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Best Winter Activities for Getting Outside

As the temperature drops and snow starts to fall, it’s tempting to succumb to the allure of the cozy indoors and hibernation mode. However, winter is a season filled with adventures just waiting to be taken.  What better way to enjoy winter and improve your physical and mental health, than exploring some of our favorite outdoor winter activities!

We’re here to ignite your sense of adventure and prove to you that winter can be one of the best seasons to explore the great outdoors.  With so many different activities that promise exploration, fitness, and a new perspective on your favorite outdoor destinations, we know you’ll love exploring the adventurous side of winter.

Ready to hit the snow? Here are our favorite winter activities that will make you want to get outside.

Cross Country Skiing

A fantastic cardio workout? Check.  Exploring with your dog?  Check. Taking in the winter scenery?  Check.

Cross country skiing lets you enjoy the snow, savor the scenery of the mountains, and benefit by burning a LOT of calories. Strapping on skis to go cross-country skiing is a great way to fall in love with the wintertime outdoors.

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Pagosa Mountain Sports

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

The San Juan Mountains that surround Pagosa Springs, CO have so many wonderful places to cross country ski and snowshoe.  From groomed trails with amazing mountain views to quiet ponderosa pine forests in the backcountry, Pagosa Springs is an incredible place to get away from it all.  Complete gear selections + experienced staff who are excited to get you on the snow, Pagosa Mountain Sports is your partner to getting geared up for cross country skiing.

Colorado Adventure Guides

Breckenridge, Colorado

Sparkling snow, fresh air, as much exercise as you want, and no lift line crowds. Nordic skiing, also known as cross-country skiing, is a great way to get outside and experience the beauty of Colorado in winter. There’s no better cardio workout and sight-seeing tour than a cross-country ski trip exploring the vast network of less-traveled trails in Colorado’s White River National Forest.  Colorado Adventure Guides offers the beginner to advanced Nordic skier of any fitness level a guided backcountry ski adventure on scaled skis. They will teach uphill and downhill cross country ski techniques and will embark on an adventurous tour of low angle trails. Enjoy half-day excursions of about 3-5 hours with access points conveniently located near Dillon, Frisco, Breckenridge, and Keystone.

Downhill Skiing

There’s no denying the adrenaline rush that comes from downhill skiing. The altitude, the scenery, the challenge… and of course the après-ski! Skiing is one of the most popular winter activities for good reason – ski resorts offer diverse terrain for everyone from complete beginners to expert shredders.  First time skiing?  No problem – discover our top tips for planning a Colorado ski vacation and what to pack on your ski trip.

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Carver’s Ski Shop

Breckenridge, Colorado

Located in the heart of Breckenridge, Carver’s Ski Shop is not only easy to find – it’s also home to premium, budget-friendly ski and snowboard rentals. Just beyond the shop’s doors are Breckenridge’s majestic peaks that scream go big or go home. With over 3,000 acres of infamous terrain + a laid back apres ski scene, Breck’s ready for all.

Aloha Ski Shop

Park City, Utah

With convenient locations across Park City, Aloha Ski & Snowboard offers premium ski rentals, plus overnight storage, and door to door delivery and pick up services. Discover Park City’s famous dry powder snow and three renowned ski resorts. Park City combines both adventure and entertainment – a place that defines what a good time is.

On TripOutside you can compare the best rental shops in over 50 ski destinations for prices, equipment, location and customer reviews, allowing you to find the perfect ski rentals.  With the convenience of booking online directly with the outfitter, you can ensure a seamless rental experience, while getting the best deals and most flexibility on your ski rentals.

Snowboarding

Take your winter adventure to another level on a snowboard.  All major ski resorts offer snowboard rentals and lessons – it’s never too late to get into it!  Whether you are heading to a nearby ski resort, the backcountry, or a neighborhood hill or mountain, snowboarding turns up the wintertime fun.

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Black Tie Ski Delivery

Mammoth Lakes, CA

Known as one of the leading resorts in the west for snowboarding, Mammoth Mountain does not run short of trails to impress riders. Surrounded by the towering, snow capped Sierra Nevada range and many miles of vast wilderness, Mammoth is California’s highest four season resort and playground.  Black Tie Ski Delivery provides the best way to get rental skis and snowboards in major ski resorts like Mammoth Lakes. With five star reviews, top of the line gear and delivery service right to your accommodation, Black Tie Ski is a no brainer for your skiing and snowboarding gear needs.

Black Tie Ski offers ski and snowboard delivery at over 46 different ski resorts.  Book on TripOutside and get 10% off your Black Tie Ski Delivery rental!

Sledding

Safe, easy, and inexpensive, sledding is one of our favorite outdoor winter activities for families. Kids and adults alike will love sliding down slopes and hills in the fresh powder. Sledding is also an easy-to-organize activity for those impromptu outdoor trips. Plus, it makes that cup of hot chocolate taste even better afterwards!

Ice Climbing

It’s like rock climbing – but on ice. Yes, you got that right – winter won’t be able to stop you from giving in to your love for scaling ridges and peaks. What makes ice climbing unique is that you’re not only climbing rocks – you’re also maneuvering around frozen glaciers, solid waterfalls, AND rock-hard snow. Getting your cardio on while you take in the majestic winter views…how cool is that?

