Cross-Country Ski Fun in the Eastern Sierra

Grab a pair of poles, breathe in fresh air, and take in the snowy landscape.

Mono County

ACROSS LAND BY SKI AND POLE: When we hear of the Sierra, we often hear of the lifts and peaks and difficulty ratings of various slopes, and with good reason: The mountainous terrain makes for a fine and challenging place to take on some downhill runs. But there are numerous spots in which to enjoy skiing in a more horizontal fashion, with some minor dips and inclines, while still enjoying a vigorous workout and some spectacular tree-and-hilltop views. We speak of cross-country schussing, and Mono County has plenty of it, and now that not one but two large snowstorms have dumped an impressive amount of flakes around the county, the season is open and in full force. Not a devoted downhiller but still adore the ski scene and snowdrifts and icicles and the rugged landscape wearing its wintry coat? Cross-country, with its forward-slide pace, is another choice, and one that's one the move in Mono County, right now, at places like...

TAMARACK LODGE CROSS-COUNTRY SKI CENTER: Billed as "the largest Nordic resort in the region," this Mammoth Lakes-based bastion of ruddy-cheek'd, brisk-air'd sportingness boasts some 19 miles of cross-country trails. Will you spy Crystal Crag, Mammoth Crest, and a few pretty lakes? You shall, dear skier, as you huff and happily puff along.

SILVER MEADOW: Are you hanging out a little closer to June Lake? There's a fresher track wending through the woods, one with "dramatic views of Carson Peak" and a pair of "scenic and beginner-friendly cross-country ski trails" to try out. It's just two kilometers in length, making it an ideal cross-country run for "beginners and families."

ROCK CREEK LODGE: Hello, John Muir Wilderness, hello peace, hello still air. Put your poles into the track-close snow as you take on 15 kilometers of "groomed trails." There's also a chauffeured snowmobile involved, lest you're worried that your cross-country adventure will take place too close to any major roads. For sure, you'll have some major quiet forest time, just you, other skiers, and those exquisite trails.

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