Cross Country Skiing

How To Guides

Nordic Skiing

Aspen has the largest FREE system of cross country trails in North America, with over 60 miles of trails that connect the towns of Aspen, Snowmass Village, Woody Creek, and Basalt. This winter is a perfect time to get out and explore them. There are trails to satisfy all levels of skiers.

The best place to start is the Aspen Cross Country Center at the Aspen Golf Course. The knowledgeable staff can guide you through the process of getting started with your skiing or familiarizing you with the trails.

Here are some basics:

You’ll need to rent or buy boots, skis, and poles, as the equipment for Nordic skiing is completely different from downhill skiing. Classic and Skate skiing equipment also differ.

There are two types of cross country skiing techniques: classic and skate skiing. Classic is the best choice for beginners and is the most traditional form, originally developed as a way to get across snowy landscapes. Classic skiing mimics the natural movement of walking, the arms and legs move in the same direction the skies are gliding.

Skate skiing is a more vigorous workout involving the entire body and mimics inline skating. The skier moves in lateral motion and the shift in body position creates forward momentum.

Classic skiers use the parallel grooves set into the track. These grooves help to guide you along. Skate skiers use the wider groomed trail as their gait and stride take up more space.

You can travel clockwise or counter-clockwise on the trails. If another skier is coming towards you, you can step out of the set tracks and let them pass. Classic skiers should yield to skate skiers if they are on the groomed skate track.

Dogs are permitted to join you on specially designated trails such as Bernese Boulevard at the Aspen Golf Course. Dogs must be under voice control and you must pick up their poop.

Daily group lessons are available on Tuesdays at the Aspen Cross Country Center at 12:15pm. Adults are $45 and Children 12 & under must be accompanied by a parent for $20.

Aspennordic.com and the Aspen Cross Country Center are the best places to start your cross country skiing adventure.

We hope you’ll give our world-class cross country system a whirl this winter. It’ll keep you enjoying the fresh air and happy to be experiencing the winterscape of our beautiful valley!

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