Friday, November 29, 2013

Nordic opportunities abound in Sun Valley area

More than 200 kilometers of groomed trails are available

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley area has more than 200 kilometers of groomed trails with variable terrain, suitable for both the novice and diehard Nordic skier.
Express file photo

    As winter approaches, Nordic skiers can anticipate getting out on more than 200 kilometers of groomed trails in the Sun Valley area, thanks to Sun Valley Resort and the Blaine County Recreation District.
    Sun Valley Resort advertises the area’s trail systems as providing “some of the best cross-country skiing in America.” Terrain varies, from gentle to challenging, while the scenery of the Sun Valley area is some of the best that can be found anywhere.
    There are ample opportunities for the novice or beginner to perfect their skills, with lessons or clinics being offered by both the resort and the Recreation District.
Sun Valley Resort
    Sun Valley Resort offers 40 kilometers of groomed trails, starting at the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center and winding down or up the Trail Creek Road area. More gentle terrain can be found at lower elevations, while the terrain becomes more challenging as Trail Creek Road winds into the mountains. Experienced Nordic skiers have the option to take on more difficult routes, as loops known as Sidewinder, Elevator or Hyndman View wind into steeper terrain.
    Trail maps are available at the resort website at Information on private or group lessons and clinics is also available at the website.
    Season adult Nordic passes cost $289. Seniors get a break at $249. The resort and the Recreation District also offer a combo pass, entitling a skier to use all the trail systems, for $487. Tickets can be purchased at the website or at the Nordic & Snowshoe Center. More information is available at (208) 622-2250.
Recreation District
    The Blaine County Recreation District offers more than 160 kilometers of groomed trails, and one of them can be skied at no charge.
    Free to the public are the 20 miles of the Wood River Trail, often referred to as the ‘bike path.’ The trail runs north from Bellevue, through Hailey to the Ketchum and Sun Valley areas.
    Now in its second year of operation is the Croy Nordic system, which provides nine kilometers of trails from Hailey west up Croy Creek Canyon.
    North of Ketchum are six trail systems, including one at Galena. The Galena Trails system offers 50 kilometers for skiers, with loops ranging from easy to difficult.
    Farther south is the Harriman Trail, an 18-mile course that starts at North Fork and connects to the Galena Trails system.
    Four smaller trails, known as the North Valley Trails, are located between Ketchum and Galena. The Prairie Creek Trail and the Billy’s Bridge Trail are both eight-kilometer loops, while the North Fork Trail is a four-kilometer loop. There’s also the Lake Creek Trail system, which provides 18.5 kilometers for skiers starting at Hulen Meadows and running north and with more difficult side loops winding into the mountains.
    Complete maps for all of the Recreation District trails are available at
    Season passes can be purchased online at the Recreation District website or at the Recreation District office at the Community Campus in Hailey, Galena Lodge, Backwoods Mountain Sports or The Elephant’s Perch. The cost is $229 for adults and $29 for youths ages 13-17. Children 12 and under can ski for free.
    Single-day passes can also be purchased for $15 for adults and $5 for youths ages 13-17. A single-day pass for Croy Nordic can be purchased for $10.
    Additional information on the trails and Nordic lessons are available at the website or at (208) 578-2273.

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