When members of the Bozeman community put their minds to something, good things happen. Crosscut Mountain Sports Center is one of those things. A few years ago, this community non-profit raised $8 million to secure the properties of Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center and the defunct Crosscut Ranch, both Nordic ski venues. This purchase effectively saved the land from development and ensured access to this pristine recreation for generations to come.
Close to Home
Just 20 minutes from town and adjacent to Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Crosscut provides 50 kilometers of pristine trails for skiing, snowshoeing, biking and hiking. The Narrow Gauge trail network allows fat tire biking, and, after 3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, you can bring your dog to the trails with you! People of all ages and abilities enjoy this little slice of heaven in the Bridger Mountains, and it’s about to get even better.
Once they had secured the land, Crosscut set out the master plan and began work on their capital campaign to make it happen. The vision is to turn these 533 acres into a premier destination for cross country skiing, biathlon racing, and recreation. Athletes will be able to train here in the summer, then race in the winter—all the while utilizing the year-round community space for after-school programs, outdoor educators, and sports programs.
Success in Phases
It’s off to a great start. Fundraising for Phase I is complete, and they broke ground last summer. Trail work was completed for three roller-ski loops and a 5-mile flow trail for mountain biking, along with their partners SWMMBA and Bridger Bowl. Next summer, they will complete a 30-point biathlon range, pave the roller-ski loops and add additional parking.
Phase II includes a lodge, a restaurant, ski shop, Paralympic and Olympic high-performance training facilities, and a preferred partner space. The lodge, open to the public and designed to be warm and inviting, will help Crosscut be financially sustainable. Phase III improvements include an ice climbing wall, which will turn into a rock-climbing wall in the summer, a pump track, edible gardens, and a state-of-of-the-art playground.
The vision includes a full suite of trails. Birdwatchers would have wetland boardwalk trails, while mountain bikers would have more directional loops. Down the road, Crosscut will be an ideal place for families to enjoy, with year-round recreational and athletic opportunities. A particular focus will be placed on empowering youth through Nordic skiing and biathlon.
Hard Work Pays Off
Crosscut management has been working hard to keep guests safe this season. Jen Beaston, Executive Director, says, “We are ready for a great season and excited to be able to offer a safe, naturally physically distanced activity where everyone can enjoy the outdoors.” The indoor facilities will be closed, but they have made it easier to purchase online tickets and lessons so guests can quickly go from their car to the trails. They have also expanded parking and added accessible porta-potties.
Beaston said, “We have been busy this summer building new trails and can’t wait to welcome everyone back. We are asking groups that normally don’t interact in the same household or pod to keep group sizes to 6 or less, and we will be doing the same for clinics, lessons, biathlon team, ski education, and our partners’ programs.”
Day tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for youth ages 10-18, and children under ten ski free! Classic and skate rental packages are available. Crosscut offers an uphill skiing route for those wanting a downhill experience without the crowds, allowing backcountry skiers access to U.S. Forest Service land. Day tickets for the uphill path are $5.
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