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Aspen Snowmass boasts a diverse range of cross-country skiing trails, from easy, groomed tracks for beginners to challenging backcountry routes for seasoned skiers. The Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System offers over 90 kilometers (56 miles) of impeccably maintained trails that cater to skiers of all abilities. For those new to the sport, the Aspen Cross-Country Center provides equipment rentals and lessons to help you get started.

Please consider the resources below as you prepare for your Nodic adventure.

Aspen Cross Country Center
Lessons | Rentals | Trails

Trail Map

FAQ: What is the difference between Skate skiing and Nordic skiing?  Skate skiing and Nordic skiing (also known as classic skiing) are two distinct styles of cross-country skiing, each with its own techniques and equipment. Here's a breakdown of the key differences between skate skiing and Nordic skiing:


Skate Skiing: In skate skiing, skiers move in a manner similar to ice skating. They push off with the edges of their skis at an angle, using a side-to-side skating motion. The skis are usually shorter and wider than Nordic skis, and the boots are more rigid to provide better lateral support.

Nordic Skiing (Classic): Classic Nordic skiing is characterized by a more straightforward forward-and-backward gliding motion. Skiers use a kick-and-glide technique, where they push off with their skis parallel to each other in set tracks. The skis for classic skiing are typically longer and narrower, and the boots are softer to allow for ankle flexion.

Ski Design

Skate Skis: Skate skis are shorter, wider, and often have a stiffer flex pattern. They have a glide wax or a waxless pattern on the base to reduce friction.

Nordic Skis (Classic): Classic Nordic skis are longer and narrower with a softer flex. They have a kick zone in the middle, which can either be a wax pocket (for waxable skis) or a fish-scale pattern (for waxless skis) to grip the snow and provide propulsion.

Pole Usage

Skate Skiing: Skate skiing typically involves using longer poles, and the skier pushes off with a double-pole technique, where both poles are planted simultaneously.

Nordic Skiing (Classic): In classic skiing, poles are shorter, and skiers use a single-pole technique. One pole is planted while the other ski glides forward.


Skate Skiing: Skate skiing is well-suited for groomed, wide trails and open areas where skiers can use the skating motion effectively. It's often faster and more dynamic than classic skiing.

Nordic Skiing (Classic): Classic skiing can be done on a variety of terrain, including groomed tracks, narrow trails, and backcountry routes. It's a versatile style suitable for various snow conditions.

Speed and Intensity

Skate Skiing: Skate skiing is generally considered more physically demanding and faster-paced than classic skiing, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an intense workout.

Nordic Skiing (Classic): Classic skiing offers a more relaxed and traditional experience, making it accessible to a broader range of skiers, including beginners.