Nordic skiing is an energizing way to spend time in nature, get an excellent workout, and come home rosy-cheeked and happy. It’s also highly accessible; if it snows enough, you can even do it in your driveway.
Whether you’re new to the sport or a mountain maestro, the Front Range offers plenty of winter wonderlands to choose from.
Five of the best include:
Eldora Mountain Resort
Located right up Boulder Canyon, Eldora is one of the easier ski resorts to reach from the metro area. Spend the day in the snow without spending four hours in traffic. The resort also boasts some of the most coveted cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the region.
Deemed “40 Kilometers of Freedom,” Eldora has everything from beginner trails to advanced terrain more-suited to experienced mountain-goers. If you’re completely new to Nordic skiing, consider taking a lesson before braving the lands.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park finds its way onto every Colorado list, and for good reason: when it comes to outdoor adventure, there are few things this park can’t do. Naturally, you can Nordic ski all over the grounds. There’s a lot of diverse terrain, from the beginner-friendly Sprague Lake to the more moderate Bear Lake, where you can enjoy the weekend or a day away from the office.
To truly embrace the magnificent scenery, venture up to Trail Ridge Road. It’s closed to cars during winter months but gifts skiers with extraordinary views and a workout that only Mother Nature can offer.
Breckenridge is best known for downhill skiing, but its extraordinary nordic terrain deserves praise, as well. Its cross-country routes cover 30 miles and wind through historic mines and forest pines.
Get started at one of the two nordic centers with the option to explore the trails solo or as part of a guided tour. You can take lessons if desired and rent equipment without fighting the alpine crowds.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch
Devil’s Thumb Ranch, nestled at the base of the Continental Divide, is well-regarded as the premier place for this winter sport; USA Today has named it the “#1 Cross-Country Ski Resort in America” since 2018.
It features pristine trails, varied terrain, and dog-friendly outings. For something truly inspiring, glide through the backcountry under the stars with one of the ranch’s full moon ski tours. Cider, hot cocoa, and bragging rights included.
Mount Evans Road
Mount Evans Road offers panoramic views and plenty of solitude. While it can turn into a traffic jam during the summer months, the road is closed to cars from Labor Day through Memorial Day. And that makes it the perfect place for cross-country explorers. Go big among the bighorn sheep!
If you’re a nordic novice, consider Echo Lake at the base of Mount Evans. Quick and easy, it’s a wonderful option for kids.
Nordic skiing is a thrilling way to spend a day in the snow. Try one of the above locations and fall in love with the great outdoors all over again.