Bluebird Backcountry is a resort without the lifts (but with dogs)—and that makes all the difference.
Curious about backcountry skiing, but feeling intimidated? Wish there was a safe place to try out skinning and practice skiing ungroomed slopes even if you’re new to it all? Or do you just yearn to rack up some backcountry laps in a safe environment? Look no further.
Entering its third full season, Bluebird Backcountry delivers avalanche-managed powder, stellar ski-patrolled terrain, rentals, lessons, camping, and a welcoming vibe that is sure to make everyone—no matter their level of experience—feel at home. Did we mention, it’s also dog-friendly?
Perched on the Continental Divide between Steamboat Springs and Kremmling, Bluebird offers a huge variety of terrain, from gladed trees to extreme steeps. Chairlifts are nonexistent here so you’ll climb preset skin tracks powered only by your lungs and legs. There are no snowcats either. Your uphill efforts are rewarded with ungroomed, and often untracked, runs.
Located on Bear Mountain, Bluebird boasts over 4,200 acres of skiable terrain with 1,200 acres patrolled and managed for avalanches, while the other 3,000 are reserved for exploration with a guide. Each run offers a different twist—from open turns to tight trees. Adrenaline junkies will want to check out the Couloir Zone, a super-steep section of the avalanche-managed, patrolled area offering extreme gullies ranging from 37 to 45 degrees. Those looking for less pucker factor, more meadow skipping and aspen grove cruising will want to explore the green and blue runs in the West Bowl. Each year, the trail system continues to evolve alongside the vision for Bluebird (since opening, the resort has added six new advanced options on the North Face). Since Bluebird is continually adding new marked skin tracks, you can easily access new stashes.
Focused on creating a safe and friendly learning atmosphere, Bluebird prides itself on offering unmatched opportunities to develop backcountry and avalanche skills regardless of experience. To create effective learning experiences, Bluebird puts extra effort into developing unique courses and hiring dedicated educators who make all feel welcome. In addition to a slew of AIARE Avalanche Education Courses, Bluebird is offering two new, unique AIARE 1 courses for the 2022–23 season: one for snowshoers and one for women. The resort has also developed a Backcountry Progression series aimed at developing competence in all skills required for backcountry travel, so even beginners can feel prepared to tackle avalanche courses. Advanced courses (e.g. Ski Mountaineering), avalanche refreshers, and Education Memberships (packages of classes paired with premium educational content on a community platform) are just some of Bluebird’s additional educational offerings.
Stay here: Here’s another way Bluebird keeps it real: It offers on-site camping so you can wake up and hit the uphill without any commute. Located right in the parking lot and open Thursday through Sunday nights, the camping area includes community picnic tables, fire pits, port-a-potties, sunset views, and the chance to connect with other backcountry-minded folks. Cost is a reasonable $25 per vehicle per night. But you don’t have to camp. This season, the resort has added rustic lodging in the form of cabins and geodesic domes reached via a 2-mile skin trip. It’s a hut trip experience without the hassle. Reservations start at $59 per night.
Dog Days, Every Day: Starting this season, dogs are allowed on the mountain every day it’s open. All 2022–23 season passes include unlimited dog passes, and individual dog passes are also available.
Sweet Season Pass Options & Benefits: Buy a 2022–23 season pass and get unlimited and guaranteed mountain access, no reservations required. And the benefits don’t stop there. You also score one guest pass;
Buddy codes for 20%-off day passes;
Five nights of camping; and discounts
on equipment rentals, food, and merch. New for 2022–23, passholders also get free days at Arapahoe Basin, Monarch Mountain, Sunlight Mountain, and Powderhorn. To match all different needs and budgets, Bluebird also offers the Next Gen Season Pass for anyone 26 or younger, and the Weekday Season Pass good for Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays all winter long. Season pass pricing in October starts at $229 for the Weekday and Next Gen passes and $329 for the unlimited 2022–23 Season Pass.
Cover Photo Courtesy of Bluebird Backcountry