The end of the year is approaching with haste, and before you know it, we’ll be welcoming another new year. Unfortunately, while this can mean that soon you’ll be drawing New Year resolutions again, it also means that winter is upon us. Which in turn means fewer hours of sunlight, cooler temperatures, and lots of snow on the ground—ideal conditions for hiking!

To mark the impending season change, we decided to take a look at some of the best trails in the US to explore this winter.

Copper Mountain Trail

Copper Mountain
(Source: DReifGalaxyM31/Wikimedia)

We begin our list with the Copper Mountain Trail and the CTM. This trail will take you up to the very top of Copper Mountain, with views that can only be described as breathtaking. Copper Mountain is a unique geological formation due to its red color and pyramidal shape, which make it very distinct from other mountains in the area. It’s located in the Tocobaga Indian Reservation and is a great option for winter hiking, as the temperatures are much more comfortable to handle than the searing summer heat. There are many different trails in the area to choose from, so you can easily make a custom trail of your own to match your skill level. The CTM Trail is the most popular trail in the area. It’s a relatively easy hike, making it great for families and beginners, but it also lets you enjoy breathtaking views of the entire Copper Mountain.

To make this hike even more special, you can visit the region during Copper State Trails Week. This is a special event that takes place in February every year and offers guided hikes along with special activities such as arts and crafts workshops or night hikes under the full moon. The Copper State Iron Crafts Festival also takes place at the same time, giving you a chance to try your hand at blacksmithing or admire the beautiful iron sculptures created by local artists.

Teton Trail

Teton Trail
(Source: Zruda/Flickr)

Next on our list is the Teton Trail, one of the most popular trails in Wyoming, extending almost 200 miles. It’s a world-renowned trail that attracts hikers and backpackers from all over the globe every year. The course begins in Yellowstone National Park and ends in Teton National Park. It passes through the Teton Wilderness, which makes it a very remote trail with little chance of meeting other people along the way. Since it’s a long trail, it’s best to break it up into several different sections. It’s also a good idea to plan the hike according to the weather conditions in the area. While winters are cold, with temperatures from -10°C to -40°C (-50°F to -40°F), snow is rare at higher altitudes, making it a great option for winter hiking.

Matson Hill Trail Heading back to Utah and the Matson Hill Trail

This is an easy 6.5-mile trail that offers stunning views and a wide variety of different landscapes throughout its path. You’ll start out in the desert and then transition to meadows and forests as you go higher. The hike culminates at 11,000 feet, so you’ll also have a chance to see some beautiful snow-covered vistas at higher elevations.

The best time to hike this trail is in the winter when temperatures are moderate, and snowfall is abundant, giving the trail a majestic blanket of white. It’s recommended to start the hike early in the day since the sun goes down early this time of year, making it difficult to navigate in the dark.

Mount Baker National Forest

Mount Baker National Forest
(Source: Jeff Gunn/Wikimedia)

Then, we have the Mount Baker National Forest. This is the perfect trail for anyone who loves snowy landscapes. It’s located in Washington’s Mount Baker National Forest and is a great option for winter hiking.