Salt Lake City offers a variety of options for cross-country skiing. Each resort in the Cottonwoods has a Nordic area, with well-maintained tracks that are especially convenient if other members of your group are downhill skiing. There are other areas for cross country skiing in the valley, as well, and several areas in nearby Park City.
Every year on November 1, the top of the road into Mill Creek Canyon is closed to motorized vehicles. When there’s enough snow, this area turns into a groomed cross-country ski area. Just a few miles from downtown Salt Lake City, the groomed area is great for beginners and folks who just want a quick workout, with a mellow grade because the trail just goes right up the road. The only potential challenges are clumsy snow bikers and annoying dogs; the area also has other ungroomed trails for more experienced skiers.
Just a few minutes from downtown Park City, the Union Pacific Rail Trail is a unique state park: the only one known that’s 28 miles long and only 100 feet wide. A locals’ favorite, the groomed trail follows the path of the old Union Pacific Railroad, sloping very gently from about 6,800 feet above sea level in Park City down to about 5,500 feet at Echo Reservoir. History buffs will love the 16 historical markers along the trail, thanks to Park City’s Mountain Trails Foundation (which also provide a good excuse to stop and catch your breath).
The White Pine Touring Nordic Center ($18/day) consists of about 25k of groomed trails located near the large white barn on Highway 224 on the way into Park City, with varying loops that cater to all skill levels. You can also schedule a lesson with a skilled instructor.
Races: Utah Nordic Alliance
Groups: The TUNA Club
Retailers: White Pine Touring