Best Cross-Country Ski Resort (2016)


For those who relish enjoying the natural majesty of North America in winter while getting a killer workout, it doesn't get much better than cross-country skiing (a.k.a. Nordic skiing). While many downhill ski resorts also maintain Nordic trails – there are a couple on this list – the best Nordic skiing is often found at dedicated resorts.

  • American Birkebeiner Trail

    American Birkebeiner Trail
    Hayward, Wis.

    The American Birkebeiner Trail is 62 miles (over 100 kilometers) long and is located in Northwestern Wisconsin. In addition to hosting the American Birkebeiner, North America’s largest cross-country ski race – 50K Skate & 55K Classic races, the Birkie Trail boasts 8 Trailheads with warming cabins. The American Birkebeiner Trail attracts skiers of all ages and abilities.
    Photo courtesy of James Netz / American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

  • White Grass Ski Touring Center

    White Grass Ski Touring Center
    Davis, W.V.

    Located in West Virginia's snowy Cabin Mountain range, White Grass Ski Touring Center maintains more than 37 miles (60 kilometers) of trails. They center also offers a variety of rentals, guided tours, lessons, repair shop and a cafe serving wholesome, healthy and natural foods.
    Photo courtesy of TrailVoice / Flickr

  • Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center

    Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center
    Northville, N.Y.

    Founded in 1978, Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center ranks among the best destinations for Nordic skiers in the Adirondacks. Somewhat of a hidden gem, the center enjoys excellent snow conditions – some of the most reliable in the East – and maintains beautifully manicured trails where skiers glide through varied terrain with the chance to spot local wildlife. Many of the 31 miles (50 kilometers) of trails are one-way, making for a more peaceful experience.
    Photo courtesy of Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center

  • Trapp Family Lodge

    Trapp Family Lodge
    Stowe, Vt.

    Inspired by The Sound of Music, the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe opened as the first cross country ski center in the U.S. The popular resort boasts 37 miles (60 kilometers) of groomed trails and another 62 miles (100 kilometers) of backcountry trails suitable for skiers of multiple ability levels. Skiers can stop at Slayton Pasture Cabin for a warm-up and meal by a roaring fireplace.
    Photo courtesy of Trapp Family Lodge

  • Devil's Thumb Ranch

    Devil's Thumb Ranch
    Tabernash, Colo.

    With 68 miles (109 kilometers) of trails, Devil's Thumb Ranch in Colorado has become one of the nation's most popular destinations for Nordic skiing. Located on private land at the base of the Continental Divide, the ranch has something for everyone, including lessons, clinics and rentals.
    Photo courtesy of Devil's Thumb Ranch

  • Maine Huts & Trails

    Maine Huts & Trails
    Kingfield, Maine

    Maine Huts & Trails offers skiers more than 45 miles (72 kilometers) of groomed trails, inspired by the experience of skiing hut to hut. Many of the trails between huts are not too steep and plenty wide, making them ideal for beginner skiers. The "huts" are in fact four European-style eco-lodges, complete with a great room, reading area, showers and heated bunk rooms.
    Photo courtesy of Maine Huts & Trails

  • Sun Mountain Lodge

    Sun Mountain Lodge
    Winthrop, Wash.

    Sun Mountain Lodge is a four-seasons resort in Washington's beautiful Methow Valley, but it's perhaps best known for its excellent Nordic ski trail network. The resort itself maintains 37 miles (60 kilometers) of trails, but the entire interconnected network in the valley encompasses some 125 miles (200 kilometers) of groomed trails.
    Photo courtesy of Sun Mountain Lodge

  • Jackson Ski Touring Center

    Jackson Ski Touring Center
    Jackson, N.H.

    Managed by the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, the Jackson Ski Touring Center offers some of the East Coast's most popular groomed and backcountry trails, perfect for casual skiers and competitive racers. Sights along the trails are quintessentially New England: covered bridges, steepled churches and charming villages.
    Photo courtesy of Jackson Ski Touring Foundation

  • SilverStar Mountain Resort

    SilverStar Mountain Resort
    Vernon, British Columbia

    SilverStar Mountain Resort in British Columbia is home to Canada's largest network of daily groomed Nordic trails. Dual mountain ski passes allow visitors to enjoy the 34 miles (55 kilometers) of trails at SilverStar in addition to 31 miles (50 kilometers) of trails at neighboring Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre. Three warming huts between the two areas make for ideal lunch stops.
    Photo courtesy of Blake Jorgenson / Silver Star Mountain Resort

  • Vista Verde Guest Ranch

    Vista Verde Guest Ranch
    Steamboat Springs, Colo.

    Situated just outside the charming town of Steamboat Springs, Vista Verde Guest Ranch is a four-seasons dude ranch popular with Nordic skiers in winter and early spring. The resort's ski program offers backcountry touring, as well as classic and skate skiing along 9 miles (15 kilometers) of groomed trails.
    Photo courtesy of Vista Verde Guest Ranch

We asked a panel of cross-country ski experts to nominate their 20 favorite resorts, and for the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Cross-Country Ski Resort are as follows:

  1. American Birkebeiner Trail - Hayward, Wis.
  2. White Grass Ski Touring Center - Davis, W.V.
  3. Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - Northville, N.Y.
  4. Trapp Family Lodge - Stowe, Vt.
  5. Devil's Thumb Ranch - Tabernash, Colo.
  6. Maine Huts & Trails - Kingfield, Maine
  7. Sun Mountain Lodge - Winthrop, Wash.
  8. Jackson Ski Touring Center - Jackson, N.H.
  9. SilverStar Mountain Resort - Vernon, British Columbia
  10. Vista Verde Guest Ranch - Steamboat Springs, Colo.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Reese Brown (Snowsports Industries America (SIA)), Wendy Clinch (TheSkiDiva), Lyndell Keating (Powderhounds), Nate Musson (The Not Snowboarding Podcast) and Jonathan Wiesel (Nordic Group International) were chosen based on their skiing expertise.

Other nominees for Best Cross-Country Ski Resort included Bretton Woods Nordic Center, Craftsbury Outdoor Center, The Lodge at Jackson Fork Ranch, Lone Mountain Ranch, Mount Bachelor Nordic Center, Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, Soldier Hollow, Sundance Mountain Resort, Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center and Whiteface Lake Placid.

Congratulations to all our worthy cross-country winners.

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AlertThe Experts

Reese Brown

Reese Brown

Reese Brown

Wendy Clinch

Wendy Clinch

Wendy Clinch

Lyndell Keating

Lyndell Keating

Lyndell Keating

Nate Musson

Nate Musson

Nate Musson

Jonathan Wiesel

Jonathan Wiesel

Jonathan Wiesel