It’s not too soon to plan for winter travel—despite ongoing caution with COVID, travelers are eager to hit the road, especially to plan safer outdoor-focused vacations.
So why not choose a destination where you can sample plenty of Nordic options? Especially if you’re a one-resort, one-pass type skier, now is the perfect time to pick a Nordic destination outside your usual and get to know it better.
This month’s travel inspiration? Summit County—home to popular destinations like Dillon, Frisco, and Breckenridge, as well as several Nordic areas sure to keep skiers of any level or discipline happy.
Day 1: Arrive and relax.
Choose either Keystone or Breckenridge resorts as your lodging basecamp. If time permits, by all means, click into your skis for a lazy afternoon warmup ski at either mountain’s onsite Nordic center.
If you choose to stay in Breck on the mountain, One Ski Hill Place and The Lodge at Breckenridge offer classic mountain luxury. For a hip alternative, check out Gravity House, a “community for the modern adventurer” that blends hip motel- and hostel-style digs with clubby amenities like a fitness center, bar, and restaurant.
If Keystone is your pick, you’ll find plenty of condo-style options slopeside, as well as inns, rentals, and b&bs in its sister town of Frisco. Head for a cozy dinner at the resort’s legendary Ski Tip Lodge, housed in an old1880s log stagecoach stop. Or wander into nearby Frisco to trendy Timberline Craft Kitchen and Cocktails for scratch-made meals and craft cocktails.
Day 2: Disappear into the trees.
If it’s a Saturday, there will be plenty of skiers on the trails, so head out into the woods and get well beyond the busier flats and loop trails near the Nordic centers.
The 50K trails of Breckenridge Nordic Center travel in and through the town’s protected Cucumber Gulch Preserve and up in the High Country in the New Nordic World under Peaks 6 and 7. Trails start at 9,800 feet and circumnavigate the area through pristine legend forests with soaring mountain views. Nearby Keystone Nordic is home to 35 miles of ungroomed trails in the surrounding National Forest.
Head to Silverheels Grill in Frisco for their famous Thai mussels or wasabi seared salmon, or check out Rootstalk, a new Breck place serving New American–inspired seasonal, regional dishes with plenty of vegetables.
Day 3: Take it easy.
You’ll find Gold Run Nordic Center North of Breckenridge near Highway 9 off Tiger Road at the Breckenridge Golf Course. Trails meander over the golf course and have a steeper, longer set of trails that head up into the Summit County open space called Gold Run Gulch.
Frisco Nordic is another local gem with a mellow vibe, with 27k of groomed trails on the Peninsula Recreation Area just south of town and north of Breckenridge.
Keep the relaxed vibe going—you can breathe, surf, and chill at Breck’s The O2 Lounge oxygen bar, coffee shop, and internet cafe. Or book yourself some time at Frisco Bodyworks spa for some massage therapy, intuitive bodywork, or sound and energy healing.
Wrap your weekend with one last terrific meal at the Breckenridge Distillery, on Highway 9 between the two towns. The distillery’s onsite restaurant has an impressive craft cocktail menu featuring their trademark super smooth bourbon as well as a menu created by renowned New York chef David Burke—expect playful, sophisticated dishes like chicken and grits or volcanic salt–seared filet.
To plan your own perfect Nordic ski trip, catch up on profiles of Nordic resorts from around the state.