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Winter fun abounds on the Grand Mesa

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From snowmobiling to cross-country skiing, ice fishing to sledding, fun abounds on the Grand Mesa during the winter. And this year's steady stream of snow has created an outstanding place to enjoy a winter adventure.

Snowmobiling

Adventurers with a need for speed can dash through the snow faster than a downhill skier by snowmobiling across the extensive network of trails in the area. Grand Mesa boasts more than 400 miles of winter trails, including the longest snowmobile trail in the lower 48 -- the 123-mile-long Powderhorn to Sunlight Trail. Snowmobile rentals are available at most of the lodges on Grand Mesa.

Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing

More than 30 miles of trails within the Skyway, County Line and Ward Lake Trail Systems are groomed by the Grand Mesa Nordic Council. The council also maintains eight different trail heads on the Grand Mesa for both groomed and backcountry (ungroomed) skiing. Powderhorn Mountain Resort offers a Nordic Pass, which provides access to the West Bench Trail system for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Ice Fishing

With over 300 lakes, ice fishing is everywhere! Island Lake, the largest of Grand Mesa's Lakes, is a popular ice-fishing destination. Outfitters and guides are available to share their knowledge of the terrain, habitats and gear.

Dog Sledding and Skijoring

At 10,300 feet, skijoring -- the sport of being pulled on skis by dogs -- is a unique way to play in the snow and exercise with man's best friend(s) at the same time. The Grand Mesa Nordic Council offers these tips for bringing your four-legged friends:

Many people enjoy skiing with their dogs on the trails maintained by GMNC. Here are a few tips to get the most enjoyment with your four-legged friends.

Where are Dogs Allowed?

Please help keep the Skyway Trail System dog-free. Skyway is the staging area for children and adult lessons as well as the Grand Mesa Nordic Ski Race series. You can enjoying skiing with your dog at County Line, Ward, or any of the other many trails on the Grand Mesa.

Dog Etiquette Tips

Please keep dogs in sight and under voice control at all times.

Please pick up after your dog -- either carry poop bags and take with you or remove waste from the trails with a scoop.

If you encounter the snowcat on the trails, it's recommended that you step aside well off the trail, or if the groomer stops, for you to go around. This is particularly true with dogs, and it's helpful if you hold onto your dog by the collar.

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