Where to go for winter activities - dogsledding, snowshoeing

Travel Forums North America Where to go for winter activities - dogsledding, snowshoeing

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1. Posted by gusandchristy (Budding Member 4 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

We are an Aussie family of 6 (with kids aged 9 through 14) who are planning a trip to either the US or Canada for either 2022 or 2023 (or whenever the COVID chaos is over and we can travel again). We are wanting to visit somewhere that we can do some fun winter activities including dogsledding, snowshoeing, tubing, cross country skiing, ride on snow mobiles and go on a sleigh ride. We're thinking mid to late January. Bonus if it's also possible to go ice fishing, ice skating and curling, and if this magical destination also has hot springs and/or an ice hotel. Can anyone recommend a place where these activities are available? We're also visiting LA, NYC, Washington DC, Texas and Orlando on our trip if that helps in your recommendation. Thanks in advance.

2. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1511 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

There is much online information about winter destinations with hot springs, particularly in states such as Colorado and Utah. But perhaps the the most amazing place is Yellowstone National Park and adjoining Grand Teton National Park.

See this link: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/visiting-yellowstone-in-winter.htm

I've visited a lot of places worldwide with geothermal activity and, so far, Yellowstone is No. 1 in grandeur. It's even better than the Valley of the Geysers in Kamchatka, Russia's Far East.

There currently are reasonably priced flights from major cities, such as Dallas and Los Angeles, to Bozeman, Montana. There are several nonstops. Consult Google.com/flights. Flights also are reasonable to Denver. When looking for flights, consider Southwest Airlines, which sells tickets only on its Web site. Two checked bags are included in its fares, unlike other carriers. It's wise to check baggage rules for those, particularly United Airlines, where the basic economy fare is more restrictive than those of American and Delta.

[ Edit: Edited on 9 May 2021, 17:37 GMT by berner256 ]

3. Posted by gusandchristy (Budding Member 4 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your suggestions berner256. I have found it quite easy to find locations with hot springs online, but not so easy to find information about which of those locations also have the activities we are interested in doing available. Do you think the activities we are interested in are pretty standard at winter resorts in the US?

4. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1511 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Suggest you look further online for the many places in the United States that offer winter sports and other activities, including all of those you are interested in. Decide what activities you want most, then winnow down the locations. There are many, since the United States is the third-largest country in the world in both land mass and population. Also consider the cost of the activities, including renting gear. Consider, too, the necessity of advance reservations for accommodations, equipment, etc., especially during peak periods, such as weekends. You'll find some destinations to be more affordable than others.

5. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 256 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Gusandchristy, I think you'll find some of the activities you're looking for at the popular winter locations but it would be rare to find ALL of them in one place. For instance, dogsledding isn't a "thing" everywhere, and hot springs aren't common everywhere either. You might look at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in the Grand Tetons/Yellowstone region mentioned above. Just for a quick look...

https://www.jacksonholewy.com/blog/top-10-winter-activities-for-non-skiers-in-jackson-hole/
https://www.jacksonhole.com
https://www.jacksonholenet.com/winter_recreation/
https://www.tripstodiscover.com/top-21-winter-resorts-for-non-skiers/3/'

Also look at Park City, Utah:
https://www.visitparkcity.com/things-to-do/winter-activities/

Do understand that to vacation in the winter season means being comfortable driving on snow and ice, and that your vehicle will need to be all-wheel-drive, have good snow tires, or traction devices in certain states when conditions require them. For example:

http://www.dot.state.wy.us/home/travel/winter/chain_law.html

Most rental companies don't allow chains to be attached their vehicles (cables might be OK) and I doubt most rentals come with snow tires so you'd have to do the research there.

While I don't live in Wyoming, I do live in a Northern US state (Minnesota) that can have long, cold winters and assorted hazardous driving conditions. There's a reason so many folks in my state own all-wheel or 4-wheel-drive, higher-clearance SUVs! (Ours is a hybrid for fuel efficiency)

To add: winter locations at or near the more popular downhill ski locations will be expensive.

[ Edit: Edited on 11 May 2021, 13:07 GMT by goodfish ]

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by gusandchristy (Budding Member 4 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hi berner256. Thanks for your suggestion to keep looking online. I'm not sure if you meant to come across as condescending and unhelpful? I approached this forum for help as I had spent a lot of time online and wasn't finding the information I was needing.

Thanks goodfish. That's really helpful information and I appreciate you sharing it :) I'll check out those links.

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1511 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

Sorry I left you with the impression I'm unhelpful and condescending. I am never that way. My Travellerspoint motto is, "Travel is a voyage of discovery, about yourself, about others. It's caring, sharing."

My own experience is that travel planning can take a lot of time and effort. There's the logistics (flights, rental cars, hotels, etc.) and what you want to see and experience. There's also the budget and other factors, such as weather and timing (for example, is it around peak holiday travel periods?).

There are so many places in the United States that you will find attractive. I've mentioned some and so has goodfish. As suggested earlier, decide what activities and sights you want most, then winnow down the locations that best offer them.

While I plan most of my trips, I also use travel agents, particularly those in destinations I plan to visit. I've done so in Tasmania, Iceland and even in the United States. I leave next week for Alaska, where a friend and I hired a travel agency there to help plan and arrange our trip. We made itinerary suggestions and they made some, too. After many phone calls and e-mails, we finally arrived at a plan. During the process, my friend Barbara and I spent lot of time on the Internet researching places, activities and logistics. It's a collaborative effort and we make joint decisions. We share costs. The Alaska trip has many elements that we decided not to do on our own. It uses a mix of transportation, including the Alaska Ferry, Alaska Rail, buses, rental vehicles and float planes. It uses accommodations in remote places that are not readily bookable online. Still, issues arose that required adjustments. Since we knew what our priorities were, we knew what had to be done and our helpful travel agent agreed.

So, keep planning; and if you have specific questions, please ask. We're here to help as much as we can.

[ Edit: ` ]

9. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2329 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting gusandchristy

I'm not sure if you meant to come across as condescending and unhelpful? I approached this forum for help as I had spent a lot of time online and wasn't finding the information I was needing.

This comes across as a bit of a snotty response to someone who gave you both general and specific advice, in the face of a bit of a wide open enquiry.

10. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 256 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Well done, berner256. Your advice to "Decide what activities you want most...." was on point as that would indeed be helpful when drilling down to the best choices. That's what I was getting at as well when mentioning that it would be tough to find ALL of the activities listed in one place! :O)

Additionally, renting a large vehicle will be necessary for a family of 6+ their gear for both warm and cold locations (winter gear is bulky). I'll stress again being comfortable with handling it on snow and ice.

OP, you are looking at covering a VAST amount of ground, although I realize that visitors from Australia are used to those looong distances if they travel a lot in their own country. It's unclear just how you plan to do that but I'm sure you don't intend to have a car in NYC. Texas? Where in Texas?