Steamboat Springs Steamboat disc golfers will be free to toss their way around the mountain starting this weekend, when the Thunderhead Disc Golf Course opens for public play.
Heavy snow during the winter, a late spring and construction at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area put the disc golf course's use into question for the summer and delayed trail openings for hikers and mountain bikers.
Mike Lane, director of public relations for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., said all hiking and biking trails below the gondola are now open and that the disc golf course would be ready by the weekend. The Moonlight and Creekside bike trails as well as everything above the gondola building will stay closed until they dry out, according to a Ski Corp. news release.
Ski Corp. works with the U.S. Forest Service and Steamboat Area Disc League to maintain the 18-hole course.
Karen Pigler, a part-time Steamboat Springs resident who has played disc golf courses across Colorado and the United States, said she became concerned about the future of the Thunderhead course when she saw a message on the Steamboat Area Disc League Web site stating there had been difficulties getting the course going for summer 2008, and asking for signatures on a petition to Ski Corp. to reinstate it.
"It's really special," Pigler said about the Thunderhead course. "We've really done a lot of disc golf in other states, but the location is just perfect. You walk through there, and it goes through the woods and above the ski slope and the valley in between. And they really made it pretty challenging as well. It's not totally simple."
For biking, Zig Zag, Valley View, Short Cut, Huffman's, Sitz, Spur Run and Yoo Hoo are open for use. For hiking, the Thunderhead and Vista Nature trails have been open for a week.
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