Back-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

Lobo Overlook

This route climbs generally uphill for 1.5 miles to the Lobo Overlook, the Continental Divide Trail (and the microwave tower). Skiers will be rewarded with breathtaking views at the top. Snowmobiles are allowed on the forest service road and provide a packed trail for the ascent.

Getting there: Travel 23.2 miles northeast on U.S. 160. Parking and the road to the overlook are north of the highway just past the Continental Divide.

Nipple Mountain Road (Forest Road 665)

In addition to traveling Nipple Mountain Road, there are a few other options in this area. The hardy person with a map and backcountry skills may identify lengthy or loop trips.

Getting there: From downtown, go east on U.S. 160 to the junction with U.S. 84. Travel 1/8 mile south on U.S. 84 and turn left on Mill Creek Road (County Road 302), drive approximately 5 miles to trailhead parking before the junction with Nipple Mountain Road (665).

Blanco River Road (Forest Road 656)

Blanco River Road is closed at the highway. The route generally parallels the river for 2.5 miles from the highway to Blanco River campground.

Getting there: Travel 11 miles south on U.S. 84 to Blanco River Road. Parking is limited. 

Kenney Flats Road (Forest Road 006)

This road through open, fairly level terrain is good for beginners and provides several possible routes.

Getting there: Travel 14 miles south on U.S. 84 to Kenney Flats Road. Parking is located on the east side of the highway.

Williams Creek Area

Open, fairly flat area that is good for beginners. Enjoy spectacular views of mountains and large, open parks. Unplowed road continues past Williams Creek Reservoir to Poison Park and Williams Creek trails.

Getting there: From downtown, travel two miles west on U.S. 160, turn north on Piedra Road. Travel 22 miles, and then turn right on Williams Creek Road, continue to reservoir.

Jackson Mountain Road(Forest Road 037)

Gradual, uphill, 4-mile route to the end of an unplowed road with additional opportunities to travel other roads in the area. Jackson Mountain is a popular area for snowmobiles.

Getting there: Travel 7.3 miles northeast on U.S. 160. Parking is on the left at Jackson Mountain Road.

Wolf Creek Road(On Wolf Creek Pass — Forest Road 725)

There are three access points along approximately three miles of road with some fairly open, moderate terrain in this area. Views are spectacular. This area is popular for snowmobiling. Skiers typically use Lobo Overlook, 1/2 mile east of the Wolf Creek Pass summit, on the north side of the road.

Getting there: To trailhead: Travel 20 miles northeast on U.S. 160 to Wolf Creek Road.

Groomed Nordic skiing Trails

Groomed Nordic ski trails are for classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing only. Other users should avoid groomed surfaces. 

Visit for full trail details. 

Alberta Lake Nordic Loop

A beautiful 10km loop that starts at the end of the Alberta parking lot of Wolf Creek Ski Area and travels through the forest. Wolf Creek Ski Area has groomed this cross-country ski trail for many years with no use fees required.

Ability levels: Beginner 20 percent, intermediate 50 percent, advanced 30 percent.

Special features:

• The Wolf Creek Ski Area grooms up to 10km for skate skiing and classic cross-country skiing.

• The first km is an intermediate access to the Alberta Meadow Nordic loop. Beginners should be aware of the slope and that speed control is needed.

• There is no ability level signage.

Getting there: Travel 24 miles east on U.S. 160 to the Wolf Creek Ski Area. The parking attendant can guide you to the far east end of the Alberta parking lot where the Alberta Park cross-country ski trail begins.

Fall Creek Nordic Trail(Forest Road 039)

Beginning at about 9,600 feet in elevation, this popular ski route climbs gradually for about 5.5km. Great early and late-season snow conditions. 5.5km groomed for cross-country skiing typically groomed early in the season only, prior to other trails opening for the season.

Getting there: Travel 19 miles northeast on U.S. 160 to Fall Creek Road (Forest Road 39). Once cleared, there is a large parking area on the south side of the highway. Avoid parking along highway travel lanes.

West Fork Nordic Trail

With an abundance of flat, groomed and natural terrain, the West Fork area provides fantastic cross-country opportunities for beginners and families as well as experienced skiers. The area offers skiers the chance to ski through stands of giant conifers, as well as scenic views of the valley floor and the headwaters of the San Juan River. 

Ability levels: Beginner 80 percent, intermediate 10 percent, advanced 10 percent.

