The Best Scenic Cross-Country Ski Spots in the U.S. from The 10 Best Scenic Cross-Country Ski Spots in the U.S.

The 10 Best Scenic Cross-Country Ski Spots in the U.S.

The Best Scenic Cross-Country Ski Spots in the U.S.

The low profile activity of cross-country skiing has gained some popularity in recent years and it’s not hard to see why. The sport can take skiers just about anywhere there’s snow—from town to town or way out into the back country—the only limit is a skier’s strength, ability and knowledge. As you improve on skis, the terrain opens up for you and the views and experiences are simply incredible.

Trapp Family Lodge—Stowe, Vt.

Trapp Family Lodge

Tucked away in the mountain town of Stowe, this cross-country ski spot is home to the first Nordic ski center established in the U.S. Since its founding, the resort has grown to include more than 30 miles of groomed trails and tons of backcountry terrain—it has become one of the best spots in the country to cross-country ski.

Sun Valley—Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley Resort

This well-known downhill resort is known for sunny days and great mountain terrain, but Sun Valley also offers some great cross-country trails. More than 20 miles of groomed trails offer scenic beauty that’s hard to beat anywhere else and qualified instructors can help you enjoy it all.

Bretton Woods Nordic Center—Bretton Woods, N.H.

Courtesy of Omni Mount Washington Resort

The Bretton Woods Nordic Center gives cross country skiers access to a trail system with 62 miles of snow-covered terrain. Set at the base of Mount Washington, the trails take you through the White Mountain National Forest, offering fantastic views of the mountains nearby.

Lone Mountain Ranch—Gallatin Gateway, Mont.

Lone Mountain Ranch

This award-winning Nordic ski resort has it all—more than 50 miles of groomed trails, lessons from PSIA-certified instructors and a perfect location. The ranch is close to Big Sky Ski Resort and the Moonlight Basin ski terrain, for those seeking more cross-country trails or Alpine skiing and it’s not far from Yellowstone National Park, should you want to do some exploring.

Mt. Van Hoevenberg—Lake Placid, N.Y.

ORDA/ Dave Schmidt

Home to the 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is still a major winter sports haven 35 years later. The area offers more than 100 miles of cross-country trails, in addition to rentals and lessons. Perhaps the best spot of all is Mt. Van Hoevenberg, where the expertly groomed trails guide Nordic skiers over pristine Adirondack terrain.

Jackson Fork Ranch—Bondurant, Wyo.

The Lodge at Jackson Fork Ranch

The perfect spot for rugged and experienced cross-country skiers, Jackson Fork Ranch is a natural gem set on 1,300 acres. They don’t groom much of their trails, so beginners might have a tough time but the spectacular wildlife makes up for the tougher treks. Moose, elk and eagles roam the ranch and the surrounding public lands, which visitors can also explore on skis.

Michigan Tech Trails and Recreational Forest—Houghton, Mich.

Ski the site that will host the 2015 U.S. Nordic Ski Championships and put your skills to the test. The trail system that gets almost 250 inches of snow annually is also one of the most highly regareded in the country for quality, grooming and variety of terrain.

Methow Trails—Wintthrop, Wash.

Methow Trails

The country’s largest cross-country ski area is a big draw for beginners and experts alike, due to their variety of trails. The 120-mile-long trail system offers options to suit any skill level and kids 17 and under ski free. If you’re hoping to bring a four-legged friend along, 35 miles of trails are pet friendly, as are three of the Rendezvous Huts, available for overnight stays.

Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System—Aspen, Snowmass and Basalt, Colo.

Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trails

We’re all familiar with this winter hub that sees tons of snow each year, but did you know there are some great cross-country trails that also happen to be free? That’s right, 60 miles of trails, ranging from beginner to expert—some are even dog friendly—connect Aspen, Snowmass and Basalt.

#10 Royal Gorge—Soda Springs, Calif.

Royal Gorge

Though Royal Gorge is not currently open, the area features more than 120 miles of trails across 6,000 acres of unspoiled land. The trail system has something for everyone—beginners can take it easy checking out the Van Norden Meadow and experts can tackle the tough climbs to the Point Mariah lookout.