Cross-country skiing is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the beauty of winter on Colorado’s Western Slope.
With so many fantastic places to explore, it can be tough to pick a spot, especially if you’re a beginner. Here are some of the best cross-country skiing areas on the Western Slope where you’ll find excellent snowy terrain, plenty of natural beauty, and a whole lot of fun.
The Grand Mesa is one of the area’s most popular cross-country skiing spots, and for good reason. There are miles and miles of trails to explore. The Mesa is well-known for its quality groomed cross-country ski trails and the area is located just east of the Grand Valley and Grand Junction.
The Grand Mesa Nordic Council is the best resource of information about trail options, so head over to their website to look at some maps and choose your next adventure.
Crested Butte prides itself as being the “Nordic Ski Capital of Colorado” with 55 kilometers of trails to enjoy.
Not surprisingly, the town has a robust Nordic Council that maintains trails and helps visitors find their ideal winter experience. Check out a detailed trail map and daily trail conditions before heading out.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a truly special place, and its unique environment becomes even more magical in winter. South Rim Drive isn’t plowed during the winter, making it a perfect six mile of ski trail. You can stop at the park’s many overlooks to take in the vertigo-inducing canyon views.
You can also snowshoe any part of the canyon’s rim – a not-to-be-missed experience.
Near Marble, the south side of McClure Pass is a lovely choice for cross-country skiers looking for the excitement of ungroomed, backcountry trails. Skiing ungroomed trails is an amazingly peaceful nature experience.
With 29 kilometers of groomed Nordic trails, Glenwood Springs’ Sunlight Mountain Resort is another haven for cross-country skiers on the Western Slope.
You’ll find trails for beginners, intermediates, and experts alike. Each trail begins with a steady climb, but don’t give up. The winding, groomed trails with amazing vistas are well worth the little work it takes to reach them.