The Best Spots in the US of A for Snow Adventures
Strap on your skies, buckle up your snowshoes and dust off your sleds. Here are the best and most beautiful spots in the US to head for powder.
Known for its cross-country skiing, with more than 2,000 miles of dedicated trails to explore. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely is the spot to head to if you’re a serious skier. If downhill is more your thing, then Lutsen Mountains on Lake Superior is the state’s highest ski hill and has stunning views of the icy water. There are 95 runs spanning across the two mountains.
Almost 3,000 acres worth of 169 trails are on offer at Steamboat Springs in northwestern Colorado, with almost half of the runs being classed as “advanced”. There’s also night skiing, and one of the best halfpipes on the continent: the Mavericks Superpipe. For a slower paced outdoor adventure, head to Estes Park for snowshoeing, which is a great alternative for hikers who can’t ski or board. Head out to explore on your own, or hire a guide. You can also take an avalanche class, so you’re really prepared for being in Colorado’s backcountry.
The state is well known for its light, fluffy snow, and Park City is the obvious destination in Utah, now it’s part of the US’ biggest linked ski area. But for a real adventure, book a “snowcat” – a backcountry ski experience traversing five areas in the upper American Fork Canyon which are all on private property. Proceeds from hiring a Snowbird Mountain Guide to be your “snowcat” go towards charity.
Dog sledding across a pristine white landscape in the Teton National Forest in northern Wyoming is probably one of the best snow experiences you can have. Half or full day trips are available, with the latter including a dip in one of the natural hot spring pools at Granite Hot Springs. If you prefer horses, opt for a horse-drawn sled in the wilderness complete with cozy campfire dinner, or, if an animal-free ride is more up your street then hop on a snowmobile at Jackson Hole. Go on a winter safari through the backcountry, weaving and winding through pines and keeping your eyes peeled for winter wildlife.
A throwback to the small-scale resorts of the 1960s, Magic Mountain in Londonderry is a New England classic. Featuring tricky winding slopes through difficult terrain, it’s a refreshing change from the wide sparse slopes that dominate ski resorts across the states. But there’s still plenty to do outside the resort. Head to Casey’s Hill for an epic sledding adventure under the watchful eye of Mount Mansfield, or don your snowshoes for a challenging hike to a boulder cave at Taylor Lodge, offering incredible views across the Northern Green Mountains. Another great hike is up Stowe Pinnacle, with the summit rewarded by sweeping views of Stowe Valley blanketed in snow.