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Nordic Skiing and snowshoeing date back as early as 600 B.C. More than five millennia ago, Scandinavians strapped on skinny skis as their main form of transportation during the winter. This type of skiing wasn’t designed for the rush of the downhill, but a practical way to travel across the country over snow (hence, Cross-Country Skiing). Similarly, snowshoeing was created, most likely by the Native Americans and Central Asians, as a way to travel through deep snow by floating on top of it.
To experience these winter hiking traditions firsthand, visit one of Breckenridge’s two Nordic centers, take a guided tour, or take on the trails yourself! Each Breckenridge Nordic Skiing center showcases breathtaking terrain and provides lessons and rentals for those who want to try a little touring.
Breckenridge boasts more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) of perfectly manicured cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails between the town’s two Nordic Centers. If exploring some historic mining ruins on your own is more your style, the Breckenridge trail system offers hundreds of miles of ungroomed trails to explore.
Gold Run Nordic Center
With 27 km of impeccably groomed classic and skate cross-country ski trails and 10 km of snowshoe specific trails, the Gold Run Nordic Center is a great place for the beginner and experienced outdoor enthusiast. Other offerings include guided snowshoe tours, fat bike rentals and horse-drawn sleigh rides with the option to add dinner. Warm up after a day on the trails with a cup of hot cocoa or boozy beverage in the cozy lodge next to the fireplace.
Find It: 200 Clubhouse Drive, Breckenridge CO 80424 (Breckenridge Golf Course), 970-547-7889
Breckenridge Nordic Center
More than 40 kilometers of wonderfully groomed Breckenridge Nordic ski and snowshoe-specific trails await all abilities at this Nordic Center nestled below the ski resort. At the base of the Ten Mile Range, one half-mile from Main Street on Ski Hill Road, idyllic trails weave through the gorgeous Cucumber Gulch Nature Preserve for great views, wildlife viewing and peaceful quiet in the surrounding National Forest.
Equipment rentals, lessons, snow cat tours, a snack bar and professional staff are on hand to get you on your way. Take in the mountain views and be sure to swing into the Hallelujah Hut for a chance to warm up by the wood-burning fireplace.
Find It: 9 Grandview Drive, Breckenridge CO 80424, 970-453-6855
Explore Breckenridge’s Trails
Breckenridge’s interconnected trail system offers countless miles of trails to be explored on Nordic skis, touring skis or snowshoes. These same trails can be hiked or biked in the summer, but during the winter months they provide amazing access to the vast winter backcountry. Breckenridge has winter hikes for every ability level at various distances. Gear can be rented through Breckenridge’s Nordic centers and local shops throughout town. Not sure where to go? Winter Trail maps are available online or at the Breckenridge Welcome Center on Main Street.
Guided Nordic and Snowshoe Tours
If exploring some historic mining ruins on your own is more your style, the Breckenridge trail system offers hundreds of miles of ungroomed trails to explore. Breckenridge Heritage Alliance opens the doors to the Bunk House on Iowa Hill for snowshoers on their winter tour and through French Gulch as a private option.
The Continental Divide Land Trust offers occasional winter snowshoe outings to protected open space properties with the opportunity to learn about Breckenridge’s conservation efforts, mining history, and local wildlife.
Cross-country ski tours and backcountry skiing expeditions are also offered in winter by Colorado Adventure Guides.
View more guided adventures in Breckenridge.