Many people see the winter season as a time to cozy up and stay indoors as much as possible. However, winter offers a plethora of interesting outdoor activities that you can’t take part in at any other time of year. If you have a vigorous spirit, the uniqueness and challenge of these pursuits are enticing and well worth the effort of travel and preparation.
Here are five adventurous activities you should try this winter in the United States:
1. Snowshoe in Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah presents a great opportunity to hike in the snow against a breathtaking backdrop of layered red rock walls and pillars. With a pair of snowshoes, you’ll be able to traverse the beautiful park trails unhindered. No matter what level of experience you have, the Bryce Canyon Snowshoe Program provides guided hikes with experienced rangers. These hikes are about one mile in length and last about two hours, and the best part is that they’re completely free and include the snowshoes and poles.
2. Ice Climbing in Colorado
Ouray, Colorado, offers a unique winter activity in the form of ice climbing. At Ouray Ice Park, volunteers and staff come together every year to make the Uncompahgre Gorge into an ideal ice climbing wall by pouring water over the canyon. To make it up to the top, you’ll need crampons for your shoes and ice axes to hold onto the vertical surface. It’s definitely not something for the faint of heart. But if you’re up to the challenge, Ouray Park is free and has different areas with a range of difficulty levels for ice climbing novices and experts alike.
3. Dogsledding in Alaska
As would befit the climate, Alaska has renowned dogsledding races. In the city of Fairbanks, you can take dogsled tours across the scenic landscape or participate in classes to learn how to dogsled yourself. Whether you opt for short tours or bold overnight experiences, you’ll be able to get a good glimpse at the dogsledding culture that’s so prevalent in the Last Frontier. You may make a few canine pals, too.
4. Caving in California
California might not come to mind when you think of an icy winter or cold-weather adventurous activities, but Lava Beds National Monument in the northern part of the state is underground and well into freezing temperatures. Of the collection of subterranean caves there, Crystal Ice Cave has some of the most extraordinary ice formations around.
Guided tours are available from January to March, and visitors will have to climb, crawl, and carefully navigate ground covered in ice and boulders. Naturally, this means you’ll need to come prepared with the proper gear, such as a helmet, warm clothes, and boots with good traction. The park will provide kneepads and headlamps if you don’t have any, though.
5. Ice Fishing in Montana
Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana is a lake that was formed by the damming of the Missouri River in the 1930s. It’s a whopping 134 miles long with a total shoreline length of 1,520 miles. Today, it’s a prime destination for recreational angling, and a great number of ice fishing tournaments are held there. Get out on the lake and set up your hole in the ice to catch a variety of species, including northern pike, paddlefish, sauger, lake trout, smallmouth bass, and chinook salmon.
For the serious anglers, walleyes make their home at Fort Peck as well. The campgrounds around the lake also allow for RV parking, so if you own one, you won’t have to worry about stuffing all your gear into your car. Just make sure that you do the proper RV maintenance before heading out there.
Well, what do you think? Got any more adventurous activities for winter that ought to make the list? Let’s chat below in the comments, and thanks for reading!