Love snow? This post is a perfect treat for snow-lovers, as we have gathered all the best spots to have fun in the heavenly white stuff in the United States of America. These spots have been hand-picked by well-traveled bloggers who have generously shared their recommendations with us.
1. Mount Hood, Oregon
John Paul from The Hangry Backpacker blog says: The Oregon Cascades are one of the top places for snow in the United States. In particular, Mount Hood, the tallest mountain and one of the most beautiful natural features of Oregon, receives heaps of snowfall. Hood and the Oregon Cascades are a stunning backdrop, towering above Northwest Oregon.
“The Mountain,” as it is known in Portland, is an excellent place for snow activities of all kinds. The Mount Hood Wilderness is popular for skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing. For people averse to boards and skis, snowshoeing, sledding and tubing are also popular snow activities.
Timberline Lodge is the center of snow activity on Mount Hood. The historic hotel is the launching point for most forays into the snow. With an average of about 550 inches of snow per year, it has the longest ski season (all 12 months) in the United States, making Mount Hood an excellent and beautiful place for snowy fun.
2. Burlington, Vermont
Karen from Outdoor Adventure Sampler blog says: Burlington is a vibrant city in northern Vermont which is also a fabulous winter destination.
Snow-sports enthusiasts will love the alpine and back-country ski trails of nearby Bolton Mountain. Cross country ski fanatics can find free Nordic skiing within the city limits. Snowshoeing and winter hiking in the Green Mountains are also popular pastimes.
For those with less athletic ambitions, a visit to the pedestrian mall of the Church Street Marketplace is magical. Festive lights drape the trees and cute local shops beckon to be explored.
The winter festivals in Burlington should not be missed. Ice sculptures abound. Some of the ornate structures serve as an icy bar to keep spirits and brews chilled.
The grand finale of any day spent in Burlington is to stroll the waterfront. The snow shrouded peaks of the Adirondack Mountains across the windswept frozen expanse of Lake Champlain are a magnificent view from the waterfront park.
Also read: Top 25 hidden gems of USA
3. Park City, Utah
Melissa from Parenthood and Passports blog says: Utah is a playground for snow seekers! The state is home to some of the best ski resorts and winter attractions in the country, many of which are within a short, 30-minute drive from the Salt Lake City Airport.
Park City Mountain Resort is the state’s most famous ski resort. As the largest ski resort in the United States, Park City boasts more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain. With more than 320 named runs, the resort is enjoyable for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities and experience levels.
Just outside of Park City in the charming town of Midway, another must-have winter experience awaits. One of the only Ice Castles in the United States is built in Midway each winter. The frozen playground is especially fun for families.
With ice slides, fountains, crawl spaces, caves, and tunnels to explore, the attraction will bring out the kid in everyone. The castles are most picturesque at night when they are illuminated with color-changing lights. It is a great après-ski experience for those visiting Park City and looking for evening activities.
4. The Gunflint Trail, Minnesota
Ada from Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: A Travel Blog says: The Gunflint Trail, located in northeastern Minnesota outside Grand Marais on Lake Superior’s North Shore, often receives the first snowfall of the entire Midwest. A 57-mile two-lane highway winds through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness that ends just four miles from the Canadian border, the Gunflint Trail attracts outdoor adventurers year-round.
As early as October, those outdoor adventures might look like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, or fat biking.
The Gunflint Trail received approximately 90 inches of snow a winter and that deep snow nudges wildlife out of the forest to the roadways. During winter months, it’s common to spot wolves, lynx, and moose, so drive carefully!
Approximately two dozen resorts and a handful of restaurants line the Gunflint Trail providing visitors cozy cabin stays, hot drinks in front of crackling fireplaces, and of course, necessary winter gear rental.
With snow sticking around through April, it’s rarely too late to plan your winter Gunflint Trail adventure.
5. Salt Lake City, Utah
Andrea Cannon from the Beautahful World blog says: If you are looking for the best winter destinations to enjoy snow activities, then look no farther than Salt Lake City, Utah.
With a large international airport, Salt Lake City is incredibly accessible. Host of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Salt Lake City is one of the premier snow sport destinations in the world.
Utah itself has claimed the “Greatest Snow on Earth” which is a result of unique climate conditions resulting in over 500 inches of annual snowfall on the mountains.
Not surprisingly, some of the best things to do in Salt Lake City in the winter include skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and snowtubing. There are 12 ski resorts and plenty of amazing hiking trails within an hour drive of downtown which means you will never run out of activities.
With the close proximity, you could stay downtown or choose a mountain and stay at a ski resort.
6. Lake Tahoe, California
Christina from Travel 2 Next blog says: Winter in Lake Tahoe is a charming affair as the region gets plenty of snow. Some years, the first snowfall can be as early as September and sometimes it can snow right up until June!
In December, most winter resorts get between six to 18 inches of snowfall, which makes Lake Tahoe a white winter wonderland to spend your holiday season.
Activities you can enjoy are snowshoeing, ice skating, tubing, sleigh riding, and snowmobiling around the back country. There are excellent ski and snowboarding schools suitable for kids, beginners, and advanced skiers.
Another reason why Lake Tahoe is such a fantastic winter destination is there are several winter resorts to stay at and a range of accommodation to suit most budgets. The most popular are Heavenly Mountain Resort (where you can ski in both California and Nevada), NorthStar Resort and Squaw Valley Resort.
