Wanting some inspiration for winter outdoor activities this season? When we think of winter activities, the main one that comes to mind is skiing/snowboarding. For the non-skier, it may feel like there aren't really any other outdoor winter activities. But the truth is, there are many unique outdoor activities you can still enjoy when the cold temperatures come rolling in. This article is dedicated to highlighting activities other than just skiing/snowboarding so that you can still enjoy the outdoors year-round!
Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors in winter months. If you’re looking for a way to stay active with less crowds and more quiet, snowshoeing will likely be right for you! Snowshoes can be rented from REI, Nordic centers, or most outdoor apparel shops. But if you plan on going frequently, Tubbs is a great brand! You’ll also need a good pair of waterproof snow boots to clip into the snowshoes and keep your feet warm! Here’s why we love it: you can enjoy the snow without the crowds, it’s peaceful, great mountain views, and you can usually find snowshoe trails near ski resorts so you can do your thing while your friends ski. The best way to find trails that are snowshoe-friendly is by checking apps like AllTrails, or searching local recreation sites. Make a day of it by snowshoeing into the mountains and having a bonfire with friends!
If you’re wondering, what is a hut/yurt trip - let’s start with the basics. A hut or yurt trip is when you reserve a secluded hut or yurt, and hike/snowshoe in with your belongings. These structures are fully enclosed and heated by a wood burning stove. You can expect only the basics - a bed, a table, and maybe a sink. Hut/yurt trips provide the sensation of camping, but can be done even during the snowiest, coldest months. Many huts and yurts are surrounded by beautiful trail systems and views. Snowshoe or cross country ski to your cozy yurt home for the night and enjoy an evening under the stars with all the comforts of being in a warm bed!
Cross Country Skiing
Ever wanted to try cross country skiing? Well this is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors with less of the typical ski resort crowds! Cross country skiing requires a different type of skis than downhill skiing and is done on more rolling, flat trails. Because you lack the momentum of the downhill, it becomes quite the workout to maintain movement! Most major mountain towns in will have a Nordic Center which allows for rentals and will provide trail information which can be an excellent resource. Think of cross country skiing as more challenging than snow shoeing, but still less intense than downhill skiing.
Snowmobiling is the perfect activity for a weekend in the mountains with friends! Again, most mountain towns have a snowmobile center that you can rent from for the day and they will gear you up. You can either take them out on your own, or do a tour (which is advised, especially if the area is unknown to you and you’re a beginner). While caution must be practiced, snowmobiling can be an absolute blast and a great way to explore a new area!
Natural Hot Springs
If you haven’t yet visited natural hot springs, add this to your bucket list! There are two types of hot springs you will come across: commercialized hot springs that require an entrance fee and are nicely maintained, and more remote hot springs that are free to visit, often smaller and aren’t maintained. While both have their charms, it ultimately depends on your personal preference! The more remote hot springs tend to be harder to find, and often require a bit of a hike to reach. In the winter, this can be increasingly difficult, making the commercial hot springs a better choice. Simply search for hot springs near you and confirm if they require reservations.
Hopefully this winter outdoor activities guide is sparking some inspiration in you to continue enjoying outdoor adventures year round! What is your favorite outdoor winter activity?