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The Best Places to Cross-Country Ski in Colorado

Cross-Country Skiing in Colorado: Where to Cross-Country Ski in or Near Breckenridge

While there might be more blues and blacks than greens at the Breckenridge Nordic Center, the sweeping views are sure to please any kind of skier.


The place: More than 30 kilometers of groomed XC trails skirt the Peak 7 and Peak 8 base areas of Breckenridge Ski Area. Although there are more blue squares and black diamonds than green circles on the trail map, there are ample beautiful views for everyone.

Vibe: The rough-hewn-log Nordic center has that parkitecture-slash-ski-lodge ambience, complete with a fireplace, bar, tables for lunch, and the faintest scent of sweat. Everyone here looks like they could compete in both the skiathlon and the Super-G come Beijing 2022, but rookies will fit right in.

Unique feature: On Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, try a Nordic snowcat adventure—which includes a stop at Josie’s Cabin for hot chocolate—at 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. for $75 per person.

Best beginner trail: Take Troll Forest, accessible right from the Nordic center, to Gold Digger to Baby Doe—which makes for a smallish loop and takes you through picturesque glades. The roughly one-kilometer circuit is short and gentle—perfect for newbies.

If you get brave: Do the full 3.5-kilometer Troll Forest loop, which, although designated green, requires a bit more control on downhills and funnels skiers under the road via a tunnel.

Rentals: Classic: $23 for adults, $18 for seniors and older kids, $10 for kids seven and younger; skate skis, $28

Fees: Trail passes are $25 for ages 13 to 64; $20 for 65-plus; free for kids 12 and younger

Après option: You could certainly head to downtown Breckenridge (we like the cocktail menu at Modis), but the bar inside the Nordic center has a full liquor license, wine, and beer—and you don’t have to put on your shoes to get there.

Where to stay: Slated to open this month, Gravity Haus is a 60-room, hip-as-it-comes, ski-in, ski-out property at the base of Peak 9.

If you have another day to ski: Despite the fact that they’re located on a golf course, the trails at Gold Run Nordic Center feel much more rural and isolated than those at Breckenridge Nordic Center.

An added bonus for beginners: There are 13.7 kilometers of rolling green-rated terrain.

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