If you’ve ever alpine skied on the weekend at any of the Colorado resorts along I-70, then you know the huge crowds and long lift lines that await you. Cross-country skiing is great alternative to avoid the crowds, burn a few a few extra calories, and enjoy the solitude of the outdoors. Several ski resorts across the state, like Copper Mountain Resort, offer numerous kilometers of groomed cross-country trails. There are also over a dozen Nordic centers across the state, such as the Breckenridge Nordic Center, that offer ski rentals, lessons, and maintained terrain that cut through forests, climb up hills and open up to expansive snow-covered views of the Rockies.
Cross-country skiing is very easy to learn and is much cheaper than purchasing downhill lift tickets at the resorts. At most places across the state, the price of renting cross-country gear and paying for a ticket costs well under $100. Local ski shops and outdoor retailers like REI and Christy Sports have Nordic rental options as well.
Looking to break your own trail? With a bit of snow, many summer hiking trails become cross-country ski trails in the wintertime. As always, be prepared and use resources such as the Colorado Avalanche Information Center before hitting the trail.