If you're a fan of outdoor sports and adventure, then Nordic skiing in Pagosa Springs, Colorado should definitely be on your bucket list. Coyote Hill, located just a few miles north of Uptown in Pagosa Springs, is a popular spot for Nordic skiing enthusiasts.
Today, we follow local athlete and teacher Josh Kurz as he tours around Coyote Hill.
What is Nordic Skiing?
Nordic skiing, also known as cross-country skiing, is a popular winter sport that originated in Scandinavia. Unlike alpine skiing, which focuses on skiing downhill, Nordic skiing involves skiing across flat or rolling terrain using skis, poles, and specialized boots that clip onto the skis.
Nordic skiing is an excellent form of exercise that works the entire body and provides a great cardiovascular workout. It's also a great way to enjoy the beauty of the winter landscape, as skiers glide through forests, fields, and over hills.
Coyote Hill is a hidden gem in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. The Pagosa Ranger District grooms up to 14 km for skate skiing, with set tracks for classic cross-country skiing.
There's trails for each level of skier. The first level off the parking area is for beginners. The main trail continues up to the second level for 3 km of intermediate terrain. And finally, the upper loop offers another 6km of intermediate and 2km of advanced terrain.
Please note that the ski trails are groomed exclusively for cross-country skiing. No walkers! And no snowmobiles! Dogs should be leashed or under voice control. Pick up waste!
Coyote Hill is open daily from mid-December to mid-March, weather permitting.
Snow days in Pagosa Springs, Colorado are truly magical, a gift from nature that transforms the world into a winter wonderland. For many, they represent a break from the daily routine, a chance to slow down and appreciate the beauty of the season. As the snow falls silently from the sky, everything seems to slow down, and the world takes on a serene, peaceful quality.
One of the most magical aspects of a snow day is the way it transforms the landscape. Everything is coated in a blanket of white, creating a sense of unity and harmony. The snow muffles sounds, making the world feel quieter and more peaceful. It's a rare opportunity to experience a world that is entirely different from the one we're used to, and it's impossible not to feel a sense of wonder and awe.
For children, a snow day is even more magical. It represents a chance to play in the snow, build snowmen, have snowball fights and sled down Rez Hill. It's a break from the routine of school, and a chance to spend time with family and friends. It's a time for hot chocolate and warm blankets, for cozy fires and good books.
For adults, a snow day can also be a welcome break from the routine. It's a chance to catch up on household chores or work from home, but it's also a time to slow down and enjoy the moment. It's an opportunity to take a walk in the snow, to appreciate the beauty of the season, and to spend time with loved ones.
In many ways, a snow day in Pagosa Springs, Colorado is a reminder of the power and beauty of nature. It's a chance to step back from our busy lives and appreciate the simple things in life. Whether we spend the day playing in the snow, or simply enjoying the peace and quiet of a winter day, a snow day is truly magical. So the next time the snow falls, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the world around you, and enjoy the magic of a snow day.
When I first moved here I was told that if you don't play in the snow, you'll hate the snow. And Pagosa Springs is a town that loves to play in the snow. Every winter, they play host to Winterfest. A celebration of Winter and all the fun things we do in the snow. In this video, we cover four events.
Pagosa Nordic Club BB Biathlon
This race at Yamaguchi Park features a 16k competitive race and a 4k fun race. Contestants ski laps on a groomed track around our local park and stop every four laps for the 16k race and every lap for the 4k race and shoot a Red Ryder BB gun at targets.
Participants raise money for local charities by plunging themselves into the freezing cold waters of the San Juan River. After completing the plunge, participants receive a free Healing Waters pass to warm up their bodies!
Sledz on Rez
Build it. Ride it. Wreck it. Kids from town build their own sleds to ride down Rez Hill. What often ends up happening is spectacular crashes that leave the audience hooting and hollering! Sponsored by Build Pagosa. Build Pagosa is a charitable organization dedicated to providing volunteer opportunities for the building trades industry, local businesses, and Pagosa Springs residents who want to support the educational, vocational, communication, economic and stabilization goals within the community. Through advocacy, collaboration, and networking, we work to build a better Pagosa Springs by involving members of our community in efforts that support smart, safe and sustainable growth.
Skijor Pagosa is an adventure competition where horse and rider pull a skier as fast as possible through an obstacle course of jumps, gates and rings. Skijoring combines Pagosa Country's finest skiing heritage with its cowboy roots creating a fast and curious spectator's event. Participants compete for cash and prizes based on the fastest times. More excitingly, our Skis and Saddles Event will be a great reason to get outside and enjoy southern Colorado's best kept secret while hanging out with great friends and family.
Skate Ski Session
It was a late Saturday evening when local high school teacher Josh Kurz of South San Juan's texted me and said "You should film me as the sun is coming up in the morning doing some skate skiing."
Yes. Yes. Yes.
So I woke up about 6:00 am, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed out to Lake Hatcher, located about seven miles north on Piedra Road.
Our goal was to get some drone footage of him skating around Hatcher Lake. The conditions have to be ideal. Warmer afternoons that cause the snow to melt and then ice cold nights that freeze it all over. And this was one of those mornings in the early spring.
It's not often I wake up this early. The only times I usually do it is when it's an incredible powder day up at Wolf Creek Ski area. So it's usually snowing and I don't get to see the sunrise over the mountains.
And I'm so glad I did get up this early. Because it was absolutely amazing to sit at the edge of a lake when it's nearly zero degrees and watch the mountains come to life.
I was alone at first. Not a soul in sight as the mountains started to turn from black, to a deep and colorful blue. Off in the distance I could see Josh skating towards me.
I launched up the drone as the sky turned to shades of pink and orange. It was soon thereafter where the sun peaked over the mountains. And we got shot after shot of Josh skating with the sun in the background.
It's some of my favorite footage I shot this winter. So simple. Yet so incredibly colorful. And I also decided I need to get into nordic skiing next year.
Thanks Josh for getting me up so early. It was so worth it!