As temperatures drop, make way for winter family fun. Here are five snowy adventures to consider:
1. Bryce Canyon, Utah
Spend the night in The Lodge at Bryce Canyon, a historic Southwestern Utah landmark that began welcoming guests in 1925. Rest well before joining a guided snowshoe hike during which park rangers share information about the hoodoos and amphitheater-shaped features of a unique landscape that spans three climate zones. Ranger talks, stargazing and a Junior Ranger program are also available.
Contact: brycecanyonforever.com; nps.gov/brca
2. Paradise Valley, Montana:
Choose the Tenderfoot Trek (best for the youngest set) or commit to the Yukon outing and your trusty dogs will launch your sled into the snowy wonderland that is the Absaroka mountain wilderness east of Montana’s scenic Paradise Valley. Layer up and settle in for extraordinary scenery, a thrilling ride and the chance to learn more about the Alaskan Huskies who eagerly take on the winding trail. A three-day mushing school is also possible. Later, relax in the steamy waters at Chico Hot Springs Resort or take a horse-drawn carriage ride from the historic inn.
3. Ouray, Colorado:
This southwestern Colorado mountain town, known for its picturesque jagged peaks, is home to a top-notch ice-climbing park boasting 200 ice and mixed climbs with options for beginners as well as those who are expert with an ice axe. With more than three miles of vertical terrain, family members can test their skills on the ice or relax in a viewing area. Later warm up in the local hot springs. Equipment rental and guide services are available. Admission is free.
Contact: ourayicepark.com; colorado.com
4. Lake Placid, New York:
For a high-octane, Olympic-style thrill, climb into a bobsled piloted by a professional driver and brakeman and then prepare for the G-force. As the sleek sled rumbles down the icy track you’ll high-bank around turns and rocket toward the finish line. Adventuresome family members will stride away from the Olympic Sports Complex with a lapel pin, T-shirt, photo, membership in the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and a discount on your next ride. Riders must be 48 inches tall.
5. Kingfield, Maine:
Explore more than 80 miles of trails via cross-country skis, fat-tire bikes or on snowshoes in the backcountry of western Maine. Enjoy your off-the-grid adventure by day and then relax in a comfortable hut overnight where a warm bed and tasty meals await. Considered boutique hostels, the huts, run by a non-profit organization, feature state of the art green energy systems that generate and store their own power. Make tracks from hut to hut on your own or with a guide. Gear shuttle service is available making it possible for junior explorers to take part.
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