There is something almost magical about a day spent cross country skiing at Ironton Park. The sun glistens on a blanket of snow, freshly groomed, and beckoning the adventurer to explore a world of winter wonder.

Pausing to gaze at the silent beauty, it is almost an afterthought to take a picture or two. No photo can actually capture the physical being of the moment.

The joy is all consuming, and as we pass other skiers, it is apparent that we share the peaceful pleasure on the snow. Greetings are exchanged, and the same exclamation falls from every lip: “Isn’t it beautiful?”

It is amazing that such a beautiful place is so close to Ouray, and free! The Ouray County Nordic Council provides the care and grooming of this magnificent space through the hard work of volunteers, sponsors and members.

A community based non-profit organization parented by the Ouray Trail group, the Ouray County Nordic Council holds true to its mission statement; “Dedicated to encouraging safe, enjoyable hiking and other low-impact outdoor recreational activities in the San Juan Mountains while protecting the natural beauty of the area.”

Posting regular grooming reports on their website, this is a wonderful tool for checking conditions of the snow and trails. A detailed map of the area greets the adventurer at the parking area, and all that is left is deciding where to explore first! 

Once back down from the mountain, it is fun to join fellow outdoors enthusiasts at one of the many excellent breweries or restaurants for a snack and an exchange of stories and pictures of your day, followed by a long soothing soak in the natural hot springs!

 

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