Nordic Trail Favorites

Crested Butte Nordic is a community owned and operated, world-class Nordic ski destination offering 50 kilometers of groomed cross-country skiing trails, while serving as a central pillar of fitness, training and events in the local community. CB Nordic’s mission is to provide people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to learn, enjoy, and improve in the sports of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. They offer rentals, lessons, tours, and gourmet ski-in dining. Here, Nordic Center staff share their favorite Nordic trails. To learn more, visit the center at Second and Whiterock or cbnordic.org to find out why we are the Nordic Ski Capital of Colorado.

1. Pooches’ Paradise to Mike’s Mile (5.3k) 

The ski out Pooches’ Paradise to Mike’s Mile is mostly flat or gently undulating with only a few climbs, so it is a great place for beginners to learn, advanced skiers to skate fast, and for all users to enjoy spectacular views up Paradise Divide.

2. Ruthie’s Run (5k) 

Head Coach Ben Thereyl’s recommedation

A little secret about us Nordic skiers is that we enjoy having gravity help us slide on snow just as much as those that spend most of their time on the Mountain. Ruthie’s is full of hills – punchy ones that shoot up, and twisty ones that go down – that, when done in succession, lend themselves towards reaching the special feeling at the heart of cross-country skiing; the flow. I also like the spot Ruthie’s holds in our community, on the Bench. It’s where the coal mine that kicked off this whole CB thing started, and out of all the things we could have built on those remnants of the past, we built a ski trail. These days, the most frequent visitors up there are our local kids, charting the future of CB quite literally, on their skis.

3. Rudy’s Rollers (1.5k) 

Rudy’s Rollers is perched just off the Rec Path between Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Surrounded by vistas of Whetstone, Red Lady, Snodgrass and Mt. Crested Butte, this open meadow affords beautiful views in all directions, whether you’re hammering up the hills or quick-stepping around the curves on the descent. Rudy’s Rollers are beginner/intermediate level, and hold sun until late afternoon due to their location on the “East Side” system. 

4. Magic Meadows (4.6k)

There is something truly “magical” about these intermediate-level meadows. The yurt in the middle of Magic Meadows is open on Sundays for coffee/tea, snacks and hanging out in addition to weekend fine dining.

5. Mordor (3.2k)

The steepest and hilliest of Crested Butte Nordic’s trails, Mordor lives up to its name. A long, steady uphill winds up the lower flanks of Mt. Crested Butte and then travels along the Upper Loop trail before a hair-raising descent back into the Gulch and the Valley floor. Whether going up or down, it’s a doozy!

6. Red Lady Loop

Program Manager Joellen Fonken’s trail recommendation

In the shadow of Mount Emmons, aka Red Lady, sits the mighty Red Lady loop. This favorite trail of many locals is perhaps only a popular route because of its difficult climb and exhilarating descent in the Alley Loop Nordic Marathon. Much time has been spent training on this route to muscle out the last climb and pass opponents for a successful win, but there is a different reason to ski Red Lady loops. The aspen forest is magical and you might find yourself transformed to a different place in time. The continuous loop is “fun” to ski in either direction and provides various challenges. And the views are to die for.