Snowshoeing is a fabulous winter sport that doesn’t require any pricey lift tickets, lessons or long lift lines. Most people can get the hang of it in no time at all. It’s an ideal way to get outside and be surrounded by a magical white wonderland, breathing in the fresh mountain air and getting some great exercise too. These destinations are some of the world’s best spots for an unforgettable snowshoeing vacation.
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Rocky Mountain National Park (Prices & Photos)
Rocky Mountain National Park offers an idyllic winter playground for snowshoeing. You’ll be able to take in impressive scenery that includes dramatic peaks and white-blanketed forests as your feet sink into the soft powder. If you don’t have your own snowshoes, rentals are available in Estes Park, the eastern gateway to the national park, at Estes Park Mountain Shop on Highway 34 and The Warming House on Highway 36. Many lodges in town offer free snowshoes for their guests as well. There are multiple trails to choose from, including the Cub Lake and The Pool Loop which combine for a 6-mile round-trip excursion with frozen waterfalls to view along the way.
Sierra Nevada National Park, Spain (Prices & Photos)
If a trip to Europe is what you have in mind, the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range are Spain’s highest mountains and a fantastic place for snowshoeing with much of them located inside Sierra Nevada National Park. That means you’ll find well-marked, maintained trails that allow you to venture into the wilderness without chairlifts, ski runs and après-ski to spoil the experience. The city of Granada, famous for the Alhambra, a walled fortress home to breathtaking 13th- to 15th-century Moorish palaces and gardens, makes the ideal base for your stay. Be sure to dine at the beautiful Alhambra Palace restaurant which offers mouthwatering Andalusian cuisine along with city and mountain views.
Lake Tahoe, California (Prices & Photos)
The Lake Tahoe area offers a wide range of options for snowshoeing, including the community of Camp Richardson with its biking trails used for snowshoe trails in the winter, as well as Northstar California Resort. This resort offers nearly 22 miles of maintained trails that can be accessed by gondola lift, providing incredible views without a challenging hike. Special snowshoeing events are provided throughout the season too, like stargazing excursions with an astronomer/poet and moonlight tours. Afterwards you can enjoy gaming happens in North Lake Tahoe on the Nevada side of the lake, where the casinos offer 24-hour entertainment, including slots, table games and live music.
Yellowstone National Park (Prices & Photos)
Snowshoeing in Yellowstone is a wonderful way to explore the unspoiled backcountry. There are miles and miles of trails, like the Cascade Lake Ski Trail, a 3-mile round-trip trek that gently traverses through open meadows and lodgepole pine forests while offering views of frozen Cascade Lake. The Upper Terrace Loop Ski Trail is a 1.5-mile loop that brings snowshoers views of impressive thermal features and the Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District, while snow-covered mountains offer a spectacular backdrop. No matter which trail you take, keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife. While bears hibernate, elk, bison, elk, mule deer, wolves, coyotes and moose can be spotted throughout the park.
Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Prices & Photos)
Vancouver is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, offering a ton of things to see and do year-round for visitors, and Cypress Mountain is located just minutes from downtown. It hosts guided snowshoe tours that include a delicious home-cooked dinner at the Hollyburn Lodge Heritage Building as well as nearly seven miles of self-guided trails. On clear days, the views are absolutely stunning. While you’re here you can also enjoy skiing, boarding and tubing at Gnarly’s Tube Park with up to six chutes roughly 328 feet in length and a tube tow to do all the work of bringing you back to the top.
Finland (Prices & Photos)
By embarking on a snowshoeing excursion in Finland you’ll have the chance to enjoy the silence of the snowy forest while gazing up at Mother Nature’s own impressive light show, the aurora borealis. There are options for everything from short to multi-day trips in Finnish Lapland where you’ll snowshoe five or six hours a day, enjoy delicious hot meals and overnights in cozy cabins. Or, you can head out on your own on one of the country’s many trails. Oulanka National Park is a great bet for snowshoeing and witnessing the northern lights in Lapland, with its many candle spruces standing frozen as the colorful lights provide a dramatic backdrop. The park offers cozy log cabins for overnights too.
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada (Prices & Photos)
Gros Morne is a snowshoer’s paradise, located in Canada’s easternmost province. The park averages some 150 to 180 inches of snow each year and hosts over 60 miles of trails that range from easy 30-minute strolls to challenging workouts. No matter which you choose, the solitude and tranquility can only be matched by the magnificent surroundings. One of the top trails is the 3-mile round-trip Lookout Trail that starts near the Discover Center at Woody Point, rising to the summit of Partridgeberry Hill. Your reward will be a jaw-dropping panoramic view of Bonne Bay and the Tablelands. The northern locale means you may catch the northern lights flashing across the sky, with a dazzling array of reds, purples and greens.
Krvavec, Slovenia (Prices & Photos)
Krvavec Ski Resort in Slovenia may not be well-known, but it offers a once-in-a-lifetime snowshoeing experience that includes overnight stays in igloos carved from the surrounding snow and ice. Its Igloo Village is made up of multiple tunnels that are linked by an underground system of corridors that connect a restaurant, bar and hotel. You’ll be able to glide across the pristine snow-blanketed alpine landscape, and then come back and sip a glass of hot mulled wine and enjoy an extravagant fondue dinner, all in your own personal igloo. Other activities are available too, including sledding, cross-country skiing, cross-country golf and “build your own igloo,” in which you’ll learn the secrets of igloo building using traditional Eskimo techniques.