Skiing doesn’t always mean downhill.
For those who aren’t keen on the idea of downhill skiing, there are tons of other ways to get out into the snow. Nordic skiing is a popular sport between locals and visitors alike. For those looking for an intense morning cardio, or a peaceful ride through the valley, there is something for everyone! If you’re trying your hand at nordic skiing, we have compiled local trails from beginner to expert levels below!
Ski Touring Center
For those who are new to the sport, a trail well-traversed by locals is positively the way to go. Steamboat Ski Touring Center is an ideal place to try your hand at this sport. The Ski Touring Center not only has miles of snowshoeing trails, but they have some of the best cross-country and skate skiing trails around. Keep your eye out for seasonal rentals, multi-day passes or full season passes. The Ski Touring Center offers lessons as well with reservations. Skiers can buy equipment or clothing out of the outfitter shop before fueling up with a warm lunch at The Picnic Basket Cafe. Get yourself outside and participating in this awesome sport!
Lake Catamount also provides Nordic tours for skiers. There are tons of trails along Lake Catamount throughout the valleyed area. The property even provides a convenient service rental shop and a log cabin to warm you up post-ride. Therefore, Lake Catamount is a great place to try your hand at Nordic. There are both classic and skate ski rentals available on site, and a quick call ahead of time can assure there are plenty in stock. Catamount caters to skiers of all levels with trail maps guiding them to beginner, intermediate and expert terrain. Grooming reports, prices and hours are listed at the Steamboat Nordic Center website. With plenty of easy terrain, this is a great choice when strapping on your Nordic skis for the very first time.
Haymaker Nordic Center
Haymaker is another similar trail system to Lake Catamount. Large vistas and groomed tails provide easy terrain, great for the meandering Nordic skier. It is maintained for beginners, making this an ideal place to test the waters. However, this is also a great place for more experienced skiers to work on fine-tuning their own techniques. There are 10 kilometers of classic and skate ski trails that allow skiers to take in the view of Mount Werner on one side and the Flat Tops Wilderness Area on the other. Between laps on the Rabbit Ears or the Yampa View loops, visitors can get lunch at the Haymaker Bar and Grill while warming up. An updated trail report, as well as prices and hours can be found on the Steamboat Nordic skiing website.
To avoid the beginner courses and crowds of a Steamboat winter, head to the endless terrain located at Rabbit Ears Pass. There are miles and miles of untamed, ungroomed backcountry trails. Therefore, these trails should be trekked along by the more experienced Nordic skier. In addition, it is also best led by an individual who is familiar with the pass and its dense terrain. Rabbit Ears is located out of the way of civilization, where there are no facilities. Therefore, you should pack your own water, food, extra layers and whatever else you may need — and always be prepared for changing weather conditions.
Thanks for reading!
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