NewsCovering Colorado


The new Uncompahgre Nordic Trail system is set to open Friday

cross country skiing
Posted at 11:22 AM, Jan 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-02 13:22:57-05

DELTA, Colo. — The Uncompahgre Nordic Trail system, which includes 8.42 miles of groomed nordic ski trails, is now complete.

The system is located at the intersection of Dave Wood Road and Divide Road on the Uncompahgre Plateau, which is about 36 miles southwest of Montrose.

On Thursday, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests announced its Ouray Ranger District had signed a decision authorizing the trail system.

A small parking area along Divide Road will be plowed for the drivers of about 20 vehicles to park.

The Uncompahgre Nordic Association, a local nonprofit in the Montrose area, will take care of grooming and maintaining the systems through the winter months.

As of now, 17 permanent trail signposts dot the trails, including a signboard at the main entrance.

“Thanks to our partnership with the Uncompahgre Nordic Association, these new winter trails offer a much-needed recreation opportunity to experience the forest during the winter months,” said Dana Gardunio, Ouray District ranger. “The Uncompahgre Nordic Trails will expand the connection between the National Forest and the Montrose community.”

Gary Shellhorn, president of the Uncompahgre Nordic Association, said the association has been working throughout 2022 to be able to manage cross-country ski trails on the National Forest.

“We are a small nonprofit that relies on the help of volunteers to make the Uncompahgre Nordic Trails operational, and we want to invite folks to enjoy a moonlight ski on these new trails on Jan. 6 to ring in the new year skiing through the pine on our National Forest," he said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. at the main trailhead, which is just off Divide Road to celebrate its opening. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the Uncompahgre Nordic Association will hold a moonlight ski event. The public is welcome to join in.

To download digital maps of the Uncompahgre Nordic Trail system, visit the Uncompahgre Nordic Association’s Facebook page or sign up to receive grooming reports by emailing

Colorado has several other nordic centers around the state, including: