Touring Lake Tahoe
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Loki Explores the Backcountry

Backcountry and Cross-Country Skiing

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 Reno Tahoe means plenty of groomed trails, and the deeper you explore into our mountains, the closer you are to some of the world’s most beautiful settings in the Sierra Nevadas.

Reno Tahoe has numerous roads and trails perfect for exhilarating backcountry and cross-country skiing journeys. There are 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.

What Is Cross-Country Skiing?

Cross-country skiing is sometimes referred to as Nordic skiing, backcountry cross-country 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 cross-country skiing resorts. For the more adventurous types, exploring the backcountry of North Lake Tahoe and taking in some seriously breathtaking views might be more your jam. 

lake tahoe cross country skiing

Lake Tahoe Cross-Country Skiing Spots

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 cross-country ski resort offers 19 cross-country ski trails and 6,000 acres of terrain. America’s largest cross-country skiing resort also connects to Sugar Bowl Resort

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 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. 

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. 

Find More Cross-Country Skiing in Tahoe

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.

Nordic Skiing in Reno Tahoe

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 snow activities in the Reno Tahoe area. Check out all of the winter activities in our area, including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sledding, ice skating and more.

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