There are 24 miles of trails in the 4,000-acre Emerald Mountain area, whose base is at Howelsen Hill right in town. Howelsen Hill is the longest continuously operating ski area west of the Mississippi, and is a training center for Olympians. The terrain features scrub oak, aspen trees, wildflowers, and smooth, runnable singletrack. There are bathrooms on the back side in the Ridge Trail Parking lot on Cow Creek and at the base at Howelsen.
This trail map is an excellent resource, with good information on trail length and difficulty. Easier options (green circlea) are Blackmere, Rotary, and Bluffs Loop. Also look for ‘Dirt Road’ labelled trails for easier footing.
The 9th Inning Trailhead is at the Howelsen base parking lot. The trailhead for the Rotary, Beall, and Ridge trails is off Cow Creek Rd., 8 miles from Steamboat Springs.
- 24 miles of trails
- Lots of it!
- Three different trailheads -- depends on route chosen
- Parking at the base of Howelsen, off Yampa Ave. There's also a separate parking area/trailhead for the Rotary, Ridge, and Beall trails