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Cross Country Skiing Utah

Utah has made a name for itself in the skiing industry and when people think about skiing, the first image that comes to mind is riding chairlifts up to some great powder then carving turns downhill.

But if the need for speed is not your style, try cross-country skiing. Don some "skinny skis" and enjoy Utah 's awesome snow in a more leisurely stroll through the trees, or a fast-paced race on a groomed track.

With the mountains right in our back yards, all you really need to do is find a trailhead where you might hike in the summer. But because of avalanche danger, you need to be really careful if you go this route. So your best bet for having a safe, enjoyable day of skiing among some beautiful scenery is to go to one of the many organized (and groomed) areas in the state.


Misc Info

Commercial Areas
These areas require a fee and offer rentals and lessons

    Alta Ski Resort
    A pretty new 5km groomed cross-country trail system.

    Brian Head
    10 km of groomed trails and 40 km of ungroomed trails.

    Bryce Canyon / Rubys Inn
    30 km of trails groomed (by Ryby's Inn) for cross-country skiing that link up with some of the ungroomed trails in Bryce Canyon National Park.

    The Homestead Resort
    Located near Midway (about 20 minutes from Park City ), the Homestead has 12 km of groomed skiing trails as well as lodging. 40 percent of the trails are rated beginner, 50 percent intermediate and 10 percent advanced.

    Park City area Guided tours:

    26km of groomed trails for classic or skating, rentals and lessons.

    Solitude Nordic Center
    Located between Brighton and Solitude ski resorts, Utah 's oldest cross-country skiing area has more than 20 km of trails set for both classical and skating in a forested mountain setting.

    Sundance Nordic Center
    The Nordic part of the Sundance resort has 15 km of groomed trails of "over the hills and through the woods". Located in Provo Canyon.

    Soldier Hollow
    Built for the 2002 Winter Olympics and located in the Park City/Heber area, Soldier Hollow has 31 km of trails available for skiing and snowshoeing as well as a tubing hill.

    Wolf Creek
    Self-guided wilderness cross country skiing or snowshoeing, rentals available.

    Wasatch Mountain State Park
    The golf course on the grounds is open in the winter for cross-country skiing. Seven to 10 kilometers are groomed and rentals are available.

    White Pine Touring Center
    This Park City resort offers 18 km of groomed skiing trails as well as a backcountry yurt, guided tours and a retail shop.

Other Groomed areas
No rentals or facilities are available at these areas

    Mill Creek Canyon Road
    In the winter, only the lower part of the canyon is plowed and car-drivable. The upper part is periodically groomed for cross-country skiing.

    Mountain Dell Golf Course
    Just over Parley's Canyon from Salt Lake City , when the snow falls on this golf course, it is groomed by volunteers in The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA) with the cooperation of the Salt Lake City Golf division. There is a suggested donation for track use, more info at

    Sherwood Hills
    Near Wellsville, UT, 3.5 km of trails are groomed for cross-country skiing and there are another 15 km of ungroomed trails.

    Historic Union Pacific Trail
    A 28-mile trail extending between Park City and Heber City, designated soley for non-motorized use

Non-groomed areas

    Guardsman's Pass
    The road going from Brighton to Park City is closed to cars during the winter and is thus a nice snowmobiling and cross-country skiing area in the winter. There is no fee (nor are there facilities) and the uphill climb is gentle. However, the skier will be sharing the road with noisy (and stinky) snowmobiles. Free.

    Big Cottonwood Canyon Campgrounds
    These summertime campgrounds in Big Cottonwood Canyon offer an easy area for beginners to try out their skiing legs without worrying about having to go long distances. There is no grooming, but the area is free to the public.

    Little Cottonwood Canyon Trail
    This easy trail parallels the Little Cottonwood road and is reached right at the mouth of the canyon across the street from the park and ride (behind the electronic sign.) With a gradual climb and scenery including ice and snow formations on the creek and possible mountain goat sightings, this is a nice trail for a leisurely afternoon in the snow.

    Cross-Country Skiing in the Eastern Uintah's
    A list and description of trails in the Ashley National Forest.

    Backcountry Skiing Areas
    For those who prefer more rugged terrain, many of the summertime hiking trails along the Wasatch Front make great backcountry skiing trails. Check a trail guide for trailheads and be sure you are aware of any avalanche danger in the backcountry.

    National Forest Service Ski Areas
    The forest service is a great source for several other trails throughout the state that are great for a day on the skinny skis. Give them a call for some ideas:

    • State-wide Forest Service: 801-625-5306
    • La Sal Mountain Area: 435-259-SNOW (7155)

Backroads of Utah
by Theresa A. Husarik

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