Also read: Top places to enjoy hot air balloon rides
7. Yellowstone National Park
Megan from Megan Starr blog says: Yellowstone National Park is a dreamy and naturally spectacular national park. While most tourists arrive during the summer months, the park is often neglected during the winter and it shouldn’t be! It is a snowy wonderland!
While Yellowstone in winter may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the park receives an excessive amount of snowfall during the winter at around 150 inches, making it an ideal destination for winter sports and activity lovers.
One of the most popular things to do in Yellowstone National Park is to go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. There are many fantastic trails to cross-country ski on, but two of the most popular ones are Biscuit Basin Trail (takes you through Old Faithful Geyser Basin) and Blacktail Plateau Trail.
Snowshoeing is a fun activity to do during winter in Yellowstone and you can even snowshoe to popular attractions such as the Upper Geyser Basin and areas around Old Faithful.
Yellowstone is one of the best places to visit in the United States during winter and not only will you find a way to keep occupied during your trip there, but you will also get to visit one of America’s most popular national parks with far fewer tourists than the summer months.
8. Whitefish, Montana
Wayne Dang from The Daily Tourist blog says: One of the best places to enjoy snow related activities during the winter time is definitely in the town of Whitefish, Montana.
The reason for this is because Whitefish is located in the northern part of Montana and is usually gets heavy snow during the winter times. Because of this, you can find many different areas offering a plethora of winter activities for you to see and do.
In fact, the most popular area is one called “Whitefish Mountain Resort”. This resort is basically a ski resort that is located on Big Mountain in Northwestern Montana. It’s considered to be one of the best ski resorts in the entire state of Montana.
Visitors who come here will be able to do things like rent skis or snowboards and slide their way down the slope of this large mountain. Definitely one of the best places you can visit during the Winter time.
9. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Dan Bagby from Cabin Critic blog says: In Steamboat Springs you can have easy access to all sorts of fun snow activities. For starters, the Steamboat Ski Resort provides downhill skiing with 18 lifts and 165 named trails for any experience level. Also at the ski resort is the Outlaw Mountain Coaster, a family-friendly ride that goes up to 27 mph.
One unique feature of Steamboat Springs is Howelsen Hill. The oldest continuously operating ski area in the US has several runs that make it perfect for beginners. At only $35 for adults and $25 for kids, it is probably the cheapest way to learn how to ski.
If downhill skiing is not what you are interested in, you can find plenty of other snow activities like snowmobiling, ice fishing, snow tubing, snowshoeing, or ice skating. When you want to warm up and let your muscles rest you can visit the downtown hot springs the town is named after.
One way to get the most out of your winter vacation is to stay at Vista Verde Ranch where you will have your own cozy cabin and all-inclusive meals and activities. Every day you can enjoy different activities like snowga (snowshoeing to a warm cabin for yoga), cross country skiing, ice fishing, sled rides, and more, all with expert guides.
10. Aspen, Colorado
Vivien and Aaron from The Dharma Trails blog say: Once reserved for the rich and famous, Aspen is attracting a broader range of visitors from around the country (and globe). Apart from the stunning, snow-capped mountain ranges and the well-designed streets that twinkle in the winter nights, the town itself has some great hangouts and deals.
You can get a locally brewed beer at the Aspen Brewing Co, which has an outdoor deck overlooking the slopes, find some incredible brands and quality snow-gear at the Thrift Store in town, and even find some stylish, great value Aspen Airbnb stays.
The four-day Wintersköl celebration sees a range of indoor and outdoor activities with one of the highlights being a street full of amazing ice sculptures.
Aspen mountain is suited for experienced skiers and snowboarders, however if you are a beginner, the nearby Snowmass and Buttermilk slopes are great for learning. If you prefer hiking trails, there are some great, free, short snow walks you can do from town along Ute Avenue.
Also read: Top tips for traveling with kids
11. Estes Park, Colorado
Kay from Dotted Globe blog says: If you are planning a Colorado Road Trip in the winter, then you must absolutely visit Estes Park. This small town is located just 1 hr 30 mins away from Denver and is the eastern gateway to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. The town enjoys a charming location surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies.
Estes Park is just beautiful in the winter. On a stroll, you can visit eclectic boutiques, art galleries, candy stores, and wineries in Estes Park. While the town itself hosts a variety of winter events and holiday festivals, the real adventure lies outdoors in the heart of the Rockies.
Visitors can go snowshoeing in the national park, hike to see frozen waterfalls, and go skiing. There are many gear rental companies located in the town. You can easily rent sleds, snow tubes, snowshoes, and even ski jackets and pants in Estes Park. This is also a great time to spot wildlife including elks, mountain goats, and deer.
12. Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
Derek and Mike from Robe Trotting blog say: The Pocono Mountains have long been one of the most popular winter destinations in the United States. This peaceful stretch of landscape is in northeastern Pennsylvania where visitors find countless outdoor winter activities.
Whether you like skiing, snow-tubing or snowboarding – there’s something for everyone. In the Poconos, some of the best Pennsylvania ski resorts are just around the corner. Many also have great lodges where you can have a hot cocoa and take in the views of the snowy mountains.
To escape the cold you can watch the snow fall out your window as you relax by a fireplace in your cozy cabin. The region is famous for beautiful mountain houses and rustic cabins that are available through Poconos Airbnb rentals.
The natural attractions in the Poconos can make your trip to the region particularly memorable. While there, you can enjoy frozen glacial lakes and snow-blanketed trails that circle them. In the Poconos you’ll find amazing activities and ways to relax in a snowy and serene part of the country.
These are some incredible winter destinations! Adding some to my list right now.