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Destination for both Alpine and Nordic?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Just fishing for ideas from the Epic Ski community.  I don't know yet whether we'll have the time to do so this season, but considering a short ski vacation, and would like to find a location with good lift served and a groomed trail network for skate skiing.  With respect to the XC trails, I would be hoping to be able to ski 20 - 30k without lapping a hamster wheel.  The four immediate places that pop to my mind are Silver Star, Whistler, Sun Valley, and the Tahoe region generally.  To minimize travel time, I'm focused on the west.  Ideally, we'd be able to access both lifts and the Nordic trails from ski-in, ski-out lodging, which may limit the above list to Silver Star.  At least it seems most of the big Nordic systems around Tahoe aren't associated with resorts and would require some driving (e.g. Tahoe-Donner).  Any other suggestions to consider?  I know some of the Colorado resorts have Nordic trails, but I'm not sure if any would be considered Nordic destinations in-and-of themselves.  Anyone else have experience combining the two in one trip?

post #2 of 13

I did alpine and nordic on a trip to Aspen a long time ago, did nordic in the canyon leading to Maroon Bells .  Believe Sugarbowl, CA also operates nearby nordic facility now.  I saw a nordic facility next to the downhill ski trails last winter at Beaver Creek, CO.  That entire resort is extremely posh, nordic trails were at about 8000+ feet elevation.  Not sure if that layout would meet your def of hamster wheel.  Some nice alpine and nordic places coincide in the Mt Washington Valley, NH, but wrong coast for you.

post #3 of 13

If you go to Banff, you have access to four ski areas within commuting distance (Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, Mt. Norquay, Nakiska) as well as the Canmore Nordic Centre ('88 Olympic Winter Games venue).  No ski-in, ski-out, but the commutes are simple enough.  The nordic centre recently went through a massive upgrade to both the trail system and lodge and is an amazing facility for both classic and skate skiing as well as mountain biking in the summer.


FYI, Banff is about a 1.5 hour drive or less from the Calgary International Airport (fly direct from most major U.S. cities).  Also, since winter/ski season is considered low season, hotel accommodation is at it's most affordable (tourist traffic is 5x greater in the summer, believe it or not).

post #4 of 13

Although, I have not done nordic sking. I did a post recently inqiring about it as I often go to Park City which I know has a fairly extensive collection of nordic trails, many of which are groomed. perhaps some people who actually do nordic sking there can comment about good/bad it is relative to the other areas mentioned.

post #5 of 13

Aspen and Jackson Hole come to mind.

post #6 of 13

Aspen has the largest free Nordic system in the US.  They refer to it as it's fifth mountain.

Snowmass and Buttermilk both have ski in/out Alpine and access to the Nordic system.  Snowmass would have a lot more lodging choices.



post #7 of 13

Solitude has a Nordic Center.  Could stay at Solitude for ski in/out.  Can ski at Brighton too without driving.  Either take the public bus or ski over.


Alta has 5km of XC trail.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input all.  Banff looks like a solid choice (and Sunshine and Lake Louise look cool).  I'll have to check flight prices.  Aspen too.  I'm in Anchorage, where trail access is also free (though you should pull your weight and contribute for grooming!).  Trail fees always come as a shock.  Anyone know how often snow conditions allow for the full ski from Aspen to Basalt?  In an average year, does the whole of that trail (Rio Grande trail, based on my limited reading so far) have sufficient coverage?  With respect to Park City, I've never been able to get a good feel for where Soldier Hollow is in relation to everything else.  Think if I was traveling to Utah, I'd prefer to head to Alta, Snowbird, or Solitude.  Just based on what those resorts advertise, the Nordic trails look like something of an after thought (but I could be wrong). 

post #9 of 13

  Ideally, we'd be able to access both lifts and the Nordic trails from ski-in, ski-out lodging, which may limit the above list to Silver Star. 

Sun Valley doesn't offer this, but they are both so close, and the free bus system will deliver you to either the SV nordic center, the Baldy base (for downhill and also access to the Wood River Trail) in no time. The resort grooms 40km of trails; then there's the North Valley Trail System near Galena Lodge with another 50km of groomed; then there's the Wood River Trail, which runs between Ketchum and Bellevue and is groomed. Tthe Harriman Trail north of Ketchum runs 30km up to Galena Lodge. I can't remember if there is a groomed path from Ketchum to the SV trail system. You can take the Mountain Fairy Shuttle up to Galena and those northern  trails.

post #10 of 13
Winter Park and Snow Mountain Ranch would be an option. For the best of both perspective and requiring a longer trip, consider combining Jackson and Yellowstone. The Nordic out of the snow lodge is incredible (as is Yellowstone in winter), and Jackson is, well, Jackson.

post #11 of 13

Please take a look at Royal Gorge / Sugarbowl combination in the Lake Tahoe Area


Royal Gorge is now being operated by Sugarbowl





Edited by near nyquist - 11/21/12 at 8:19pm
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Just as follow up, in case anyone ever wonders what comes of advice thrown to anonymous strangers in the forum, after shopping airfares the economics have dictated Tahoe.  Alaska Airline fares into Reno were less than half that into any other destination, and about as cheap as I've ever seen.  As a result, we'll be flying into Reno in early February, and probably setting up camp in town (have family we can stay with for further cost savings).  Will probably wait to see what conditions are like before making any decisions on actual ski locations, but will plan on hitting up some groomed tracks and lift served downhill.  Looking forward to the trip, though maybe not looking forward to feeling like the elevation is trying to physically rip my lungs from my chest.  Thanks again for all of the ideas.

post #13 of 13

I missed this thread last week, so apologies for telling you this when it's too late, but Sun Peaks has nice ski-in ski-out condos that are ski-in ski-out for both Alpine and Nordic.


Since you're going to Tahoe, be sure to check out the Nordic trails just past Homewood on route 89.  Highly recommended by my wife, but not well known at all - kind of a local's secret.

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