We found a $5 coupon in a visitors guide to take the gondola up Mt. Werner so do not pay the $20 per person...one coupon is good for up to 4 people. The silent and smooth gondola ride provides a fantastic view of Steamboat and the surrounding valleys. At the top, the rather unfriendly lady employee got rather snippy when I asked for the easiest way down. "There is no easy way down." was her response so I re-phrased my question to what is the most direct way down. It so happened that construction had closed the hiking trail and we had to take about a 1 mile detour around it. She said it would take 3-4 hours to hike about 5 miles down. This actually turned out great because the single track trail provided gorgeous views of the valley and we wandered in and out of old growth Aspen groves. The mountain bikers were very courteous as we shared the trail. We had plenty of water and snacks and stopped several times to enjoy the views. The occasional snake on the trial added excitement too! Contrary to the uptight lady, our family made it back to the base in just over 2 hours which included multiple stops. After the hike I recommend heading out to Strawberry Park to relax in the hot springs!
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