Walking more is always a good idea. It’s a low-impact way to stay active and — when paired with other positive actions, like not eating an extra-large basket of fries each night — it’s a proven method to drop some weight.
But when snow is on the ground, walking isn’t the most efficient way of getting from point A to point B. Fortunately, you can strap the proper gear on your boots and float atop the snow like some kind of exercising arctic fox — or whatever your preferred cold-weather animal may be.
So whether you live in the mountains or are willing to travel for a good, powdery trek, below are nine great places to snowshoe across the U.S. that will keep you walking all winter long.
1. PARK CITY MOUNTAIN, UTAH
Park City Mountain offers guided snowshoe tours — most are around 2–3 hours, and some even include lunch. If you’d rather go it alone, there are hundreds of miles of trails in and around Park City, with maps, snow conditions and grooming reports available via the Mountain Trails Foundation website.
2. BIG SKY RESORT, MONTANA
Snowshoeing is one of the better ways to explore the snowy expanse that is Montana. Big Sky Resort offers guided two-hour tours through the peaceful Moose Tracks Gully. Nearby Lone Mountain Ranch has 30km of trails. Or just rent some snowshoes and poles from a local outfitter and blaze your own trail — whether in Big Sky or just across the Wyoming border in Yellowstone National Park.
3. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, COLORADO
With more than 355 miles of trails throughout Rocky Mountain National Park, there’s something for everyone — whether you’re out for a casual stroll or embarking on a multi-day excursion complete with steep climbs. If you’re new to snowshoeing, you can rent equipment from any one of the many providers and opt for ranger-led walks.
4. MT. BACHELOR, OREGON
All through winter, Mt. Bachelor offers guided snowshoe tours led by a US Forest Service Naturalist. These free 90-minute sessions teach participants about the area’s geology as well as its native plants and animals. So you’ll learn a little something as you exercise, and they’ll even provide the snowshoes.
READ MORE > ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO WALKING AND STEPS
5. BLACK HILLS NATIONAL FOREST, SOUTH DAKOTA
South Dakota’s Badlands and the Black Hills National Forest are an intrepid explorer’s dreamscape. Trek through the cliffs and canyons of the Badlands or float atop fresh powder throughout the forest, which sports about 60 miles of mapped and marked trails — and rarely another soul in sight to disrupt the tranquil setting.
6. SUN VALLEY, IDAHO
It’s not difficult to come by open, snowy land in Idaho. So if you’ve got the gear and see a trail or field that calls your name, have at it. But if you want to walk — or cross country ski — on groomed trails, Sun Valley has about 40km of those at your disposal.
7. STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO
If you want to embark on a guided snowshoe tour with lunch and wine, you can do that in Steamboat. If you want to partake in a vigorous hike before sinking into a naturally heated pool at nearby Strawberry Park Hot Springs, you can do that, too. But if you’d rather go where the people aren’t, there are plenty of trails just outside of town including Emerald Mountain and Rabbit Ears Pass.
8. WOODSTOCK, VERMONT
Base your Vermont stay at the Woodstock Inn & Resort, and you’ll be in prime proximity to the Tubbs Snowshoes & Nordic Adventure Center. The newly-opened facility offers more than 40km of groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, as well as plenty of ungroomed trails for more vigorous hikes. Then, when it’s all over, you’re just a few minutes away from a luxury resort and spa where you can engage in important recovery activities.
9. TAHQUAMENON FALLS STATE PARK, MICHIGAN
In summer, the picturesque Tahquamenon Falls is a popular spot for visitors. But don’t think winter means you need to stay away. Choose between multiple marked trails to snowshoe your way between the upper and lower falls or find an undisturbed stretch of forest and create your own trail.