Weekend Wanderer: San Diego to Steamboat
Last week I got the chance to escape sunny San Diego for a weekend, and get thrown straight into winter!
My friend and fellow content creator Chris Rogers accompanied me as we explored Steamboat Springs, Colorado for three days in partnership with Alaska Airlines. They run a social media campaign called #WeekendWanderer where they’ll send you somewhere for a weekend to explore and document your travels! When you only have a few days to explore a new location, it’s best to have done some research beforehand. I tossed out a couple Instagram posts asking for recommendations and got a good list going!
Even more, we linked up with local mountain guru Alex Pashley, who works for Smartwool, a rad company based in Steamboat! With all the plans set it made 3 days feel like 2 weeks! It was the perfect weekend getaway.
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We flew in from San Diego airport direct to HDN (under 2 hours), which is about 20 minutes from Steamboat – too easy! Our first morning was spent at the resort. Skies were bluebird and there was some fresh snow leftover from the afternoon prior. We met up with Pashley first thing and he took us out to the spots we wouldn’t know to go to. Finding a local guide is pretty important to explore a new mountain. Steamboat is huge and there’s tons of terrain to explore. There’s even out of bounds zones that can deliver untouched goods with a short hike out – you just have to know where you’re going!
Aside from epic runs of fluffy powder, Pash showed us the home of the local “camp robber” birds. They’re super friendly birds that will fly up and eat out of your hand. All you have to do is find the Morningside lift, bring a granola bar and hold out your hand. They’ll come right up to you for a good photo opp!
The next full day we explored a little bit of everything. The snow was falling so it made for a nice change on the mountain. We got to experience the champagne dry snow that Steamboat is apparently famous for. Face-shots all day long! I brought out my DSLR to snap some photos around the mountain after our powder fill!
Strawberry Park Hot Springs
One of the most suggested places I got from the internet crowd was Strawberry Park Hot Springs, so after riding I couldn’t pass it up. About 25 minutes out of town is a beautiful spot that’s got tons of pools of hot springs. It’s developed, but feels very natural and outdoorsy. We went in the evening just after sunset and got to experience the lovely combo of freezing temperatures with the perfect 106 degree water. We even did a dunk in the ice covered freezing pool before going back in the hot ones.
Our last day was a real treat – Pash and his buddy Matt (@pressinglass) grabbed their snowmobiles and took us for an adventure day up to Buffalo Pass. The area is a snowmobiling and cat-skiing zone just 20 minutes out of downtown, known for having twice the snowfall as the resort. With sleds, skis, and powder surf boards we headed up! We made it out before sunrise, and by the time we got to the top, the skies were perfect blue and the snow was soft and deep. We spent all morning playing around, lapping little zones and stacking shots. We’ll have a YouTube video coming shortly!
From leaving San Diego at sunrise to skiing knee-deep champagne snow all weekend, the trip to Steamboat was truly epic. Admittedly, we didn’t spend a whole lot of time exploring the town in terms of food/shops/etc, but I think we nailed the outdoorsy part of Steamboat. Special thanks to the guys at Smartwool for guiding us around, and thanks to Vince and Bernie at Powder Tools for getting us dialed on boards! And we can’t forget Alaska Airlines for making it all happen for #WeekendWanderer!
Steamboat flight deals: Shop now.
Adventure expert and explorer Abe Kislevitz is a pro when it comes to the outdoors. From hitting the slopes to catching waves, he’s ready for any thrill that comes his way. He just returned from an Instagram takeover in Steamboat Springs, Colorado as part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, be sure to follow Alaska Airlines on Instagram.