By Rachel Helgeson
5 min read
Say “vacation” and most minds travel to images of sandy beaches and palm trees swaying in the warm sea breeze.
But have you thought about adventuring in another season? Try thinking snow…
For those who aren’t typically skiing or snowshoeing gurus, snowy winters are often overlooked as a destination season by the average vacationer. It’s too bad actually. Growing up in Wisconsin and experiencing true blue winters, I always found winter to be a magical time of year that inspires wonder (now if only Wisconsin had mountains…).
It may take some extra packing, but there are good reasons traveling in a winter wonderland is so worth it.
#1 The solitude
With kids on summer vacation and everyone wanting to adventure in warm weather, summertime crowds can get insane. If you’re really not excited about trying to find parking, having to hike past huge groups on a tight trail, or smelling the sweat of strangers while trying to enjoy the scenery, then travel in the wintertime.
#2 The views
Obviously. It’s a real-life snow globe out there! The soft falling snow, the quiet white forests, the glimmery landscape… There’s just something mystical and novel about visiting popular destinations like Yellowstone National Park in the winter. One of our Yellowstone National Park guides, Corey Meyer, puts it perfectly in his timeless 2013 blog: “An adventure into this place known as ‘Wonderland’ in the winter time is other-worldly.” And again, if you want your view of the vistas to be clear of crowds blocking the perfect photo, then take a trip in the snow.
#3 The activities
Snowshoeing in the winter is like hiking on steroids. And cross-country skiing? Like floating on air across the landscape. Have you ever been dog-sledding? There’s plenty of snow sports to be romanticized, and a winter adventure filled with a diverse selection is a unique way to experience a winter vacation. They’ll keep you warm, too.
#4 The wildlife
Bison, elk, moose, wolves, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and more animals braving the cold can be spotted grazing the landscape, their breath billowing in the chilly air. Wildlife use the plowed roads and trails to make winter travel easier. You are much more likely to see these animals on a winter trip than in summer when they have millions of acres to roam.