With miles and miles of groomed trails stretching from Aspen to Snowmass to Basalt, cross- country skiing in Aspen is a great way to get some exercise and sunshine, explore the Roaring Fork Valley and have an exhilarating Nordic skiing adventure.
The upper valley is home to the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System, a 90-kilometer network of trails linking Aspen with Snowmass Village, Woody Creek, and Basalt. Inspired by Alpine trails in Europe, the area was developed for the purposes of exploring on cross-country skiing in 1984.
Cross-Country Skiing in Aspen
For anyone new to the sport, the Aspen Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Center, located at the Aspen Public Golf Course, is a great place to start, as they have a team of cross-country ski instructors who teach classic and skate ski lessons daily. The Aspen Golf Course is an excellent place to learn the sports of classic skiing and skate skiing along the 8 kilometers of groomed trails.
For the more experienced Nordic skier, the gently rolling Aspen Golf Course trails offer a great warm-up for more steep and challenging terrain, which is abundant throughout the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System.
For challenging steep terrain with FIS-certified racecourses, the Aspen High School Trails present cross-country skiers with difficult and fun trails that get the heart pounding. Bernese Boulevard and the Rio Grande XC Trail are dog-friendly cross-country ski trails that allow your four-legged friends to get out and enjoy the snow and sunshine, too.
Skiers of all experience levels can also explore surrounding areas, including trails around the coal mining ghost town of Ashcroft, and at the Maroon Bells. The Maroon Bells have become one of the most photographed spots in Colorado. And, in a wide-open meadow east of Aspen is the North Star Nature Preserve. The Preserve features a 2-kilometer loop with spectacular views of the Independence Pass area.
Cross-Country Skiing in Snowmass
The Snowmass Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Center, located at the Snowmass Golf Course, is the perfect place to take a break, join a lesson, and rent cross-country ski equipment. Cross-Country ski trails in Snowmass include the Snowmass Golf Course, the Owl Creek Trail and the Village Way Trail.
The Snowmass Golf Course offers a mixture of rolling beginner and intermediate terrain. From the golf course, skiers have the option of hopping onto the Owl Creek Trail and skiing over to the Aspen Cross-Country Ski Center. The Owl Creek Trail presents difficult climbs and descents and also offers skiers picturesque views of Snowmass and Aspen. The Village Way Trail runs adjacent to Brush Creek Road and winds its way past Anderson Ranch down to the Post Office and Snowmass Village market.
Cross-Country Skiing in the Roaring Fork Valley
Cross-country skiing is available beyond Aspen Snowmass. Popular trails in the Roaring Fork Valley include the Rio Grande trail which follows along the banks of the Roaring Fork River. The Spring Gulch trail system is located outside of Carbondale and features more than 21 kilometers of cross-country exploration.
Try Cross-Country Skiing During Your Next Aspen Vacation
Give yourself a break from the ski lifts and alpine ski equipment for a day, and explore the sport of cross-country skiing in Aspen and beyond. Take in the abundant Colorado sunshine, the fresh, crisp mountain air, and the breathtaking views from one of the many cross-country ski trails along the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System.