Dreaming of a white Christmas? Book a holiday in the USA, where wintersports resorts offer so much more than skiing and snowboarding. Here’s where to head for snow-filled adventures of every sort - our guide to the best places in the USA to enjoy a white winter.
Ice climbing, Mammoth Lakes, California
You might not expect to find winter sports resorts to be in the sunny state of California at all - but it’s actually home some of the best in the USA. In Mammoth Lakes
, in California's Sierra Nevada, for example, you’ll find the Lee Vining Cascade, an internationally-renowned ice climbing destination. Experienced climbers can climb a frozen waterfall and hone their skills on an accessible training ground for high peaks with top quality instructors, and novices can learn on easy routes.
Fat-biking in the North Cascades, Washington State
The wintersports answer to mountain biking? Fat-biking. These specially-made bicycles with ultra-wide tyres allow riders to take on snowy trails with ease. One of the best places to try it out is Methow Trails, a resort in Washington State's
North Cascades, where trails open to fat-bikers are announced daily. It’s also recognised as one of the best locations in North America for cross-country and Nordic skiing, mountain biking, trail running and hiking.
Cross-country skiing, Yosemite Mariposa County, California
Explore spectacular snowy countryside in Yosemite Mariposa County
, California by cross-country skiing along back-country routes. Yosemite offers some of the best cross-country skiing in California, with more than 90 miles of marked trails and 25 miles of machine-groomed track - as well as plenty of lovely rural ski retreats where you can cosy up after a day gliding along beautiful snowy trails.
Ice fishing at Twin Lakes, Colorado
Now’s the time to head to Colorado
for ice fishing - the main season runs December to late February, when the temperature offers the safest conditions on the ice. Head to Twin Lakes Reservoirs for fishing Rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, longnose sucker and other species. These two lakes combined offer 2,700 acres of waters filled with lake trout at the base of picturesque Mt. Elbert, Colorado's tallest peak. They’re also home to the Leadville Rod and Gun Club's annual February Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby. Be sure to wrap up, then pop into a local tackle shop for advice on the best spots for fishing and the best bait to use.
Snowshoe tours, California
Go snowshoeing to get up close to a wintery landscape. In Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
, you can get half-day guided snowshoe tours through the beautiful Shirley Canyon. You’ll enjoy a snowy tour of the popular summertime hiking route with the new Alpenglow Expeditions
, with the help of an expert mountain guide. Just over two hours east of the San Francisco bay area lies Yosemite's Tuolumne County
, the meeting place of the Gold Country, High Sierra and Yosemite National Park. The 2.5-mile loop in Tuolumne Grove located on the outskirts of the park is quieter than its popular counterpart giving you a more peaceful time hiking amongst the majestic giants.
Snowmobiling, South Lake Tahoe, California
Enjoy wintery thrills with a snowmobile tour of South Lake Tahoe, in the stunning Sierra Nevada mountain range, on the border between California and Nevada. You’ll speed through mountain trails and snow-covered forests of South Lake Tahoe and Hope Valley. Head to Zephyr Cove Snowmobile Center for a snowmobile ride through the back-country trails at nearly 9,000 feet altitude. You’ll also get incredible panoramic views across the snow-covered countryside. tahoesouth.com
Alpine sliding in Big Bear Mountain, California
Try out an authentic bobsled experience in Southern California
in Big Bear Mountain’s 'Alpine Slide'. Riders navigate their own sled down the run with an option of two quarter-mile long cement tracks filled with high-banked turns and long tracks. Prices start from £4/ $6 per run.