Best Places to Learn How to Cross Country Ski in Utah

By Abby Stanislaw Mar 11, 2024
This guide offers trail recommendations for beginner crosscountry skiers in Utah.
Best Places to Learn How to Cross Country Ski in Utah

Nordic skiing, a blend of adventure, fitness, and beauty, is a unique way to experience Utah's winter landscapes. Whether you're drawn to the classic style or the more dynamic skate skiing, Utah offers a plethora of trails and facilities perfect for beginners. Let's dive into some of the best places to start on your Nordic skiing journey in the Beehive State.

Soldier Hollow: A Skate Skier's Paradise

Located in the heart of Utah's mountainous terrain, Soldier Hollow stands out as the premier destination for learning to skate ski. Known for hosting biathlon and cross-country events during the 2002 Winter Olympics, this venue boasts the most consistently groomed trails and an impressive variety of terrains. From flat and forgiving to gently rolling hills, Soldier Hollow caters to both the absolute beginner and the skier looking to challenge themselves a bit more. The top-notch grooming makes it easier for newcomers to get the hang of the skate skiing technique.

White Pine Touring: Ease into Skiing

For those who are just getting their feet wet (or snowy, in this case), White Pine Touring in Park City offers an ideal starting point. Known for its easy and well-maintained trails, White Pine creates a welcoming environment for those new to the sport. The gentle trails allow beginners to focus on mastering the basics of balance and movement without the intimidation of steep or technical terrain.

Round Valley: Dog-Friendly and Beginner-Friendly

If you can't imagine leaving your furry friend behind while you hit the trails, Round Valley is your go-to destination. This area is the most popular among beginners for several reasons: it's dog-friendly, the trails are forgiving, and the community atmosphere is encouraging for newcomers. The ability to ski alongside your dog adds a fun and relaxed dimension to learning Nordic skiing. Please remember to pick up after your dog if you ski at Round Valley and keep an eye out for fat bikers and other trail users.

Sundance: Classic Trails with Historical Charm

Sundance Mountain Resort, with its old classic trails, is a fantastic choice for those who appreciate a bit of history with their sport. The trails here are well-suited for beginners and are nestled in a picturesque setting that Robert Redford himself fell in love with. The classic trails at Sundance offer a quieter, more reflective skiing experience, perfect for those looking to connect with nature.


Solitude Nordic Center: A Comprehensive Skiing Experience

The Solitude Nordic Center offers a great mix of beginner-friendly trails and more advanced options for those looking to progress. The center is known for its well-groomed trails and stunning mountain views, making it a favorite among Nordic skiing enthusiasts. It’s a place where you can grow in your skills in a beautiful and supportive environment. The nordic center also accommodates those wanting to snowshoe as well. 

Utah Olympic Park (UOP): Beginner Trails with Olympic Legacy

For those intrigued by the Olympic legacy, the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) in Park City presents some beginner-friendly trails at the base of the facility. While it's more known for its jumps and bobsled track, the cross-country trails at UOP offer a unique opportunity to learn Nordic skiing in an Olympic setting. It's both inspiring and motivating for beginners.

Utah's scenic landscapes and world-class facilities make it an ideal destination for learning Nordic skiing. Whether you're drawn to the Olympic legacy of Soldier Hollow and Utah Olympic Park, the historic beauty of Sundance, the welcoming trails of White Pine and Round Valley, or the comprehensive experience at Solitude, there's a perfect spot in Utah for every beginner. Remember, the key to enjoying Nordic skiing is to start at a pace comfortable for you, in a setting that inspires you. So, gear up, choose your trail, and embrace the joy of gliding through Utah's winter wonderland.