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Easy-Access Nordic Day Trips

Travel Tips Monday, November 16, 2015

Where to head for a cross-country ski when you don’t have lots of time?

The snow in the Rockies is finally falling (and falling, and falling) and skiers are itching to get back on the trails. Of course, there are great Nordic and snowshoe destinations all across Colorado when you want to plan a longer ski or weekend, but for Front Range skiers looking for a no-fuss in-and-out trip, there are some easy-access gems not to miss.


Eldora Nordic Center

Where:
Approximately 35 minutes north of Boulder, 60 minutes northwest of Denver.

Trail Intel:
40K of groomed classic and skate trails through alpine meadow, pine forest.

Known For:
Rolling terrain that will build endurance (not to mention those leg muscles)

Bonus:
RTD buses service the resort, leaving Boulder starting at 6:48 a.m. and running every two hours.

Good For:
Especially fun for experienced skiers; the hilly terrain demands real fitness and technique on more advanced trails.

Get There:
Take Hwy. 119 toward Nederland and follow signs to Eldora.


Frisco Nordic Center

Where:
Just one mile off of 1-70 on Hwy. 9, about an hour and 15 minutes west of Denver.

Trail Intel:
43K of groomed trails (18 of which are dog-friendly) overlooking the Frisco Adventure Park.

Know For:
Scenery; trails give views of Lake Dillon.

Good For:
Any level skier, those looking for instruction.

Bonus:
Free sledding hill and interpretive snowshoe trails; stick around for a sleigh-ride dinner.

Get There:
West on 1-70 to Frisco exit to Hwy 9., then left onto Recreation Way.


Gold Run Nordic Center

Where:
East Breckenridge, approximately and hour and 25 minutes from Denver.

Trail Intel:
27K of groomed classic/skate trails, 10K of snowshoe trails.

Know For:
User-friendliness. The trails occupy Breckenridge Golf Course property, meaning plenty of manicured and rolling terrain tucked among natural features like streams, willows, and woods. Green trails are accessed right from the lodge and parking lot.

Good For:
Families with kids, beginners, locals looking for an after-work ski.

Bonus:
Free pond skating, dog friendly trails, and a super-cozy clubhouse with fireplace.

Get There:
1-70 to Hwy 9, left at Clubhouse Drive.


Keystone Nordic Center

Where:
Keystone Resort, approximately and hour and 40 minutes from Denver.

Trail Intel:
16K of groomed trails, with access to trailhead linking to 57K of nearby trails through White River National Forest.

Know For:
Friendly programs like full moon tours and Ladies Days; instruction and ski wisdom from Nordic director and former Olympian Jana Hlavaty.

Good For:
Groups wanting to divide and conquer. Let your kids hit the tubing hill or buddies downhill ski while you whip out a fantastic workout on the looped trails.

Bonus:
The onsite Nordic Soup Bistro warms skiers with an all-you-can-eat soup buffet lunch.

Get There:
I-70 West to Silverthorne exit, then east on Hwy. 6 approx. 6 miles.


Vail Nordic Center

Where:
Vail Nordic Center, approximately and hour and 40 minutes from Denver.

Trail Intel:
7K of groomed trails on rolling golf course terrain.

Know For:
Friendly, affordable winter fun, technique series lesson program.

Good For:
Families, speedy laps on the flat, parents pulling chariots w/kiddos.

Bonus:
Great weekly women’s series clinics starting in January.

Get There:
I-70 West to the East Vail exit, then follow frontage road under freeway to Vail Nordic Center.

Proudly funded by the Colorado Tourism Office