SBT GRVL Steamboat Springs is a mixed surface race of up to 142 miles and 9,400 feet of climbing with more than 100 miles of gravel through a combination of mixed terrain roads surrounding the beautiful resort town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Picked as one of our Best gravel cycling events in Colorado, the event is extremely popular and known to sell out quickly, so plan accordingly. As a gravel cyclist seeking adventure and camaraderie, the SBT GRVL team has delivered an event that promises a truly remarkable experience. Held on unparalleled gravel roads in and around the stunning Steamboat Springs, this world-class race offers a unique blend of challenging cycling, breathtaking mountain views, and a thriving resort town atmosphere.
Event & Course Info
There are four-course options at SBT GRVL Steamboat Springs with fully stocked aid stations along the way; Black, Blue, Red, and Green and all showcasing the best of what Steamboat has to offer.
The BLACK Course is the most challenging ride that covers the full 142 miles (100+ on gravel) and over 9,000 feet of elevation gain with five aid stations that include a variety of snacks and hydration options. It promises an unmatched challenge and beauty, making it a cyclist’s ultimate aspiration. The BLUE Course is 105 miles, 6,500 feet of elevation gain, with more than 70 miles of gravel with four aid stations to assist. The RED Course is 60 miles with 3,600 feet of climbing on more than 50 miles of gravel with three aid stations. The final option for the day is the GREEN Course which is 37 miles with 2,000 feet of climbing and 20 miles of gravel with two aid stations – a perfect introduction to Steamboat’s riding wonders. Fully stocked aid stations featuring Honey Stinger nutrition, Coke, water, ice, and more will fuel your adventure along the way.
Participating in SBT GRVL means immersing yourself in a cycling community that values respect and appreciation for the surroundings. Many routes traverse working ranches, embodying the essence of Steamboat Springs. You’ll encounter livestock management, heavy machinery, and the natural beauty of the area, all of which require a mindful and respectful approach. The SBT GRVL team encourages riders to learn about points of interest and the land that they will be riding around.
Beyond the race itself, SBT GRVL focuses on inclusivity, aiming to create not just a race, but an unforgettable weekend getaway for riders, families, and friends. The numbers speak volumes about the global appeal of SBT GRVL with cyclists gathering from across the United States and the world gathering for this event (athletes from over 20 countries!). Also, age knows no bounds, as evidenced by the youngest rider at 7 years old and the eldest at 86, both ready to take on the challenging routes. Further, organizers partner with organizations such as Ride for Racial Justice to continue to expand involvement in the event for BIPOC athletes as well as All Bodies on Bikes.
Awards await those who conquer the courses, ranging from impressive cash prizes for the Black Course (up to $5,000!) to coveted Prize Packs for various categories across all courses. Special recognition goes to the winners of BLACK course Overall, Age Group, and Single Speed categories, who proudly sport the SBT GRVL Champion Cowboy Hat – a badge of honor signifying their triumph over the rugged terrain. On the BLUE, RED, and GREEN courses, a fun Strava live segment challenge will take place, encompassing a designated segment, marked with flags and signage. Upon the conclusion of the event on Sunday, the participant who savored the segment for the longest duration, as well as the rider with the middle time between the fastest and most leisurely will be recognized and rewarded.
Chef Biju Thomas, Co-Author of The Feed Zone Cookbooks, will oversee the culinary experience at Sunday’s post-race party. Biju will work with local vendors to bring together some great food to highlight the region and create an elevated and unique post-race meal for everyone.
