Setter said in a statement. “We want everyone to have a great experience, so please make sure you are aware of where to legally park during your visit or better yet, have your lodging shuttle drop you off.”

For skiers and riders, passengers and gear drop-off is available close to the historic lodge. Limited parking is available in this area on Ski Free Sundays, but a large free public parking lot is located a short walk away, just past the 90-degree curve on Howelsen Parkway. Parking is prohibited along the inside of the curve on Howelsen Parkway near the Klumker ballfield.

Additional free public parking is available in the Stables Lot, as well as in the recently paved Rodeo Grounds Parking Lot, which has 210 parking spaces including 9 EV charging spots.

“Parking enforcement is a priority, especially in the winter, as the city sees a tremendous number of winter guests and significant snow removal efforts,” Interim Police Chief Jerry Stabile said. “It’s pretty simple, anyone who parks illegally risks receiving a parking ticket.”

City officials emphasized that it is drivers’ responsibility to understand the rules and park legally, even if snow is piling up on parking lot signage.

The city operates Howelsen Hill from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekends.

For more, including updates and ticket pricing, go to or call 970-879-8499. Parking regulations across the city can be found at

This map shows public parking areas for Howelsen Hill Ski Area. Because there are many winter activities at Howelsen Park, city officials are asking those who plan on using the free community sledding hill to access the sledding hill via the Fifth Street entrance to the Rodeo Arena. Sledders also should leave parking open by the outdoor ice rinks and stables Nordic area.
Steamboat Springs/Courtesy graphic

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