This is the first year Haymaker has opened for cross country skiing and they have a free shuttle from gondola square at 9:15 a.m and 12:15 p.m with a return shuttle about 3 hours later (but make sure to confirm your shuttle ride by calling 970-846-1055 because the shuttle does not run automatically but rather on a need be basis). The same family who runs the Steamboat Nordic Ski touring center also operates the course at Haymaker and the cost is the same: $18/day. The course at Haymaker is perfect for beginners. Nice tracks, flat and open terrain on the valley floor with beautiful views in every direction (whereas the Nordic Ski touring center is located on the side of the mountain and has lots of gentle hills). You can buy your $18 daily trail pass in advance through the main Steamboat Reservation system or buy a trail pass/lunch combo for $25. I bought the pass/lunch combo and I was allowed to choose anything off of the lunch menu and also a soft drink or tea or coffee. The family that operates the facility and everybody involved with the operation is great. Very friendly and helpful. So if you are just learning to cross country ski or if you want to get away from the crowds, head out to Haymaker. Lessons and rental equipment available.
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