FAQ: Proposed Cross-Country Ski Trails
What is the Denver Nordic Ski Association?
The Denver Nordic Ski Association (“Ski Denver”) is a membership-based nonprofit organization dedicated providing free, public access to groomed cross-country ski trails in Denver. The nonprofit officially formed in June 2012. More info: www.skidenver.org.
What is the mission of Ski Denver?
Ski Denver’s mission is to provide access to well-maintained and sustainable cross-country ski areas in Denver, in order to encourage healthy outdoor winter activity, inspire stewardship of public spaces and enrich local communities.
What is the goal for a pilot project?
By establishing groomed skate trails and classic tracks, Ski Denver hopes to encourage skiers to remain in a defined area of a golf course and away from trouble spots such as putting greens and tee boxes, as well as private property. This will help preserve Denver’s terrific public golf courses and also will enable cross-country skiing to remain sustainable in Denver open spaces.
Will skiing be free?
Yes. Skiing will be free for the public to enjoy.
Will this cost the city money?
No. Ski Denver is raising money to buy all necessary grooming equipment and plans to groom trails with an all-volunteer staff. Annual, voluntary Ski Denver membership dues and other fundraising will support grooming operations.
How many ski days do you expect?
The Boulder Nordic Club has a 20-year history of grooming ski trails in Boulder parks. Based on historic averages reported by BNC and data gleaned for the Wellshire area, we anticipate anywhere from five to 20 ski days during the ski season.
Will golf operations be affected?
No. Skiing would only be allowed on days when golf is not possible at the course. Skiing would only occur when enough snowfall accumulates to groom courses with no impact to the ground.
What equipment will be used to groom trails?
Ski Denver is raising money to purchase a snowmobile to groom trails. The snowmobile would operate at slow speeds (less than 10 miles per hour) and only when snow conditions allow for grooming. Ski Denver plans to use similar equipment to that used by Boulder Nordic Club and others that groom trails in a residential setting.
Will there be snowmaking?
There are no plans to incorporate snowmaking at the proposed pilot project at Wellshire Golf Course.
Where will the trails be?
Please refer to the attached proposed course map. Access to trails would begin from the Wellshire clubhouse, and skiers would be encouraged to park at the clubhouse parking lot instead of nearby neighborhood streets.
When will trails be open for use?
Trails would be accessible from dusk to dawn on days approved by Denver Golf.
When will grooming take place?
Grooming primarily would take place during morning hours following a significant snowfall.
Who will monitor ski operations?
Ski Denver volunteers will monitor the course on all ski days and intermittently on non-ski days to ensure skiers are educated about rules and respectful to the course and surrounding neighborhood. Ski Denver will adjust operations as needed in consultation with the City and residents.
Why was Wellshire Golf Course selected as the pilot?
Wellshire Golf Course was selected, in consultation with Denver Golf, for a number of factors. For one, the course is closed more days during winter than most Denver public golf courses and centrally located for public enjoyment. Also, due to its relatively high elevation and terrain, the course retains a relatively high amount of snowfall, allowing more potential ski days than most courses. The rolling terrain is ideal for an enjoyable ski experience for beginners and advanced skiers alike. And trails can be set away from private residences.
Do other cities groom ski trails on public land?
Yes, quite a few. Boulder Nordic Club has groomed cross-country ski trails in Boulder public spaces for 20 years, including at North Boulder Park where the club currently operates. The club allows free public access to the trails it grooms using similar equipment proposed by Ski Denver. Minneapolis has perhaps the most extensive network of cross-country ski trails in the continental U.S. The trails are on public golf courses and in parks and are available to the public to use. Groomed cross-country ski trails are available to residents in cities throughout snowy regions, even places with less annual snowfall than Denver. A Nordic ski center lies just 20 minutes outside of Boston. Others exist on golf courses throughout Colorado, the West, Midwest and Northeast states.
Non-Skiing Areas - Overall Map