Nordic River Trail

Round Trip Distance: 7.32 km/4.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
XC Skill level:
Elevation: 7766 - 7885 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Silver Pick
Fee: none
Attractions: groomed trail (classic only)

The Nordic River trail is located along the San Miguel River about 6 miles south of Telluride, Colorado. The trail follows the old railroad grade from the Silver Pick Road to the highway maintenance yard at Deep Creek. As long as there is enough snow the trail is groomed with a pair of classic tracks for cross country skiers with some room left along the side where snowshoers can travel.

To get to the Silver Pick trailhead head north from Telluride for 9 miles and turn west on the Silver Pick Road. The trailhead will be on the left before crossing the bridge over the river.

The trail starts out shaded from the sun by the mountain on the other side of the river.

Grooming is done by a snowmobile that lays down a pair of classic tracks in the middle of the trail. It's not really wide enough here for a skate lane. Snowshoers and hikers should take care to avoid stepping on the tracks by walking between them or off to the side.

With very little elevation change and a groomed trail to follow the River trail is about as easy as you will find anywhere. It is an excellent trail for beginners with classic skis to come out and practice cross country skiing.

After the first half mile most of the rest of the trail travels out in the warmth of the sunshine.

Around the 2 mile point from the Silver Pick Road the River trail reaches the highway maintenance yard.

The last quarter mile or so travels around the maintenance yard until it comes to an end where they park the groomer. Right across the highway from here is the turnoff to Deep Creek. There aren't any good places to park on this end of the trail so the Silver Pick trailhead is about the only choice.

The trail along the river on the old railroad grade is popular during the summer months. People will come here to walk their dogs along the river where there are plenty of places to mosey over to the waters edge. The sound of the rushing water makes it easy to ignore passing vehicles on the highway. Some of those people still bring their dogs here during the winter but they tend to only hike the first half mile or so before turning around. For those that are coming here specifically to take advantage of the groomed set of classic tracks the Telluride Nordic Association would probably greatly appreciate you stopping by in town to make a donation to help pay for the expense of the groomer. Other than that the River trail is a great place to spend a few hours during the winter in the Telluride area. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.