There are many ways to experience The Greatest Snow on Earth® beyond the dreamy downhill of our 14 ski resorts. Utah's famous snow is equally ideal for serene, moonlit cross-country ski tours or more strenuous cardio workouts. The well-organized cross-country skiing Utah community means plenty of groomed trails on and off the resorts. You can also explore deeper into Utah's extensive backcountry for countless hours of active entertainment.
Utah has hundreds of roads and trails perfect for exhilarating cross-country skiing journeys. There are classic mountaintop routes, tracks through snow-dusted red rock, historic trails, and even numerous snowed-in golf courses and state parks that get into the act. Below you'll find a combination of groomed trails popular with families and people of varied skill levels and access to trailheads that lead into the backcountry – with guided tours if desired. Be aware that weather events are unpredictable but always check current conditions and snow reports before venturing in the backcountry and learn more about backcountry safety below.
The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA) promotes cross-country skiing in the Salt Lake City area, including the popular Mountain Dell ski area and upper stretch of Mill Creek Canyon. Similarly, the nonprofit Nordic United works with the U.S. Forest Service and state and local government to identify and groom trails in Northern Utah, near Logan, that are free to use. Both organizations promote the ease of access to Utah's great trailheads as well as the health benefits and tranquility of Nordic skiing. The Utah Nordic Alliance suggests Wild Rose Sports, Wasatch Touring, REI, Kirkhams and White Pine Touring for gear rentals at great rates and to visit organized Nordic centers below for lessons.
- Snowbasin Resort, in Huntsville has a Nordic skiing area with 16 miles of groomed cross-country and snowshoeing trails.
- North Fork Park, just north of the town of Liberty has 12 miles of trails that are groomed six times per week. The South Gate trailhead's Ogden Nordic Center offers warm drinks, maps, gear and friendly conversation.
- Soldier Hollow was the Nordic skiing venue for the Olympic Winter Games. Now you can experience this world-class biathlon course for yourself with 25 km of groomed cross-country trails at your feet. Also check out the adjacent Wasatch Mountain State Park.
- The Homestead Cross-Country Ski Center in Midway near Park City, has 7 miles of onsite groomed trails, lessons and rentals and accesses around 100 miles of groomed trails and open powder. Warm up in the steaming 96-degree waters of Homestead Crater.
- The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail's 28-mile-long route gives you a grand tour.
- Solitude Nordic Center offers 20 km of groomed trails, lessons, rentals, and tours. Ski or snowshoe to Solitude's cozy Yurt for a five-course meal prepared before your eyes.
- Check out the classic or skate skiing on Alta's 3-mile groomed track. Accessible mid-mountain via Sunnyside lift with a Nordic Pass or Track Ticket..
- The Viking Yurt at Park City Mountain Resort brings Norwegian hospitality to the Rocky Mountains, and while the Yurt concept might traditionally be accessed on skis or a hearty snowshoe climb, this four-hour dinner event includes a snowcat-pulled sleigh ride up the hill.
- Sundance Nordic Center at Sundance Resort is accessed through Provo Canyon, between Provo and Heber, and offers incredible access to a pristine backcountry experience as well as immaculate wide groomed trails. Not only are there 9 miles of groomed trails, lessons, rentals and night skiing for cross-country skiers, but another 6 miles of forested trails are dedicated for snowshoe exploration.
- White Pine Touring Center in Park City offers 12 miles of groomed trails. You can also take a lesson, rent gear and get a guided tour.
The Manti-La Sal National Forest is a lesser-visited refuge for days of high-altitude adventure, wildlife and serenity. Skyline Drive is one of the world's premier snowkiting sites, and extensive trails criss-cross the diverse forests, plateaus and mountain landscapes of the forest. Explore the Manti-La Sal's cross-country skiing areas and experience the great outdoors in solitude.
Southern Utah is the place to go for winter adventure among the snow-dusted red rock.
- Brian Head Resort, near Cedar City offers 26 miles of trails (6 miles groomed), lessons, rentals and night skiing.
- Ruby's Inn, near Bryce Canyon National Park offers more than 30 miles of groomed trails, lessons, rentals, tours and night skiing.
- Bryce Canyon National Park and vicinity, cross-country skiing is allowed in the national park. A ski trail brochure is available at the visitor center.
- Just south on Highway 143, in the winter the road into Cedar Breaks National Monument closes and the area offers 7 miles of groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the monument and the surrounding Dixie National Forest. An additional 30 miles of marked and unmarked backcountry trails also surround the area.
- Duck Creek Village, 30 miles east of Cedar City on state Hwy 14, has groomed cross-country ski trails, ski and snowmobile rentals and instruction.
- West of Monticello or north of Blanding, trails for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling lead into the Abajo Mountains of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Groomed trails provided and private backcountry huts are available. Call (435) 259-SNOW for road, avalanche and snow conditions.
About Utah's Backcountry and Sidecountry
About Utah's Backcountry and Sidecountry
Remember that the gift of backcountry also comes with responsibility for avalanche safety. Each day, hard-working ski patrols make the terrain inside of ski area boundaries extremely safe from avalanches. Those leaving the ski area boundaries or entering the backcountry from a trailhead need standard avalanche rescue gear, avalanche training and should regularly consult the Utah Avalanche Center website for critical avalanche safety information before venturing out in search of the goods. If you don't own avalanche equipment or feel that you have the right skills, no problem. You can utilize local guides listed below that can set you up with the proper gear, keep you safe and lead you to the good stuff to make the most of your vacation.
Know Before You Go:
- Get the Equipment: Everyone should have a transceiver, shovel and probe on their person and know how to use them.
- Get the Training: Take an avalanche course to learn obvious clues to danger and how to read the terrain.
- Get the Forecast: Consult the Utah Avalanche Center website before heading out for critical avalanche information and education resources.
- Get the Picture: Recent avalanches on similar slopes mean dangerous conditions.
- Get out from Harm's Way: Travel one at a time on avalanche slopes and get out of the way at the bottom.
Utah Avalanche Center
No matter where you are in the state, always make sure to check local conditions before entering Utah backcountry. For current avalanche conditions throughout Utah, please visit: www.utahavalanchecenter.org