Nordic doesn’t get much better than Grand County |

Nordic doesn’t get much better than Grand County

Diana Lynn Rau
Staff Photo |

Families skiing or just playing in the snow, laughing together, cheering each other on; kids proudly wearing their medals grinning from ear to ear; delicious meatballs and soup and wine and more. What more can delight you in one day?

Last Saturday was packed with those photo opportunities of a lifetime as locals and visitors alike skied picture perfect trails for the Foxy Freestyle at the Grand Lake Touring Center. Kids at tender young ages crossed the finish line for the first time ever and each one received a medal at the Sons of Norway Barnelopet at Snow Mountain Ranch Legget building while dogsledders competed right down the hill.

Following that was a Fat Bike Competition from the Nordic Center over their 30k and more of trails groomed for Fat Bikes. It was exciting to watch the spinning wheels light up with lights flying up and down the hills. And skiing in light snow but sill bathed in moonlight, participants went from the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center to the Homestead for appetizers including those famous meatballs, on to the Yurts for delicious soups and finally ending at the Indian Peaks Lodge for dinner and dessert all complete with wine and beer.

Most people walked away with silent auction prizes and all left with fond memories of great camaraderie. Talk about a day packed with events for everyone!

The snow gods have been kind once again this year. I know how Coloradans love the sun, but if we can keep the temperatures under control, the snow will last for good skiing into April. Be ready for crust skiing when that brief window happens in the spring.

Animals are becoming more prolific in the forest as their winter hibernation starts to end. And they will be hungry. Be careful in the backcountry as the avalanche danger is at the highest of the year. Always travel with a friend, have extra food, water and clothing. And most important – let someone know where you are going and when to expect your return.


The 32nd Annual Snow Mountain Stampede is a weekend event with Freestyle events on Saturday including 42K, 21K, 10K, and 2k Children’s race with barbecue picnic. Sunday’s Classic events include first the 2k Children’s Race, then 42K, 21K and 10k featuring adaptive ski racers. And ending with another picnic. For more information or to sign up, call 970-887-2152 X4173. For the latest times for all events visit To register go to

Miles of trails

Grand County has miles of groomed trails perfect for you and your dog. The Devil’s Thumb Ranch offers another ski joring clinic at 10 a.m. on March 15. Your dog can be trained to be your companion on snow and he/she will love you for it. Most of the Nordic centers also rent ski joring gear as well or you can purchase it at Mountain Dawg Outfitters in Fraser.

Devil’s Thumb also has the Hands On Happy Hour Waxing Clinic from 3-4 p.m. for pointers on late season waxing and tips on how to put your skis away for the season. Call 970-726-8231 for details

The Bonk

The last big local event for the season is the Big Shooter Bonk scheduled for March 22 at Latigo Ranch outside Kremmling. Latigo Ranch was recently selected as one of the top 50 Dude Ranches in the World. The Bonk features 17k, 34k, and 51k freestyle races starting at 10 a.m. as well as a short course for the young folk. Call 970-724-3735 for more information.

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