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In North America, downhill skiing & snowboarding gets all the fame with the likes of Shaun White & Lindsey Vonn showcasing these sports. Cross-country skiing however, offers everyone a chance to revel in the peace & tranquility of the wintry landscape that is the Sierra Nevada. To help you enjoy this time-tested winter sport during your vacation, here’s a list — in no particular order — of some spots to try cross-country skiing in the High Sierra.

Bear Valley Area

Bear Valley Cross Country Skiing In The High Sierra
Image appears courtesy: California Ski Industry Association

On the west slope of the Sierra Nevada in the land of the giant Sequoias lies a bastion of cross-country skiing – Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company. With 35 trails covering 65 kilometers of track & laid out across 3,000 acres, it’s a perfect gateway to experience the best of this 4,000-year-old activity known as Nordic skiing. Besides their vast network, it’s also home to four trail-side huts, a trail-side lunch café and demo & retail center.

Want the low down on Bear Valley area cross country skiing gear, tips, and even more nearby epic locations? Check out item seven in Snow Play – 7 Different Ways to Enjoy the Snow in Calaveras’ High Sierra. You’ll be glad you did. 

Camp Richardson

South Lake Tahoe Camp Richardson Cross Country Skiing Mt Tallac Winter
Photo by: Rachid Dahnoun – Image appears courtesy: Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

Recently voted “Best Place to Cross Country Ski” by Tahoe locals, the Mountain Sports Center at Camp Richardson offers groomed and marked trails for beginner to expert alike right on the shores of Lake Tahoe. If the snowpack hasn’t reached two feet just yet, head up to Kirkwood Resort. At an elevation of 7,800’ above sea level, it’s a great option for early or late season. The trail pass includes a vast of network of trails with three warming huts including the Kirkwood Inn (est. 1864).  

Check here for a full list of where to cross-country ski in and around Lake Tahoe’s south shore.

Tamarack Cross-Country Ski Center

Mammoth Mountain Tamarack Cross Country Skiing In The High Sierra
Image appears courtesy: Mammoth Mountain

Perched on the shore of Twin Lakes and steeped in rustic charm, historic Tamarack Lodge is Mammoth’s most secluded resort. It’s also home to the Tamarack Cross-Country Ski Center. From here, you can kick & glide your way into experiencing miles of serenity and beauty of the Lakes Basin region. The groomed cross-country ski network links five lakes and offers views of the Mammoth Crest, Sherwin Ridge and Crystal Crag.  

Explore more and find out where to go cross country skiing in Mono County.

Experience the unparalleled scenery, incomparable serenity and heaping amounts of fun for all skill levels with cross-country skiing. And of course, it’s all thanks to the varied terrain and unrivaled backdrop of the Sierra Nevada landscape.

Author: Alex Silgalis

Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at

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