White River National Forest

Cross-country skiers making tracks.

The famous 10th Mountain Division put skiing on the map in the White River National Forest. They left a terrific legacy in a system of cross-country huts. Actually, there are three systems of huts: 10th Mountain Division, Fred Braun, and Summit. The huts allow multiple day backcountry tours with a warm room and a soft bed awaiting at the end of the day.

The Flat Top Wilderness is renowned for its gentle grades and soft, winter landscape. However, access is difficult. Your best bet is to get close on the Stillwater Reservoir Road. From there it's 8.5 miles to the wilderness boundary, and many choices of long-distance tours.

Aspen is command central for top-notch cross-country skiing. Start out on the Government Trail and Difficult Creek. If you want to do a multiple day ski tour, consider the various hut systems. The areas rugged topography is both electrifyingly beautiful and avalanche prone—guides are recommended.

In the Eagle Ranger District, the old mining town of Fulford makes a sweet destination at the end of the short two mile Nolan Creek Road.

For day skiing opportunities on well groomed tracks, all of the major resorts have cross-country ski areas. You'll also find some dedicated cross-country ski centers. In Summit County (eastern part of the forest nearest Denver) look for the Frisco Nordic Center and the nearby Breckenridge Nordic Center. Near Aspen in Pitkin look for the Ashcroft Nordic Center.

Downhill Skiing
Two words say it all: Aspen and Vail. These two towns are world-famous for their skiing.

Snowmobiling opportunities are available in many national forest locations. The Fourmile Park and Flat Tops areas are among the most popular.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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