The spring break crowds of March are behind us, but some of the nicest spring weather for mountain adventures awaits. Best part? They're naturally socially distant, calling to just the insiders, locals, and diehards who know where to find the last of the snow.
When warm weather softens spring snow each afternoon, freezing nights work their magic to create an icy crust perfect for gliding on. You don't need a trail system or Nordic center—any snow-covered area will work. Look for high-country recreation areas or state forests on April mornings before 10 or 11 a.m. for the best crust. Molybdenum or wax is best for crust and helps repel the dirt in spring snow. Opt for a more coarse grind on your skis to minimize friction and reduce suction and drag.
Nordic Spring Skiing Stashes
Most resorts are closed by mid-April, depending on snow, but there are still a few spots that spring skiers love to hit.
Rollins Pass Road in Grand County holds snowpack well, thanks to being "groomed" by the snowmobile tour operators throughout the winter
Rabbit Ears Pass in Routt County holds a bounty of spring snow. You can opt for crust in the meadow or chase down the remains of the groomed trails on the "skiing" side, which is the Northeast side of Highway 40 (on your right as you're heading into Steamboat).
Nordic Resorts After the Season
Even though their trail systems may be closed for the season, many of our favorite ranches and resorts are still open for lodging, dining, and all-around chillaxing.
The sleep yurts and cookhouse are open at Tennessee Pass in Leadville until April 18. Devil's Thumb Ranch in Tabernash will remain open with lower lodging rates and a Spring Vitality Wellness Retreat in May. Snow Mountain Ranch in Tabernash offers a great family escape with lodging and a variety of indoor activities, including an old-school roller rink, indoor rock wall, and killer craft center.
As the weather warms, we anticipate more people heading out to travel, dine, shop, and just get away from it all. To do so safely, be sure to travel with your family group, avoid indoor crowds, and stick to the thing that inspires the Nordic lifestyle—time spent in the wide-open spaces of the great outdoors.