Getting to Royal Gorge from the Lodge at Sugar Bowl
On Friday, March 1, 2013 3:33:48 PM UTC-8, wrote:
Has anyone tried the new "connection" between The Lodge at Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge cross country skiing? What is it like? How far is it from one to the other? Is it up or down hill? Would one drive to Royal Gorge if one stayed at the Lodge? Any information would be most appreciated.
No driving is required. You may ski directly from the Lodge to Royal Gorge as the trails connect. The roads at the Village are not plowed. Sugar Bowl grooms the roads daily for cross country skiing as well as numerous other forms of transporation (walking, sleds, snowmobiles) with the exception of cars. As a result these trails become trashed by mid-day. However they are skiable and provide access to Royal Gorge.
There are three ways to access the Royal Gorge trails. The easiest way is to ski down the trail the follows the Village Tramway (a gondola). This trail eventually intersects with the International trail which is a Royal Gorge Trail. There are many ways to go from there. The distance to International is 2.3 km. From there
The other ways involve going slightly up hill from the Lodge. This trail skirts the downhill area. Between the Disney Lift and the Meadow Lift there is a trail called the Village Hill (there is a sign). This is a fun steep descent. Once you are away from the houses, the trail is usually in pretty good shape. It also intersects with Royal Gorge's International Trail. (Currently this trail is closed due to conditions. I mentioned it for next year.)
If you continue on the trail from the Lodge that skirts the lifts, you will pass under two lifts (Meadow and Crow's Nest). This section has a moderate rise in elevation. This trail then passes by two houses--one on each side of the trail. Once you reach this point you are on a Royal Gorge Trail--Donohoe Daily. Warning: this trail does have two sustained and fairly steep downhill sections.
I would recommend obtaining a Royal Gorge trail map before leaving. They are available along with a trail pass and rental equipment somewhere near the Lodge--you don't have to go Royal Gorge.
You can select any type of terrain you want once you are on the Royal Gorge trails.