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
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.
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
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.
The trailhead is located about 10 miles south of Bellingham. It’s a relatively easy trail accessible for people of all skill levels. However, as with all tracks, it’s important to know your limits and pick a path that’s suitable for you. The trail is about 8 miles long and leads you to a beautiful lake that’s surrounded by snow-covered trees. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see some ice formations.
Sholes Mountain Loop
This is a challenging trail that’s best suited for experienced hikers who don’t mind a bit of a struggle. The trail is located near Seattle, so you can combine it with a visit to the city while you’re in the area. The best time to hike this trail is in the winter when snow covers the path, making it more scenic, but be prepared for cooler temperatures. The trail takes you to the top of Sholes Mountain, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding area.
Grand Canyon’s North Rim
The North Rim is less busy than the South Rim, making it the perfect place to escape the crowds. It’s also a great place to hike during winter due to the low temperatures. The trail itself is about 14 miles long and leads you to an amazing view of the Grand Canyon. It’s a relatively easy hike for most skill levels, but it’s important to be careful and take your time to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Yosemite National Park
It’s one of the most beautiful parks in the United States, so it’s no wonder it made it to this list. It’s located in California and is a great place to hike during winter. The park is open all year round, offering something for everyone. There are trails for hikers, campers, and photographers and many places offering great views. While winter weather is more relaxed compared to the rest of the year, it’s not too cold. The best way to explore Yosemite is to stay in a nearby town and make day trips to the park.
Last but not least on our list is Havasupai Falls. This beautiful trail leads you to some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the United States. The trail starts in the desert and then slowly ascends into the Colorado Rockies. While you can hike the trail year-round, winter is the best time to visit it. It’s a popular trail that can get crowded during the spring and summer months. But if you visit in the winter, you can enjoy the trail at your own pace and without having to worry about the crowds. The trail is challenging and not suitable for everyone, so make sure you’re physically ready before attempting it.
Winter hiking is a great way to escape the cold indoor life. It’s a nice change of pace, and you’ll appreciate nature, even more, when it’s covered in snow. We hope you’ve enjoyed this list and are inspired to get out and go hiking this winter.