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Guided Ice Climbing in Salt Lake

Salt Lake City, Utah

Northern Utah’s Wasatch mountains are already a glory during the summer. But come winter, the ridges and cliffs offer another type of adventure – ice climbing. No boring ice climbing session here – with difficulty ranging from easy to difficult, everyone will find ice climbing adventures that will thrill and challenge. Red River Adventures provides the gear and the know-how for ice climbing lessons and tours to help you take on this extreme winter sport safely.

Guided Ice Climbing in Summit County, CO

Summit County, Colorado

Join Colorado Adventure Guides for an ice climbing adventure and take your ice climbing skills to the next level, or simply try it for the first time. From beginners climbing ice for the first time to advanced climbers seeking expert instruction, experience a day of ice climbing in the mountains of Summit County, CO. Providing a safe, educational, and fun day on the rocks is their mission.  Their professionally-trained guides are experienced with the local climbing zones and can choose the best area for a given group.  Choose from half- and full-day, single- and multi-pitch guided sessions for all ability levels.

Snowshoeing

Want to take hiking up a notch in winter?  Don’t let the snow stop you.  Snowshoes allow you to access otherwise inaccessible areas with deeper snow, and offers incredible rewards with stunning wintertime views.  Snowshoeing can take you to backcountry spots and secret trails you might not discover while on skis or boards. Walk the snow at your own pace, and stop whenever you want to savor the views – just some of the perks of snowshoeing. Many outdoor gear stores offer guided snowshoe tours, rentals and advice, and don’t forget to check the forecast before hitting the trail!

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MST Adventures

Albuquerque, New Mexico

New Mexico gets its fair share of winter snow – even low-lying plateaus can easily get covered in winter. On a mountain peak, you’ll find Albuquerque’s snowy desert enchanting. MST Adventures offers snowshoe rentals and guided snowshoe tours for an unforgettable trip to experience Albuquerque’s must-see winter spots.

Tahoe Outdoor Adventures

Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe transforms into a winter wonderland when the snow starts. From skiing to snowboarding to snowshoeing  there are so many ways to experience it.  Trails carved through Tahoe’s stunning forests and high peaks with beautiful overlooks of the grandeur of the Sierra’s, Tahoe snowshoeing does not disappoint.  Tahoe Outdoor Adventures has several top rated tours – check out their Sunset Snowshoe Tour to see the brilliant sunset colors of Tahoe, their Starlight Snowshoe Tour to take in the night sky as you snowshoe, or their Private Snowshoe Tour to get an experience all to yourself – and bring your dog!

Fat Biking

We give big props to fat bikes that made it possible to still take on biking adventures during the winter. Made with sturdier, wider wheels and tires, fat bikes allow you to easily roll over snow, roots, rocks and sand. More fun, more calories – just a few things that will make you say yes to winter fat biking.

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Anchorage Fat Tire Tour

Anchorage, Alaska

When Alaska starts to freeze over, it’s the perfect time for fat biking.  Explore the Alaskan winter wonderland on a fat biking tour with Alaska Trail Guides.   This nature and history tour is great for adventurers, families, photographers and more.  The trip includes 2 hours of biking with a local professional guide, the bike, helmet and hand warmers, snacks and water, round trip transportation.

Hiking

No snow where you spend winter?  No problem!  You can still burn more calories with winter hiking – colder temps have been found to burn 34% more calories! Albeit more challenging than hiking during the warmer days, hiking in the winter also helps prevent stiff joints and boredom from winning us over. Winter hiking is fairly simple – just look around your neighborhood parks and you’re sure to find a place where you can hike. Many popular trails are packed down soon after a snowfall, so there’s no excuse to not get out!  Hiking naturally promotes social distancing, especially in the winter when there are far fewer people adventuring out.

Adventures We Love

Bike and Hikes LA

Los Angeles, CA

Get moving as you explore the city!  Bikes and Hikes LA offers a variety of private and group Los Angeles hiking tours like hiking to the Hollywood sign or Griffith Park.

Trail Lovers Excursions

Sedona, AZ

Sedona is a fantastic winter getaway, with tons of adventures for those looking to get outside.  Take a hiking tour through some of the most remote and seldom visited wilderness areas in Arizona with Trail Lovers Excursions.  Enjoy the tranquility of the hidden desert landscapes of the red rock country surrounding Sedona, AZ.

The Winter Wonderland is Waiting

So, are you ready for winter? The outdoors is waiting to give you your next big winter adventure. Embrace the outdoors as the snow starts to fall, and enjoy the many perks of saying yes to outdoor winter adventures. For more outdoor winter activities ideas, check our ultimate list of outdoor activities!

No matter which activities you pick this winter, make sure you follow Leave No Trace principles, and recreate responsibly outdoors to ensure our wilderness areas stay pristine for generations to come.

Why Trust Us?

We fully understand how tough it is to find trustworthy travel advice, and that’s one of the main reasons we built TripOutside. We live for outdoor adventure, and we take these blogs and content very seriously. Here are some of the reasons you can trust us:

  • We only work with the highest-rated outfitters in the industry.

  • We’ve traveled to hundreds of destinations that you see on TripOutside in our RV over 6 years and want to share the places that we love with you.

  • We don’t distract you with any ads and never sell your personal information, ever.

  • We are a small, self-funded team and only grow with your support. You can support us by booking your next outdoor adventure on TripOutside.

  • We want to help you get outside. Please share your feedback with us on how we can help make TripOutside work for you!

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