There are many ways to experience the snow in Reno Tahoe beyond the ski resorts surrounding our region, and there is virtually no end in sight to Reno and Lake Tahoe winter activities. A pair of cross country skis can launch you into a winter wonderland you didn’t even imagine existed.
Cross country skiing in Tahoe has many roads and trails that are perfect for a winter adventure. There are numerous trails through thickets of snow, and guided tours are offered, if desired. Guided tours are popular for families – it’s something even the kids will enjoy. And when you’ve worked up an appetite from all that outdoor exploration, you can recharge at one of many Reno Tahoe restaurants and bars.
Cross country skiing is sometimes referred to as Nordic skiing and XC skiing. Unlike downhill skiing, cross country skiing does not rely on gravity to get you from point A to point B. A great workout that will leave you feeling accomplished when you are finished, cross country skiing requires your own locomotion to move you across snowy terrain. For the beginners out there, your best bet is to ski on groomed trails at one of Reno Tahoe’s many Nordic skiing resorts.
For those who crave adventure and some good aerobic exercise, options are seemingly endless when it comes to Lake Tahoe cross country skiing spots. The Reno Tahoe area is home to America’s largest cross country ski resort, Royal Gorge. This resort offers 19 cross country ski trails and 6,000 acres of terrain. America’s largest Nordic skiing resort also connects to Sugar Bowl Resort.
Tahoe Donner was voted as one of the top three cross country ski areas in North America by USA Today. They provide around 100 km of immaculately groomed trails and as a bonus, they also have some of the best food in the Truckee area. Don’t have equipment? No problem. Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center has everything you need to rent for a day of skate skiing through snowy terrain.
Located in North Lake Tahoe, the Cross Country, Telemark and Snowshoe Center at Northstar California Resort offers 35 kilometers of well-groomed trails that are perfect for cross country skiing. Northstar’s trails are also great for snowshoeing in the winter and mountain biking during the summer and fall.
Tahoe XC, located in Dollar Point, has 21 groomed trails through the forest and meadows of Lake Tahoe. Many of their trails are dog friendly, are outfitted with trailside warming huts, and lead you to stunning views of the lake.
In addition, Kirkwood Ski Resort offers 80 km of groomed trails in some of the most spectacular scenery and exciting cross country terrain in the West. Bring your dog and explore their diverse terrain that offers something for all levels.
Other cross country skiing areas include Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area and Hope Valley Cross Country. For more information on other resorts that offer cross country skiing in Tahoe, visit our ski resorts page to find your next favorite.
In search of the right gear for your cross country skiing adventure? There are a few Reno Tahoe shops that can get you outfitted with everything you need to hit the trails. REI and Scheels are great one-stop shops. BoBos Ski and Board shop is a local business that specializes in winter gear and rentals, perfect for out-of-town skiers.
If you are seeking something a little more exhilarating and removed from the crowds, Reno Tahoe has a variety of backcountry cross country and Nordic trails to explore. Finding the perfect backcountry trail for Nordic skiing is an adventure on its own, but please always bring a buddy, tell someone where you are going and wear the proper equipment when venturing out into the wonderful unknown.
In addition to cross country skiing, there are many other winter activities in the Reno Tahoe area, including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sledding, ice skating and more. And once you’ve had your fill of outdoor adventures, hit up one (or many) of Reno’s bars, restaurants, and coffee shops for an evening of apres-ski relaxation.
Photo credits to Sugar Bowl Resort/Royal Gorge.
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