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The local snowmobile club grooms a cross-country skiing and snowshoeing loop completely around Silverton, so the route is flat, easy, and safe. Molas Pass, 6 mi south of Silverton on U.S. 550, has a variety of Nordic routes, from easy half-milers in broad valleys to longer, more demanding ascents.
St. Paul Ski Lodge and Backcountry Hut. This place is an incredible find for anyone enchanted by remote high country. Above 11,000 feet and about a 40-minute ski-in from the summit of Red Mountain Pass (between Ouray and Silverton), the St. Paul Lodge (a converted mining camp) and backcountry Hut provide access to above–tree line exploring via telemark or cross-country skis, snowboard, snowshoes, or any combination thereof. The Hut is also available in the summer, when you can reach the property via four-wheel-drive vehicle (or by hiking in). Reservations are essential. Top of Red Mountain Pass, Silverton, CO. 970/799–0785. www.skistpaul.com. $130, includes three meals. Lodge closed June–Nov.
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