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Glide, Slide and Ride: Alternative Ways to Go Through the Snow

Eldora Nov26 tomwinterphoto 042
Cross Country Skiing at Eldora 

I have a dirty little secret. As much as I love downhill skiing, and as much as I’ve written about the sport during the past 25-odd years, a part of me often pines for shimmying through the forest on a pair of cross-country skis. My 11-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter, meanwhile, have taken a liking to tubing, and my husband’s fallen in love with fat biking.

So every once in a while, we sneak off to participate in some of these off-piste activities at Colorado Ski Country resorts. Downhill skiing will always be there, but sometimes, it’s fun to enjoy an alternative affair.

Cross-country skiing: Closest to our home in Louisville, we have what Eldora Mountain Resort calls “40 Kilometers of Freedom” at the Nordic Center, where beginner trails such as Dixie and Snowcat give way to more advanced terrain on Gandy Dancer and Woodcutter. Day tickets are $25 for adults and $16 for kids at non-peak times, and lessons and rental gear are available, too. A bit farther afield, you’ll find 90 kilometers of trails weaving among Aspen, Snowmass and Basalt—all for free. Both the Aspen and Snowmass Cross Country Centers offer rentals, lessons and tours.

Tubing at Winter Park 

Tubing: Some of the biggest belly laughs (and belly flops) my family and I have shared have happened on the tubing hills, where we fly, bump and spin into the night. At Winter Park, three separate lanes with banked curves, plus a conveyer belt to take tubers to the tap, create a killer après-ski option—as does the warming hut with hot chocolate for the kids and something stronger for the adults. Copper, meanwhile, offers 1-hour tubing sessions on the hour, every hour, most days from

Fat Biking at Steamboat Resort 

Biking: Who says you have to stash your bike when winter arrives? Around Steamboat Springs, fat biking options abound for powderhounds sniffing a new way to explore such runs as Right-O-Way and BC Ski Way; find rentals at Wheels Bike Shop. Or head to Granby Ranch to whiz downhill on an outrigger-equipped ski bike. It’s a wheelie good time.


Sarah Tuff Dunn

Sarah Tuff Dunn recently moved to Louisville, Colorado, with her husband, Carlton, and their two children, Dillon, 12, and Harper, 10. They’re looking forward to exploring the world-class skiing in Colorado, aided by the Colorado Ski Country 5th and 6th Grade Passport Program. Sarah has been writing professionally for nearly 25 years and her work has appeared in The New York Times, SKI, Skiing and Powder, among other publications. Read more of Sarah’s stories here and follow along with her Colorado skiing journey here