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Expanded cross country ski trail grooming, free learn to ski clinic

After months of little snow, Pagosa was blessed with a snowstorm last week that allowed for more cross country ski trails to be groomed.

Current groomed trails available include West Fork, Reservoir Hill, Yamaguchi Park, Coyote Hill and Alberta Park.

All trails are free to use and are groomed wide for skate skiing with set tracks for classic cross country skiing.

The Forest Service will be grooming Coyote Hill again this year. Located 6.5 miles north on Piedra Road from U.S. 160, Coyote Hill offers 15K of groomed ski trails with plenty of easy, intermediate and advanced terrain. This season, Coyote Hill has a new expanded parking area and more trail grooming.

Wolf Creek Ski Area grooms the Alberta Park cross country ski loop located below the Alberta Chair Lift and accessed from the far east end of the tranquility parking lot. A 3K fun loop and 10K competitive loop are available.

The Pagosa Nordic Club will be grooming West Fork, Reservoir Hill and Yamaguchi Park. West Fork is located 12.5 miles east of Pagosa on U.S. 160 at the base of Wolf Creek Pass. New expanded terrain offers 15K of groomed trails, with plenty for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. Reservoir Hill and Yamaguchi are located in downtown Pagosa Springs. Yamaguchi Park offers a 1K loop of flat terrain. Located next to the San Juan River just east of the High School campus on South 5th Street, Yamaguchi Park is perfect for a quick work out or fun ski with the family.

Reservoir Hill offers 12K of intermediate to advanced terrain, is located in the heart of downtown behind the post office, and offers incredible view points along the trail of the San Juan Mountains and downtown.

There will be a free learn to cross country ski clinic held this weekend, Saturday, Jan. 8, at 9:45 a.m., in Yamaguchi Park. Yamaguchi Park is accessed from Hot Springs Blvd. Take Apache Street over the bridge and turn south on South 5th Street. Parking is one block south on the left.

This two-hour clinic is a great opportunity to get more familiar with skate skiing and classic cross country skiing techniques for beginners and intermediates. Check out PagosaNordic.Com for details and send an e-mail to pagosanordicclub@yahoo.com and let us know you want to join us (or just show up). All local ski shops are offering discounted rentals for this event.

Additionally, a free moonrise/sunset cross country ski social with soup and chili, campfire and s’mores is scheduled for Jan. 14. Location to be determined. Start skiing any time after 4 p.m. and enjoy a colorful sunset/moonrise sky while you ski back to the campfire for hot soup and chili, s’mores and skiing stories.

Be sure to check PagosaNordic.Com for details and pick up our new cross country ski trail brochure now being distributed throughout town. All local ski shops are renting cross country ski gear, so make some time and get out on the trails. See you on the trail.