Spring finds lots of us looking for warmer getaways, but this is the best time of year to hit the road for a cross country ski vacation in Colorado. Here are our favorite tips for making the most of it.
Don’t let the crowds scare you.
Most spring break ski crowds are firmly located on the slopes—not the trails. That goes for lodging too; guest ranches with Nordic centers report they don’t see the same crazy spike in bookings that base-area hotels do, so finding on site lodging is still a good (and peaceful) bet.
Prepare for sun.
Spring temps run the gamut—from freezing overnights, to balmy, melty sunny days. Be sure you pack light layers and tons of sunscreen. Also key: Spring-weight hats or headbands only, and light gloves or liners.
If you skate, prepare for the best conditions of the year—temps fall below the teens each night and warm to the 30s by day. You’ll hit firm, super-fast trails most of the day. Prefer to classic? You’re still in for fast conditions; just come prepared with a range of wax choices.
Plan for crust.
It’s that time of year—ideal crust skiing usually hits in March and April, when cold/warm temp cycles create a firmer crust on ungroomed snow. Feel free to hop off the trail and ski out into the wide world. Watch the sun, though; you don’t want to get caught far off the trails sinking in melting snow. Best times for crust are typically before 11 a.m.
Bring along other kids.
If you got little people, consider making travel plans with another family with children. Having buddies to ski at their level ups the play factor and diminishes the whine factor. Done, and done.
Mix it Up.
Got a week off? Don’t worry about boredom, a Nordic center or guest ranch will fill it no problem. Check out activities like snowshoeing, dogsledding, sleigh rides, tubing, sledding, ice skating, and horseback riding. Call it cross-training. We won’t argue.