The full SBT GRVL Steamboat Springs weekend kicks off on Thursday with a slew of exciting events for riders, friends and family to enjoy from the Expo to Pro Panels. An exciting addition to the 2023 edition is the Friday Night warm up event SBT Hill Climb. This thrilling prelude invites 100 brave cyclists to tackle the ascent of Steamboat’s iconic downtown Emerald Mountain. For participants, it’s a chance to challenge themselves and give back to the community that hosts this incredible event. Check out the official 2023 Rider Guide for all of the nitty gritty details.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
Steamboat Springs is a resort town known for the Steamboat Ski Resort, but the outdoor activities, restaurant selection, and variety of lodging options last all year. Nestled at 7,000 feet, Steamboat Springs, CO, welcomes you to a vibrant summer experience that extends well beyond its renowned winter allure. Embracing the title of “Bike Town USA,” Steamboat is not only celebrated for its skiing but also recognized as a cycling haven. IMBA-designated as a Silver Ride Center Bicycle Retailer, the town hosts prestigious national cycling events such as Ride the Rockies, the US Pro Challenge, and the Tour Divide, in addition to SBT GRVL Steamboat Springs. With 689 miles of well-maintained gravel roads connecting historic ranching and mining communities, cyclists can explore these scenic routes with minimal traffic. Beyond cycling, Steamboat thrives as a family-oriented destination, recently being ranked as one of the “Best Small Towns to Visit in the U.S.” by U.S. News & World Report. The community’s warmth is palpable, inviting friends and families to revel in its abundance of activities, culinary delights from its 100+ restaurants, and a variety of lodging options. Whether racing or relaxing, Steamboat Springs promises an unforgettable summer experience that perfectly marries adventure and hospitality.
The official lodging partners for the event include Mountain Resorts, Retreatia, and Pioneer Ridge. Due to the size of the resort town, you will have plenty of vacation rentals to choose from if you prefer to have a more home-like experience while in town for SBT GRVL Steamboat Springs. From fully equipped apartments to luxury riverfront homes, there are options for every taste. Overnight campervan parking at Howelsen Hill is available with registration with the event while there are other camping options close to town, such as Dry Lake Campground and the KOA, and even more if you’re willing to go further out of downtown.
The culinary scene of this mountain retreat caters to every palate, from cozy cafes serving hearty breakfasts to upscale bistros offering innovative dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients to international cuisines. The town’s appreciation for outdoor living is reflected in its diverse menu choices, featuring dishes fueling adventurers and food enthusiasts. Some favorite restaurants to check out while you are in town are Seedz for some healthy grub, Winona’s or Freshies Restaurant for breakfast fuel, or Laundry for an eclectic dinner experience.
Outdoor athletes visiting Steamboat Springs for SBT GRVL Steamboat Springs will not be bored with the amount of outdoor activities available in the summer. Mountain bikers can’t miss the opportunity to explore the epic mountain biking trails on Buffalo Pass. With over 50 miles of singletrack, including classics like the Continental Divide Trail and Flash of Gold, riders can experience everything from challenging climbs to exhilarating descents. The pristine alpine scenery and wildflower-strewn meadows create an unforgettable backdrop for an adrenaline-filled adventure.
The Yampa River also offers a dynamic playground for kayakers and paddleboarders of all levels. The river’s flow becomes more manageable during the summer, making it an ideal time to navigate the class II and III rapids. Paddlers can also enjoy the more serene sections, taking in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes as they leisurely float downstream. Local outfitters offer rentals and guided trips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
The Zirkel Wilderness, a short drive from Steamboat Springs, offers an array of hiking and trail running options that cater to various skill levels. Outdoor athletes can tackle the iconic Mount Zirkel Loop, a challenging 10-mile hike that rewards with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. For a more moderate option, the Gilpin Lake Trail leads through lush forests and opens up to the stunning Gilpin Lake. These trails showcase the area’s diverse ecosystems and provide an immersive outdoor experience.
After all of the outdoor fun, don’t forget to visit the incredible Strawberry Hot Springs to soak those tired bods!
While this is the only event produced by the SBT GRVL team in the U.S., they have partnered with local Valtteri Bottas, a Finnish Formula 1 driver, to produce the new FNLD GRVL event in Lahti, Finland. However, another top-level event is held in the summer in Steamboat for the multi-sport athletes out there – the Emerald Mountain Epic Trail, one of the Best Trail Running Events in the Rockies, and the Emerald Mountain Epic MTB, one of the Best Mountain Bike Events in Colorado and the Rockies.
Other favorite gravel cycling events in Colorado worth checking out are Crooked Gravel and Wild Horse Gravel by The Ride Collective and Dirty Edge Gravel, produced by Gemini Adventures and part of Adventure Fest.