18 great snowy getaways

Where to hop on a sleigh, lace up your skates, ski deep powder, or just cozy up

Jackson, WY

Photo by Brown Cannon III; written by Dina Mishev

Winter wildlife safari

In winter, there’s nothing like hitting the slopes in Jackson, Wyoming. However, there's more to this snowy valley than skiing. Mingle with the thousands of elk on the nearby National Elk Refuge by two-horse open sleigh. Then head back into town and discover its Western ranching roots.

Check out wildlife in Jackson, WY

Meet Mammoth

Photo by Gina Sabatella

Low-key ski scene in Mammoth, CA

New flights to an Eastern Sierra mountain will revolutionize your ski weekend. No chains required.

The mountain is king at Mammoth, and pulling into Mammoth Lakes, 8 miles from the airport, is the proof. Since there’s no central downtown, it’s easy to have an “are we there yet?” feeling, but gems can be found if you look around. Download a map at visit mammoth.com.

Your complete guide to visiting Mammoth

Cross-country skiing in Hood River, OR

Lisa Romerein

Ski on the cheap in Hood River

Just an hour from Portland, Hood River offers a buzzing restaurant scene and proximity to Mt Hood, all at an affordable price.

More:  Ski on the cheap in Hood River

Snowshoeing in Park City, Utah

Andrea Gómez

Snowshoeing in Park City, Utah

Skip the frenzy of Sundance and head to Park City after the crowds have gone.

More:  Affordable Park City

Durango ski lift

Photography by Ebbe Roe Yovino-Smith

Soak up the sun in Durango, CO

Find great weather and loads of snowy activities in this outdoors-loving town near the San Juan Mountains.

More:  Snowplay in Durango, CO

Skiing in Bear Valley, California

David Fenton

Skiing in Bear Valley

California's Bear Valley is not the biggest ski resort and certainly not the flashiest, but  with 1,280 acres of downhill skiing, there’s room to roam.

And the runs have unbroken views across a beautiful mountainscape.

Learn more about this simpler alternative to Tahoe.

Rainbow Lodge in Royal Gorge, CA

World-class nordic in Royal Gorge, CA

Veer away from Tahoe traffic and head towards neighboring Royal Gorge, where you'll find North America's largest cross-country ski spot and an inexpensive vacation destination, to boot.

More:  Scenic skiing in Royal Gorge, CA

Xtreme Zipline in Park City, Utah.

Photography via Utah Olympic Park

Relive the Olympics in Park City, Utah

Can’t make it to Whistler? Have your own Olympic moment in Utah’s posh mountain town, host of the 2002 Winter Games.

More:  What to do on a winter day in Park City, Utah

A wrangler-guided sleigh ride in Big Sky, Montana

Audrey Hall

Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky may not share the glamour of big resort towns in Colorado and Utah, but what it lacks in glitz it more than makes up for in rustic, western charm.

More:  You know you're in Big Sky when...

Ski base lodge in Alta, Utah.

Photography by Brown Cannon III

Ski waist-deep powder in Alta, Utah

No glitz, no glam. Just five cozy lodges, heart-pumping hikes, and hands down, the best (and most) snow in the West.

More:  Alta: The last great ski resort

Dog sledding in British Columbia

Photography by Robert Leon

Schuss in peace in B.C.'s rugged interior

If you want to avoid the Olympic chaos in Whistler this season ― but still want a British Columbia ski experience ― try these smaller, but often equally snowy, resorts.

More:  To ski in peace

Skiing at a Colorado dude ranch.

Photography by Cynthia Hunter

Winter at a Colorado dude ranch? That’s right.

Hop a sleigh instead of a horse and take advantage of off-season rates―and breathtaking beauty―at these supercozy guest ranches.

More:  Hey dudes

Cross-country skiing in a Hailey, Idaho winter meadow.

Photography by John Clark

Go nordic in Hailey, Idaho

Trade in ritzy Sun Valley for its budget-friendly neighbor to the south, which takes the bronze in number of kilometers of cross-country skiing in the States.

More:  Try Hailey, Idaho

Broken Top in Bend, Oregon.

Photography by John Clark

Ski, snowshoe, and soak in Bend, Oregon

Mountains. Sun. Small-town fun. Outdoorsy types can’t get enough of this central Oregon town, where you can run along the river in the morning, hit the slopes in the afternoon, then put back a pint at one of several local breweries.

More:  Find the best in Bend

Ice skating in Evergreen, Colorado.

Photography by Jenifer Harrington

Lace up your skates in Evergreen, CO

Have an indulgent winter day just outside of Denver. Skate the lake, snowshoe in the trees then reward yourself with massage and a cup of cocoa.

More:  Wintertime ways to enjoy Evergreen, Colorado

Skiing at Moonlight Basin, Montana.

Photography by Rob Howard

Hit the slopes in Moonlight Basin

Like sisters forced to share the same room, a little tension was inevitable when Moonlight Basin opened next to Big Sky Resort on Montana's Lone Mountain in 2003. But any frostiness melted away with the debut of the Lone Peak Ticket ($79), combining the resorts' 5,300 acres.

Bolstered by 200 more acres at Big Sky this year, the area is now the largest contiguous swath in U.S. ski country ― with enough greens, blues, and double-blacks to keep everybody happy.

More:  Top 10 ski resorts

Valles Caldera cross-country skiing

Photography by David Fenton

Find peace in Valles Caldera, NM

Skip the scene in Taos for quiet serenity in this national preserve. After a day of cross-country skiing, head to nearby Jemez Springs for a soothing soak in their hot springs.

More:  Find peace in Valles Caldera, NM

Go back in time in Grand Lake, CO

Go back in time in Grand Lake, CO

Celebrate an old school Colorado Christmas in with sleigh rides, ice skating, and hot chocolate surrounded by snow-covered peaks.

More: Attractions in Grand Lake

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