Winter Park Colorado Cross Country Skiing, Nordic / X-Country

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Cross Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing options within the Winter Park area range from skating groomed trails at upscale resorts down to classic skiing through pristine national forest and wilderness areas.

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  • Skijoring (skiing with your dog via a harness) and skiing with your leashed dog along designated trails are just two of the fun options at nordic centers in the Winter Park area. 
  • Cross-country ski for free at the SolVista Ski Resort or throughout the backcountry trails available within national forests and wilderness areas.

Overview

The Winter Park area has many unbelievably beautiful options when it comes to cross-country skiing!  There are four nordic centers to choose from, namely the Devil's Thumb Ranch, the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center, the Grand Lake Nordic Center and the Latigo Nordic Center, plus a cross-country skier can take advantage of the designated trails at the SolVista Ski Resort.  

Additionally, there are countless trails through national forests where you can bring your classic skis and enjoy a backcountry experience, including within Rocky Mountain National Park, The Byers Peak, Never Summer and Indian Peak Wilderness Areas, and the Arapaho National Forest. Check with the Sulphur Ranger District for trail maps and other information: 970-887-4100.

Nearby Nordic Centers

Devil's Thumb Ranch
With 100k of nordic trails varying in difficulty over 5,000 picturesque acres, every level of skier will find their slice of recreational bliss utilizing both groomed trails and skating tracks, and there are yurts (warming huts) scattered throughout, so skiers can take a break even if they're far from the lodge. The resort itself offers much more than just cross-country skiing, with opportunities that include ski joring, ice skating, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, and horseback riding, and if you decide to stay overnight, they have upscale lodging options, three dining venues and exquisite spa services.  

  • Directions: From Winter Park, drive west on US Highway 40 toward Tabernash.  Right before the bridge leading into Tabernash, make a right onto County Road 83. Stay on this road and it will lead straight to the ranch.  
  • Season/Hours: Opens late November and closes late March/early April, weather depending.  Weekday hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the night trails are available until 9 p.m.
  • Cost: Adult day pass is $22 and $10 for children 12 and under. (Guests of the Ranch receive a discount.) Inquire about passes, lessons and rental equipment within Zac's Mercantile.
  • Contact Info: 3530 County Road 83, Tabernash, CO 80478.  Phone: 970-726-8231 or 800-933-4339

Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center (about 13 miles from Winter Park)
This nordic center has 100k of trails groomed for classic and skate; they wind through hills and meadows and along Pole creek, but no matter where you go, you'll be surrounded by stunning 360 degree views of the Continental Divide.  This nordic center is unique in that it has a biathlon range (cross-country ski/rifle), skijoring (skiing with your dog via a harness), designated trails for skiers and their leashed dogs, and a 2k lit trail for night skiing.  Nordic passes, rentals and lessons can be accessed within the center itself.  Lodging and dining options are available on the ranch grounds.


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  • Directions: From Winter Park, drive West on US Highway 40 toward Tabernash/Granby.  Turn left onto County Rd. 53 (look for signs), and then stay on this road as you drive through Snow Mountain Ranch.  Follow the signs for the nordic center that are posted at the first stop sign, near the administrative buildings.
  • Season/Hours: Opens in early/mid December and closes late March/early April, snow depending.  Weekday and weekend hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the night trails are available until 9 p.m. 
  • Cost: Adult: $20, Children 6-12: $10, Children 5 and younger are free.
  • Contact Info: 1101 County Road 53, Granby, CO 80446.  Phone: 970-887-2152 x 4170 or 303-443-4743.

Granby Ranch Ski Area (about 20 miles from Winter Park)
The nordic trails here can be accessed for free from the base of this alpine ski resort; the trails traverse up the mountain, or for just $5.00, a skier can take the lift to the top and start skiing from the summit. It offers 40k of trails, and because the resort is known mostly for downhill skiing, these nordic trails are usually fairly quiet.  There's a base lodge with dining options, along with a full bar and outside patio to watch the skiers/riders come down the mountain.  Lodging options abound near this resort and equipment rentals are available.

  • Directions: From Winter Park, drive west on US Highway 40 toward Granby.  Before the traffic light (City Market will be on the left), make a right onto Village Road/Ten Mile Drive.  Continue straight on this road for about two miles until you reach the resort.
  • Season/Hours: Opens mid-December and closes mid-March.  Weekday and weekend hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Cost: FREE unless you ride the lift to the summit, whereas there's a $5.00 lift fee.
  • Contact Info: 63331 US Hwy 40, Granby, CO 80446.  Phone: 800-754-7458 or 877-247-2629.

Grand Lake Touring Center (about 36 miles from Winter Park)
This touring center has 30k of trails that meander over what is a beautiful alpine golf course in the summer.  They have little trail signs along the way that indicate the distance from one point to the other, and they often offer 'full moon' ski nights & spaghetti dinners, as well as other events. This center also doubles as a trailhead for backcountry trails leading through public lands.  Rentals are available and the clubhouse offers bar menu options.

  • Directions: From Winter Park, drive west on US Highway 40 into Granby.  Drive through the town of Granby, and on the outskirts, you'll make a right onto US Highway 34, where it intersects with US Highway 40.  Stay on this road for about 20 minutes; you'll pass the entrance into the town of Grand Lake, and then shortly after the entrance, you'll turn left onto County Road 48.  Stay on this road and the nordic center will be on the right.  
  • Season/Hours: Opens late November and closes late March, snow depending.  Weekday and weekend hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Cost:  $16 day pass for an adult; $8 for 16 and under.
  • Contact Info: 1415 County Road 48, Grand Lake, CO 80447.  Phone: 970-627-8008.

Latigo Nordic Center (about 64 miles from Winter Park)
This well-known Dude Ranch offers 60k of groomed trails, along with access to backcountry trails that wind through miles and miles of national forest.  A historic lodge is a huge draw and it offers gourmet dining and lodging.  

  • Directions:  From Winter Park, drive west on US Highway 40 toward Granby/Hot Sulphur Springs. You'll drive through Granby and stay on US Highway 40, toward Hot Sulphur Springs. Keep driving past Hot Sulphur Springs and head toward Kremmling.  Turn left (west) onto County Road 134 (4 miles outside of Kremmling), and then turn right onto County Road 19. Stay on County Road 19, and then take the slight right onto County Road 191. Take the first right onto County Road 1911. 
  • Season/Hours: Opens mid-December and closes late March, snow depending.  Weekday and weekend hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. but if it's still light out after 4:30 p.m., they invite you to stay out as long as you want! 
  • Cost:  $16.00 for a day trail pass, regardless of age.
  • Contact Info: 201 County Road 1911, Kremmling, CO 80459.  Phone: 970-724-9008 or 800-227-9655.

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Other Cross Country Skiing Resources

Grand Nordic Ski Club

Grand Nordic Ski Club provides trails, lessons and encouragement for the sport of nordic skiing in Fraser Valley.

Grand Lake Touring Center

The Grand Lake Touring Center is a Nordic Track that is a member of the Colorado Cross Country Association.

National Cross Country Ski Education Foundation

Determined to train and plan events for cross country skiers.