Strap on your snowshoes and head to three spots in California, Utah, and Montana for scenic Nordic trails.
Gallatin National Forest
In the Gallatin National Forest near the Wyoming-Idaho border lies Refuge Point, Mont., named for survivors of a 1959 earthquake. From West Yellowstone, drive 23 miles north on Highway 287 to the trailhead, then snowshoe through woods for two miles on a rolling, ungroomed trail. (406) 823-6961, www.fs.fed.us/r1/gallatin, click on “Recreation,” then “Winter Sports.”
Bryce Canyon National Park
Crisp and quiet, winter in southwestern Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park—a four- to ﬁve-hour drive from either Las Vegas or Salt Lake City—is a snowshoer’s paradise. Rangers lead free moderate-intensity treks through surreal hoodoos and spooky bristlecone pine forests. If the full moon falls near a weekend, take a night trek, an experience ranger Kevin Poe describes as “like exploring a new world.” The Bryce Canyon Winter Festival, with sports contests and classes, runs February 19 through 21. (435) 834-4747, nps.gov/brca.
Inyo National Forest
The Shady Rest Nordic Ski Trail in Inyo National Forest near Mammoth Lakes, Calif., grants snowshoers access to a groomed, mostly ﬂat cross-country ski route that starts at the welcome center on Highway 203. Horizon Air ﬂies nonstop from San Jose to the nearby Mammoth Yosemite Airport. (760) 924-5500, www.fs.fed.us/r5/inyo.
Photography by SCPhotos/Alamy
This article was first published in January 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.