Cross country skiing is one of the easiest winter activities to do with your dog. If you can walk, you can cross country ski – all you need is a pair of skis and a bit of dog-friendly groomed trail!
Here are some of our favorite resorts offering dog-friendly cross country skiing:
- Bear Notch Ski Touring Center in Bartlett, New Hampshire allows dogs on all 65 kilometers of their groomed cross country trails. Their picturesque trails offer gorgeous riverside views, incredible waterfalls, and wide open meadows. When you need a break, pop in to their warming hut for some hot cocoa and complimentary homemade bread.
- Carter’s Ski Center in Oxford, Maine allows dogs on all of their 110 kilometers of trails and offers dog friendly lodging. Carter’s has a little something for everyone, with hilly trails for advanced skiers, and plenty of flat terrain for beginners. They are also a very environmentally friendly resort, and have optimized everything from their grooming equipment to their heaters to be eco-friendly!
- All 30 kilometers of groomed trail at Mountain Meadows in Killington, VT are dog-friendly, so long as you keep your pup on a leash at the lodge area.
- White Grass Touring Center in Davis, West Virginia allows dogs on some of their trails and offers fun races, clinics, and guided tours all throughout the winter season. Check their website for details!
- The town of West Yellowstone, Montana offers over 300 miles of groomed, marked, and patrolled snowmobile trails adjacent to Yellowstone National Park that are perfect for classic skiing with your pup. If you have a dog who loves to run for miles, this is the place for you! Stop in at Free Heel and Wheel, the local ski shop / coffee bar, for advice and a mocha to die for.
- Pagosa Nordic in Pagosa Springs, Colorado welcomes friendly dogs to their trails. If you’re interested skijoring or dog sledding (why not let your dog do all the work?!), check out their free introductory clinics. Exhausted from a long day on the trail? Take a dip in the local hot springs!
- The Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado allows dogs on several of their world-class groomed trails and has dog-friendly cabins available. Unwind after a long day of skiing by a raging bonfire at happy hour on the (dog-friendly!) deck at Heck’s Tavern as you watch the alpenglow play out over the Indian Peaks.
- The Methow Trail System in Winthrop, Washington says it best: “...Despite a dog’s inability to talk, anyone who has ever seen a dog out on the ski trails can’t deny the joy it brings to these animals. It is contagious!”
Dog-Friendly Downhill Ski Resorts
While no downhill ski resorts in the USA allow dogs on the slopes during operational hours, many are dog-friendly before and after the lifts open. How do you access terrain without the lift? Get hiking!
Hiking one or two runs with your dog before the lifts open is a fantastic way to get your dog some exercise before you hit the slopes for the day.
The following resorts are known to be dog-friendly during their non-operational hours. Always double check before bringing your dog to downhill ski resorts – policies can change quickly. Dog-friendly access to ski resorts is a privilege, so make sure that both you and your dog are on your best behavior!
- Sugar Bowl in Lake Tahoe, CA
- Ski Santa Fe in New Mexico
- Snow King in Jackson Hole, WY
- Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont
- Okemo in Vermont
- King Pine in New Hampshire
- Monarch in Colorado
- Crested Butte in Colorado
- Arapahoe Basin in Colorado
- Winter Park in Colorado
Now that you know where to ski with your pup, check out some tips for skiing with your dog before you hit the trails! Do you have a favorite dog-friendly ski spot? Let us know in the comments below!
Alyssa Hitchcock is passionate about dog-friendly, human powered recreation. She spends her time exploring the Western USA via backcountry and nordic skiing, mountain biking, and trail running with her husband Will and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Hilde. Visit www.outsidefound.com to read more about their adventures together.