When you need a break from the speed of downhill skiing, cross country skiing is an excellent alternative. You can head out into the backcountry and experience a whole new landscape. The quiet atmosphere and the rhythmic kick and glide of the skis gives cross country skiing a meditative quality that is good for the soul. Here are our favorite cross country trails in Breck for this soothing, yet challenging workout.
Breckenridge Nordic Center
The Breckenridge Nordic Center is the perfect place to start if you are new to cross country skiing. They offer 30 kilometers of groomed trails. You can rent equipment and sign up for a private or group lesson. The trails meander through the stunning Cucumber Gulch Preserve. The lodge is located just a few minutes from downtown Breckenridge, up Ski Hill Road. Parking is available on site, or it is accessible from the Breckenridge Free Ride system. You will need a trail pass that costs $25 for adults over 12. Kids 12 and under ski free, making this a great family activity. The lodge is warm and welcoming with a large stone fireplace, and often live music, so you can relax when you are done skiing.
Bemrose Ski Circus
When you are ready to venture a bit into the backcountry, the Bemrose Ski Circus is the ideal trail to try. This trail is easily accessible and well traveled. There are usually tracks that are easy to follow and loops of varying lengths. You are also likely to encounter fellow skiers on these trails, should you need help. The Bemrose Ski Circus is found at the top of Hoosier Pass. Go south on Highway 9 from Breckenridge. At the top of Hoosier Pass there is a large parking area. You can park here and then carefully cross the road. You will see the trail marked with a post and some blue blazes. Click here for a detailed map.
Pennsylvania Creek Road
This road is off of Highway 9 to the south of Breckenridge. From Highway 9, turn left on Blue River Road. Follow it bearing to the right on Royal Drive. Then take a right on Coronet Dr., where this road is no longer paved is where the trail begins. Pennsylvania Creek Road goes for 2.5 miles one way. If you would prefer a longer trail, you can connect with Indiana Creek Road, which in turn will connect with Boreas Pass. The top of Boreas Pass hosts Ken’s cabin. This is a hut that can be booked for an overnight stay through the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. This can make an excellent route if you are looking for a longer, more challenging adventure.
Gold Run Nordic Center
This Nordic Center is operated by the Town of Breckenridge. It offers 30 kilometers of ski trails groomed for classic or skate skiing. If you enjoy this sport with your dog, there are a few trails here that are specifically designated to bring along your canine companion. This is another great location for beginners to start out, but it also offers difficult trails for the more advanced skier.
If you have never tried cross country skiing, Breckenridge offers many opportunities to rent skis and get out on a trail. This is truly a sport that almost anyone can do. It is quickly rewarding as you experience the mountains in a more intimate way.
Photo 1 by Liam Doran courtesy of Breckenridge Tourism Office
Photo 2 courtesy of Breckenridge Tourism Office