When the snow falls in town, there’s an undeniable excitement for cross country skiing in Flagstaff.
Cross country skiing is the perfect combination of escaping to the quiet wilderness and staying active. Open to all ages, it’s the perfect winter time activity.
What is Cross Country Skiing?
Cross Country skiing is all the fun of downhill skiing, without the scare! You use a skinnier, longer ski and travel over groomed, relatively flat trails covered in snow. Only the toe of your shoe attached to the ski allowing you to pick up the back of your foot. This allows you to lift your heal, push your ski forward and maneuver more easily through the snow.
Cross Country skiing also differs from backcountry skiing. Cross Country skiing is on maintained trails instead of traversing through unpatrolled, often steeper areas. Backcountry skiing typically involves “skins” or covers you attach to the bottom of a ski to help you move up steep slopes before skiing down. Backcountry skis also have a well defined edge that helps you cut through ungroomed, fresh snow.
Where to Go Cross Country Skiing
Although there are other places to backcountry or cross country ski in Flagstaff, the only business with open groomed trails is the Nordic Village. Located just 15 miles from downtown Flagstaff, the Nordic Village is open year-round for camping, hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and skiing. At the foothills of the San Francisco Peaks, there are 40 miles of trails weaving through peaceful Ponderosas.
If you need to rent your cross country skis, Peace Surplus offers daily rentals for $14.99 and snowshoe rentals for $11.99. The Nordic Village also offers ski and snowshoe rentals.
From late November to late March, the Nordic Village is open for skiing and snowshoeing Thursday through Monday from 9 am – 4 pm, snow depending. If you’re new to the sport, they have a variety of options for lessons for individuals and families at the beginner level.
Adult ski passes are $20. For students (ages 7-17 or older with a Student ID), seniors and locals, day passes are only $15 and kids under 6 ski free! If you decide cross country skiing is your new love and purchase a season pass, you get 24/7 access to the trail system!
Rentals and day passes are first come first serve at the Nordic Village, so if the snow begins to fall, make sure to arrive early!
What to Bring
Once you’re on the trail, it’s likely you’ll work up a sweat. Wear layers to adjust as you ski or hike! The Nordic Village also suggests you bring water, snacks, a hat, gloves, a small backpack and a mask. When you’re surrounded by bright, white snow, we suggest bringing some sunglasses and sunscreen too. In need of any of these things? Just stop by Peace Surplus.
Wondering if the trails are open now? Just check the trail conditions here!