Skiing in Telluride is not limited to downhill skiing. There are options other than riding the chair lift up and speeding down steep slopes. In Telluride, skiing goes beyond the skiing associated with the Telluride Ski and Golf Club, or even the backcountry touring that is so accessible in the San Juan Mountains.
Nordic skiing and skate skiing are other ways of skiing, and perfect for the tranquility of a Telluride winter. Nordic skiers and skate skiers alike take advantage of the beautiful Telluride conditions, and do so at a fraction of the cost. Both Nordic and skate skiing is done off of the mountain, on a groomed track that is maintained. The Telluride Town Park offers an option with alternate routes featuring small hills and trees. In a cabin next to the campground and town swimming pool, you’ll find the Telluride Nordic Center. Here, you can rent gear, including poles and ask any questions you like. And, lessons are available.
The Valley Floor also has a track, with views of the elk, Ajax, and the mesas. This loop is also maintained and well-groomed, and you’re sure to find folks out cruising in all types of weather, and at different times of the day as this location gets a little longer sunshine in the afternoons. The Valley Floor has no rental option, so gear must be found in town at a local retail sporting goods store.
Nordic skiing Telluride comes with health benefits since both Nordic and skate skiing are aerobic activities that increase heart rate and burn calories. The difference is that rather than riding a chair lift up and skiing down, the skier remains on the flat and uses the muscular body to propel themselves forward, then enjoying the momentum they create in the forward action. It can be a lot of fun, and it’s considerably cheaper.
No season pass or fee of any sort is required to use the tracks in town or for the Valley Floor while Nordic skiing Telluride, though donations are welcome and membership encouraged. This includes the other scenic options that exist up at Priest Lake or Trout Lake or Lizard Head Pass, just a short drive away. Gear is much cheaper to rent, and once it’s purchased, the costs have been mostly covered. Unlike the downhill ski season, the Nordic and skate skiers can enjoy the trails when just a 6” base has been determined. You don’t have to wait for a major powder day for the trail to be opened or to break out the Nordic gear and get outside.
Unlike the heavy equipment used in downhill skiing, Nordic and skate skiing equipment is actually very light and easy to carry. When Nordic skiing Telluride you don’t have to walk in those treacherous ski boots to the lift line. Nordic and skate equipment can easily be packed to the track for that hour of exercise on the snowy winding trails in Telluride. Dogs are permitted on some trails, though not on others. For example, the Valley Floor does not allow dogs to follow or run beside you while Nordic skiing Telluride, though having your dogs accompany you is perfectly fine at Priest Lake and Trout Lake. And, please always clean up after your dogs.
Festivities do exist in Nordic and skate ski culture. While Nordic skiing Telluride you’ll find races, full moon gatherings, and pot lucks out on the trail. Send your questions to the Telluride Nordic Center, though they remain closed until the 18th of November. See more about Nordic skiing Telluride at telluridetrails.org.