Seven Epic Winter Experiences

The winter months are the perfect time to cozy up inside beside a crackling fireplace. But when you’re ready for some action, let’s not forget that winter is also an underrated time to get outdoors and experience some incredibly unique activities across the country. 

From trying your hand at dog sledding along the Iditarod Trail in Alaska to a contemplative snowshoe trek through a giant Sequoia grove– there’s something for every kind of adventurer. These are experiences that are worth planning a whole trip for:

1. Uinta Mountains Backcountry Skiing

Snowmobiles at The Lodge at Blue Sky

The Lodge at Blue Sky offers an epic backcountry ski experience that’s perfect for those who want fresh tracks, but aren’t looking for something as drastic as heli skiing. Certified backcountry guides will take you into the heart of the Uinta Mountains on snowmobiles to gain access to some of Utah’s most pristine terrain. This one-of-a-kind adventure is the best kind of win-win: an exhilarating ride to the slopes and an unparalleled ride down.

This experience pairs well with: Luxury Winter Road Trip Through the Southwest

2. Mushing on the Iditarod

Dog Mushing

Courtesy of Winterlake Lodge, by Jeff Schultz

The iconic Iditarod Trail in Alaska is known for hosting the country’s most famous long-distance dog sled race each March. One of our favorite Alaska lodges, Winterlake Lodge, sits at the Finger Lake checkpoint along the historic trail, where guests can view the mushers and their dogs come in. You can also take a mushing ride yourself, and even learn how to direct your own dog sled team.

This experience pairs well with: An Epic Alaska Road Trip

3. Snowshoeing Through the Giant Forest

Snowshoe Sequoia

During warmer months, there’s nothing quite like the awe-inspiring timelessness of a giant sequoia grove. When you visit during the winter, the magical coat of white snow and winter quiet adds a whole new layer to the experience. With its well-marked trails and scenic beauty, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are perfect places to snowshoe in the winter. 

This experience pairs well with: Stunning Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks

4. Wolf Safari in Yellowstone

Yellowstone wolves

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Yellowstone National Park is bustling during the summer months with millions of visitors, hoping to get a peak at the stunning geysers and colorful mineral hot springs. But few return in winter to discover a completely different facet of the park on a winter wolf safari. All Roads North will pair you with a wildlife biologist who knows the members of the local wolf pack by name, who will expertly guide you through the Lamar Valley. Seeing wolves in their natural habitat of a winter wonderland is an experience that’s hard to beat.

This experience pairs well with: Luxury Winter Vacation to Montana

5. Alaska’s Aurora Borealis

Sheldon Chalet Northern Lights

Sheldon Chalet

There’s no better time to see the famous, ghostly Northern Lights than winter during the long, dark Alaska nights. A stay at a wilderness lodge, like Sheldon Chalet, will take you far into the Last Frontier and away from light pollution to front row seats for this mind-blowing miracle of nature. 

This experience pairs well with: Top Alaska Wilderness Lodges

6. Ice Skating in New York City

Ice Skating Central Park

You don’t need to leave the city for an epic winter activity, as evidenced by New York City’s obsession with ice skating. There is perhaps no time in the city that is more magical: Christmas lights decking every building, elaborate displays of festivity in the shop windows, and a general hum of holiday spirit in the air. Ice skating at Rockefeller Center or in Central Park is just one of those iconic experiences that can’t be missed. 

This experience pairs well with: Gilded Glamour in Upstate New York

7. Aspen Mountain Hut Dinners

Pine Creek Cookhouse Sleigh

Just outside of Aspen, Pine Creek Cookhouse offers a fine dining experience that is completely immersed in the wild beauty of the Elk Mountains at nearly 10,000 feet elevation. The remote location means the journey is just as notable as the destination. You can book a horse-drawn sleigh ride up to the cookhouse for lunch or dinner. The food is focused on local Colorado fare, like Rocky Mountain trout and wild elk.

This experience pairs well with: Aspen to Crested Butte: A Luxury High Mountain Adventure




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