Special features:

• The Pagosa Nordic Club grooms up to 15km for skate skiing, with set tracks for classic cross-country skiing.

Getting there: Drive 14 miles east of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160 — look for the Bruce Spruce Lodge sign on the left side of the road. Turn left onto West Fork Road (Forest Road 648). Drive to the end of the road (.25 miles). Park on the side of the road where it is plowed. The trails are groomed exclusively for cross-country skiing. Walkers and snowshoers are prohibited on the groomed trails. 

Coyote Hill

Coyote Hill is another great family and beginner area with three levels of loops. The Pagosa Ranger District grooms up to 14km for skate skiing, with set tracks for classic cross-country skiing. The first level — just off the parking area — offers 3km of beginner, groomed trails. From the main trail, skiers can continue up to the second level for an additional 3km of intermediate terrain. The upper loop offers another 6km of intermediate terrain and 2km of advanced terrain. 

Ability levels: Beginner 20 percent, intermediate 70 percent, advanced 10 percent.

Special features:

• The trails are groomed exclusively for cross-country skiing. Walkers and snowshoers are prohibited on the groomed trails. Snowmobiles are prohibited on Coyote Hill.

Getting there: Drive 6.3 miles north of U.S. 160 on Piedra Road (County Road 600). The trailhead is on the right, just after the cattle guard. Please park in the pull-off if it is plowed.

Cloman Park Nordic Ski Trail

10km groomed by the Pagosa Nordic Club for skate skiing with set tracks for classic cross-country skiing. Located 2 miles north of U.S. 160 on Piedra Road to Cloman Boulevard, then two miles to the trailhead (past airport and sawmill). Friendly dogs welcome, though some portions enter private property, which prohibits dogs. Snowshoeing allowed off of groomed ski trails please.

Ability levels: Beginner 40 percent, intermediate 40 percent, advanced 20 percent.

Special features:

• Close proximity to town and has recently been expanded. Please respect private property and stay on groomed trails. Good parking and portable toilet available.

Laverty Ranch Nordic Ski Trail

10km groomed by the Pagosa Nordic Club. One mile east of town at 2197 E. Hwy. 160. 

Special features:

This area is for Nordic skiing only. Venue is private property and other winter uses are prohibited. No dogs allowed. Beginner terrain is accessible from the parking lot with plenty of intermediate and advanced terrain. Do not park on pavement during business hours Monday-Friday. Pagosa Nordic Club membership or trail-use fee required for this trail use.

Ability levels: Beginner 10 percent, intermediate 40 percent, advanced 50 percent.

Multi-Use Winter Trails

Nordic Skiing • Snowshoeing • Fat Biking • Snowmobiling • And more!

Fourmile (winter) Trail

Follows Fourmile Road (CR 400, FR 645) from the winter closure point to its end.

Length: 4.6 miles.

Trailhead: Fourmile Road (CR 400) at winter closure.

Grooming: Frequently groomed.

Connections: Plumtaw Trail (FR 634). 

Plumtaw Trail

The trail is accessed via the Fourmile (Winter) Trail (FR 645). It follows Plumtaw Road (FR 634) to end at McManus Road (FR 633).

Length: 18.3 miles.

Trailheads: Fourmile Road (CR 400) or McManus Road (FR 633) at winter closure points.

Grooming: Frequently groomed.

Connections: The McManus-E. Toner Connector (5.8 miles) crosses the Middle Fork of the Piedra River. The route consists of a groomed trail to E. Toner Road (FR 637), then follows E. Toner Road to Middle Fork Road (FR 636) and continues southwest to a parking area at the junction with Piedra Road (FR 631).  

East Fork Road(Forest Road 667)

An enjoyable route for one or several miles, this route parallels the East Fork of the San Juan River. It is eight miles to the historic Silver Falls Guard Station. Please stay on the road as it passes through private property. This area sees significant snowmobile use, is groomed occasionally by the Wolf Creek Trail Blazers snowmobile club, and can provide a quality distance ski.

Getting there: Travel 9.5 miles east on U.S. 160, turn southeast on East Fork Road, then continue about 3/4 mile to the parking area at the end of the plowed road. 

Turkey Springs Trail

Length: 8.5 mile loop.

Trailhead: Turkey Springs Trailhead on Piedra Road (FR 631).

Grooming: Occasionally groomed. 

Connections: Monument Trail (FR 630).

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