4 Thrilling Winter Adventures for 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting communities across the country, it's time to think about how you'll spend time outside this winter.
Fortunately, there are plenty of adventures that will help you stay socially distanced. Here's some inspiration to jumpstart your planning.
1. Hike Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon, Utah
Beneath the rim of stunning Bryce Canyon, you will find some of the most awe-inspiring rock formations in America. They become even more magical with powdery blankets of snow that contrast the bold orange, red and purple colors of the rock in the winter.
Be prepared to drop, and then gain, approximately 1,000 feet in elevation as you pass through gardens of sculptures and spires. The 8-mile hike typically takes about five hours round trip during the winter.
2. Camp in Death Valley
Winter camping doesn’t always mean thick sleeping bags and snow-covered tents. While you don’t want to wander Death Valley during the summer, the inhospitable desert is quite pleasant during the winter. It also has a gorgeous and diverse landscape with everything from shifting dunes to 10,000-foot snow-covered peaks.
We recommend setting up your camp at Wildrose Campground, which is in the serene Wildrose Canyon in an isolated area near Death Valley National Park.
3. Go snowshoeing in Lake Tahoe
There are many scenic snowshoe areas around Lake Tahoe, including more than 40 miles of world-class trails within the Northstar California Resort. There are trails for every skill level, from the easy Meeks Bay area to the moderately difficult, 2-mile trek around Winnemucca Lake.
You can also organize a tour of the trail network at one of the many local resorts, which offer dining and lodging after your journey through one of the region’s most picturesque winter landscapes.
4. Hike Roundabout Trail in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
This enchanting cowboy ranching town has produced more winter Olympians than any other city in all of North America. When you start exploring the area, it’s clear why.
Steamboat Springs plays host to celebrated ski resorts and countless scenic hiking trails. You can begin with the more casual, but beautiful, one-mile Roundabout Trail. If you’re up to it, continue to the 4-mile loop on Duster Trail, which takes you on a 300-foot climb to Rendezvous Hut.
Stop by the Steamboat Springs Welcome Center to pick up detailed trail maps and advice on which trails are best suited for your interests and skill level.
Staying safe during winter outings
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the basics of winter camping. Always let someone know where you are going and when they can expect you back. You should also bring plenty of water and lightweight, freeze-dried meals to help fuel your body while it’s burning extra calories to keep you warm.
Backpacker's Pantry provides a variety of delicious gourmet backpacking food for outdoor enthusiasts. Browse our nutritious, gourmet food for the trail.