Colorado Nordic Centers for Snowshoeing & More

Restless hikers don’t have to worry about losing their pace over the winter season. With access to more than 20 Nordic centers across the state — several of whom offer adaptive equipment — discovering Colorado’s winter wonderland is made exciting via endless scenic snowshoe trails and groomed skiing terrain. 

By: Staff Writer
Updated: March 23, 2024

Take your time absorbing the sights and sounds of the Rocky Mountains and tread easy knowing that your snowshoes are the only footprints you’ll be leaving on the environment.

Many of the state's Nordic centers are near or connected to Colorado’s ski areas and resorts, but there are also ranches, clubs and nonprofit organizations that maintain networks of trails each winter. With groomed routes, lessons, equipment rentals and warming huts with post-trek hot chocolate, exploring these centers' snowy landscapes a breeze.

Below are a few snowshoeing and cross-country experiences you can have in Colorado. For more locations and information, check out the Colorado Cross Country Ski Association. First time snowshoeing? Brush up on beginner snowshoeing tips in Colorado for all you need to know to hit the trails with confidence.

Breckenridge Nordic Center

With natural snow and snow-making capabilities, it's easy to find freshly groomed snow at Breckenridge Nordic Center for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The center even has guided snowshoe adventures and Nordic ski lessons to help you get your snow legs before hitting the trails on your own. Learn about adaptive skiing and snowshoeing at Breckenridge Nordic Center.

Crested Butte Nordic Center

In the charming village of Crested Butte, more than 50 kilometers of trails at the Crested Butte Nordic Center meander through the outskirts of town and into the backcountry. Flats, rolling terrain and hills offer space for all skill levels. Those who want to make a full day of it can reserve a spot at the Magic Meadows Yurt for a gourmet backcountry dinner. Learn about adaptive skiing and snowshoeing at Crested Butte Nordic Center.

Keystone Nordic Center

Keystone's Nordic center offers rentals, lessons and guided tours in snowshoeing, skate skiing and cross-country skiing on their 17km of local trails, with access to 40 more in the nearby White River National Forest. Afterward, hit the center's soup bistro to warm up and grab an après-Nordic-ski beverage. Learn about adaptive skiing and snowshoeing at Keystone Nordic Center.

Vail Nordic Center

Right in the heart of Vail, hop on Vail Nordic Center's 17km of cross-country and skate skiing runs and utilize the center’s video analysis to improve your technique. For those who like a slower pace, take in the sights and sounds of the mountains by snowshoeing 10km of trails. Either way, with a hot soup buffet, beverages and rentals available on-site, as well as lessons and trails ranging from easy to difficult, Vail Nordic Center makes sure a good time will be had by everyone.

Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System

With 90 kilometers of groomed trails, Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System is one of the largest free cross-country skiing and snowshoeing networks in North America. Traveling between the system’s hubs in Aspen and Snowmass, you'll pass through wooded areas, hilly golf courses and peaceful valleys along the way. Tours and lessons are offered via the Aspen Cross Country Center, which also boasts a lounge where you can grab a snack or warm up with a hot drink.

Tennessee Pass Nordic Center

Visions of a four-course meal at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center's Cookhouse — located just over 1km from the trailhead — keeps trekkers moving along the 27km of trails at Leadville’s Tennessee Pass Nordic Center. The meal will leave you full, but not too weighed down to make the easy journey back. The alpine views on the way to and from the mountain-top dining spot are almost as good as the dessert. (Reservations required for meals.)

The Frisco Nordic Center

Set in the White River National Forest, the Frisco Nordic Center is located in Frisco, not far from the shores of scenic Lake Dillon and several major ski resorts, making it the ideal activity for those in your party who prefer not to hit the downhill slopes. The center is home to 30km of groomed ski trails, plus 8km of snowshoe terrain. Learn about adaptive skiing and snowshoeing at Frisco Nordic Center.

Vista Verde Ranch

Spending several days at a guest ranch is the best way to truly immerse yourself in Colorado’s winter culture. The staff at the all-inclusive Vista Verde Ranch near Steamboat Springs takes care of all the details for you. Guests pop into the lodge for meals and rest, and spend the rest of their time traversing snowy trails, horseback- and sleigh-riding, dog sledding and more.

Eldora Mountain Resort Nordic Center

Just a stone's throw from Eldora’s downhill ski area near Nederland, Eldora Mountain Resort Nordic Center's 40km of trails wind through quiet, shady forests and wide-open meadows. The groomed trails fall mostly in the intermediate category (55%), but still offer plenty of options for beginner (25%) and expert (20%) skiers. Learn about adaptive skiing and snowshoeing at Eldora.

Additional Adaptive Lessons & Courses

Other Nordic Centers

Want More?

Check out other trails for wintry fun.

Take a look at Colorado hut trips for advanced cross-country skiers and snowshoers.