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Cross country skiing is a fun way to enjoy the quiet splendor of winter while getting as much exercise as you could want. Fourteener country is home to hundreds of miles of cross country accessible terrain making it easy to pick a trail perfect for you or your group.
First time cross country skiers can rent gear from one of many local shops and explore groomed trails winding deep into the National Forest. The Mineral Belt in Leadville is a favorite destination for beginner and experienced cross country and skate skiers. The Leadville Nordic Club does an excellent job of grooming the 11.6 mile Mineral Belt Trail as well as many more miles of trails around town. With many trailheads and access points the Mineral Belt is a great place to go for a long loop ski or an out-and-back of any length.
The Buena Vista Snow Drifters Snowmobile Club grooms Cottonwood Pass, and while you do have to share the road with snowmobilers it provides excellent access to many non-motorized and ungroomed trails. With National Forest and BLM land surrounding the towns of Buena Vista, Salida, and the Monarch Mountain ski resort it’s pretty easy to find your slice of winter paradise. Get some skis and go explore!