This Winter we’re on the hunt for cross country ski trails that are quiet, snowy, tree-lined, narrow, and away from the crowds, where a pup can explore and where we can only hear the sound of our breathing and the swish of the skis. That’s a perfect cross country ski trail. We asked our staff about their favorite cross country ski trails in Summit County, Colorado. Here are their answers.
- Frisco – Early Season – Keep Your Boots On! I will be the first to say that skiing is the bee’s knees, yet this time of year, the chance of rocks with shallow snow has me reaching for my hiking boots. Call me protective of my ski bases. A pair of traction devices provide ample purchase to scale the Mt Royal trail from Frisco and often you will not need gaiters to keep the snow out of your boots. Taking a headlamp and braving the night time temps will make the glow of Summit worth it.
- Breckenridge – Boreas Pass – Cheap views! Upon leaving the parking lot you find dramatic views with almost no effort. The trail also has a mellow grade so it’s not too strenuous when you’re looking for good views and a little exercise.
- Breckenridge – Sally Barber Road – I really love cross country skiing up Sally Barber Road in Breckenridge because the light incline makes for a nice workout, the view at the top is lovely, and the ski back down is hilarious on skinny cross country skis!
- Breckenridge – Resort – At Breckenridge Ski Resort, you can’t beat some good old Whale’s Tail laps on a clear day with soft snow.
- Keystone – Keystone Gulch – This is always a fan favorite because Keystone Resort grooms the road every week to help support their access needs to North Peak and the Outback. It’s a mellow uphill grade which makes for an easy return to the car. You could also warm up with hot chocolate if you ski all the way to Keystone Resort’s outpost about 2.5 miles from the trailhead.
- Keystone – Peru Creek Road – Peru Creek Road has many options for different activities and varying skill levels. XC skiing on the road takes you on a fairly flat, wide trail through a forest winter wonderland. Walking with snowshoes or traction devices is also possible. There are also many excellent backcountry ski lines accessed from Peru Creek Road in low-risk avalanche conditions including Cadillac, a Summit County classic winter ski line.