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Colorado Nordic Ski Travel Off the Beaten Path

Your best cross-country ski getaways for steering clear of the crowds.

Travel Tips Friday, February 14, 2020

We’re not the only ones who know March is the best month for skiing. It seems like half the country has discovered the joys of spring snow in the Colorado mountains.

Getting off the beaten path is a top travel trend for a reason—the alternative leaves us feeling a little, well, beaten. Long lines, booked lodging, hours-long waits for a table at the local pizza joint have a way of putting a damper on your trip. So, shhhhh... Here are a few of our favorite Nordic ski escapes where you’ll be blissfully away from it all.

Ranch Retreat: Latigo Ranch, Kremmling

In the heart of Grand County ranch country, this 1923 homestead-turned-guest outfit is beloved by locals who flock here to ski and partake in their dinner series. Plan your ski day over a pancake breakfast (don’t miss the house-smoked bacon) and then take to 50K of groomed trails on skis or fat bikes. Refuel with a bison burger, head out for more adventure—backcountry powder, anyone?—then enjoy a white-tablecloth dinner of locally sourced gourmet entrees. At night, cozy up in a cabin with a wood stove and stocked fridge and a container full of homemade caramel corn, and tuck in as the flakes fly. All inclusive, with daily rates from $200, or visit for the day for $20 trail fee. 

Backcountry Bliss: Tennessee Pass, Leadville

Tucked high up in the mountains outside of Leadville is a treasured tradition—the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center and Sleep Yurts welcomes day and overnight skiers to 27K of groomed terrain. Make it your basecamp and opt for a private yurt that sleeps six in comfort, and your trail passes are included for the night of and day after booking. Dinner is a must at the Cookhouse, a ski-to gourmet affair. If you want to explore, downhill terrain awaits at nearby Ski Cooper, a beloved locals hill where ticket prices are low and camaraderie is high. Yurts rent for $250 nightly. 

Small-town Charm: Crested Butte Nordic, Colorado

In Crested Butte, Nordic skiing isn’t just part of life—it’s part of the town. The Crested Butte Nordic Center is situated right in the heart of the funky old downtown, with trail connectivity up the hill from back of the center. It’s not unusual on snowy days to see locals skiing right down the snow-covered streets. When you book a lesson at the Nordic Center, you’re eligible for sweet discounts from lodging partners like the Old Town Inn or West Wall Lodge—far from the madding (alpine) crowd. 

Looking for cross-country ski trail systems all to yourself? Try these hidden gems during busy holiday times.

  1. Gold Run Nordic, Frisco
  2. Beaver Creek Nordic, Beaver Creek 
  3. Grand Lake Nordic, Grand Lake 
Proudly funded by the Colorado Tourism Office