15 Nov Take a Hike Day: Top Winter Hiking Trails
Just because winter is rolling in doesn’t mean the outdoor fun has to stop! Sure, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing are all fun, but hiking is an activity that can be even more scenic, challenging, and fun in the colder months. To celebrate National Take a Hike Day, we wanted to highlight some of the country’s top winter hiking spots. So bundle up, pack your gear, and hit the trails!
Olympic National Forest, Mount Ellinor Trail – Washington
This trail is not for your average hiker. Only the skilled should dare this trip. The 6.2-mile round trip hike goes 3,300 feet up in three miles. You’ll avoid turbulent weather at the top, allowing you to take in the surrounding views of Lake Cushman from 360-degrees around. Experts recommend you bring crampons for this hike to be sure you can keep your footing. And oh did we mention to dress warm?
Bryce Canyon, Fairyland Loop – Utah
A longer but milder hike will take you 8.6 miles below the rim of Bryce Canyon. These stunning formations look beautiful decked out in a layer of snow and will having you hiking up and down nearly 1,00 feet in elevation. Throughout the trip you’ll be able to gaze upon the red, orange, and purple colors of the rock formations as well as the gardens of spires and sculptures. Pack crampon or snowshoes to trek through any areas deep in snow.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Odessa Lake – Colorado
While heavily populated by tourists in the summer months, the area will feel like your own personal escape once the temperature drops. Hike through 8.9 miles of snow-covered Aspens to Odessa Lake where you can view Longs Peak, Grace Falls, and Glacier Gorge throughout your endeavor. Cross-country skis and trekking poles make this a fun and sweat-inducing workout.
Acadia National Park, Gorham Mountain Trail – Maine
These trails were once built for carriages to ride down, but now they are only used for nonmotorized travel by snowshoers and cross-country skiers. This short but sweet trail will have you gazing out on ocean views over the 4-mile long loop. You can make it a longer trek by venturing down to Sands Beach to watch the waves crash and collect some seashells.
Sedona, Bear Mountain Trail – Arizona
Want to hike in the winter without hiking in ice cold conditions? Sedona’s blistering summer temperatures drop in the winter months, making it a great time to hike some of their most scenic trails. One of the hardest short hikes, Bear Mountain Trail, is 5-miles round-trip with 1,800 feet elevation in 2.5 miles. At the top you can take in stunning views of Mount Humphreys under a vibrant Arizona sunset. Bring your best hiking shoes for this trip!
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After a long day on the trails, you’ll want to unwind in a place that feels like home with plenty of luxuries to reward yourself with after completing your hike. Shop ResortRentals.com for plenty of great rental deals all over the U.S. and beyond near great winter hiking spots. Find yours today!