Ouray County is a perfect playground for winter sport activities. Within walking distance of town numerous trails provide cross country skiing and snowshoeing access, to take in the charm of our beautiful valley blanketed in snow. A short drive in either direction will open up more challenging winter backcountry terrain along with miles of groomed Nordic track. Clear, deep blue skies prevail at the beginning of this New Year, making for great opportunities to go snowshoeing or cross country skiing in the snow of your choice. When route finding which way you wish to go, always keep in mind that not all roads and trails are maintained in the winter. Even though this requires a longer trek into a trailhead or destination, it can be a benefit to winter enthusiasts. Many of the unplowed dirt roads make for excellent skiing and snowshoeing, and lead unto views you’d never see before. A variety of these trails are as follows: Uncompaghre River Walk, Ice Park Trail, Amphitheater, Oak Creek/Silvershield, Lee’s Ski Hill, Red Mountain Pass, San Juan Hut System, Miller Mesa Road, East Dallas Road, and many more. There are also many groomed nordic skiing trails. Ironton is an example of a trail maintained by the Ouray County Nordic Council, groomed with set Nordic track. The trail glides past the historic ghost town of Ironton. Top of the Pines is another great enduring trail, groomed primarily for skate skiing, with spectacular vistas in all directions. And if you’re looking for just a quick practice run, the Nordic Council has just recently implanted a loop around the soccer fields in downtown Ridgway, right across the street from our beautiful resort here at the Chipeta. The loop in the park makes for a great outing activity and exercise for locals, as well as all the skiing enthusiasts who visit us here at our resort. For more information on any trail you can contact the Ouray County Nordic Council or any information center in Ridgway or Ouray. Respect private property and historic structure and, above all, enjoy yourself and our beautiful San Juan Mountains.