Cross Country Skiing in Pagosa

Where to begin Cross Country Skiing in Pagosa Springs, Colorado

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Do you want to begin cross country skiing in Pagosa Springs, or are you on a vacation and don’t know where to go?  If you haven’t tried cross country skiing before getting started is quick and easy.  You can start right away (if there’s snow on the ground).

 What is cross country skiing?

Man and woman cross country skiing
XC Skiing

Cross country skiing (also called xc skiing or nordic skiing) is the oldest form of skiing, used as a means to cross snow covered environments.  Cross country skiing became a sport at the end of the 19th century and is an Olympic sport today.

For centuries in the snow-covered North, skis were required to chase game and gather firewood in winter time. With long distances between the small, isolated communities and hard, snowy winters, skiing also became important as means of keeping in social contact. The word “ski” is a Norwegian word which comes from the Old Norse word “skid”, a split length of wood.

Nordic skiing styles

Classic and skate are two styles of Nordic skiing. Classic, the more traditional form, involves kicking and gliding in a forward-leaning motion. This style is done in deeply groomed tracks that run parallel to each other.

Skate skiing requires the skier to push off each ski in a V pattern, resembling rollerblading or ice-skating. Skate skiing is performed on wide groomed tracks, often right next to classic tracks.Lisa Jhung

Where can I go cross country skiing in Pagosa?

Nordic Skiing is available inside Pagosa Springs city limits.  Visit the golf course or Reservoir Hill.  Continental park has groomed trails for classic and skate skiing.

There are also many great places outside of town.  There are many trails off of Hwy 160 and National Forest access is abundant.

Cross-Country Skiing trails near Pagosa Springs.

Shooting in skis
Photo courtesy James Dickhoff
Racers line up between ski laps to shoot at targets with Red Ryder BB guns at the last Pagosa Nordic BB Gun Biathlon event.

Grooming of ski trails

Many organizations are involved in grooming and maintaining trails for Nordic skiers.

Wolf Creek Trailblazers snowmobile club of Pagosa Springs grooms many trails for snowmobiling that are shared my skiers.  The Trailblazers are permitted to groom trails on a variety of forest access roads in the area.

While most snowmobile drivers are cautious and respectful, skiers and snowshoers should move to the side early when they hear a snowmobile approaching.  Some may travel at high speeds on these groomed trails.

The Pagosa Nordic Club of Pagosa Springs, Colorado is a 501(c)(3) non profit, 100% volunteer organization with a mission “To enhance winter recreational opportunities in Pagosa Springs by maintaining accessible groomed winter trails for skate skiing & classic cross country skiing for all ability levels and to encourage and promote the use of these winter trails through education, marketing and events.”

Pagosa Nordic website

XC Skiing Gear

Several local businesses have equipment for sale and rentals available in Pagosa Springs, so pack less luggage and start your vacation already.
Equipment RentalsSporting Goods

I recommend having several items when XC skiing:

  1. Sunglasses or goggles
  2. Gloves or mittens
  3. Hat
  4. Water bottle
  5. Small backpack
  6. Snack
  7. Handkerchief
  8. Sunscreen


Cross country skiing in Pagosa Springs is popular.  There is an abundance of great locations in town and nearby areas.  Many organizations care for and manage various free to use trails.  Pagosa Springs has several quality stores selling and renting equipment.

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