Just because the temps drop, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside! With 13 ski resorts and XC Centers offering hundreds of trails for everyone from never-evers to thrill seekers, our ski resorts and XC Centers offer something for every level of adventure-seeker – from soft to hard! But the fun doesn't just have to be had on ski slopes, whether you're on skis, SnowCoach, snowmobile or via ice ax or by following a compass, enjoy one of these unique adventures this winter.
Here are six great ways to enjoy outdoor adventure on and off the trails!
Atop a wall of ice: Want the thrill of getting to the top using your own two feet and hands, and a sharp ice ax? Mt. Washington Valley is home to many renowned climbing schools, including International Mountain Climbing School, EMS, and Northeast Mountaineering, all of which offer guided mountaineering and ice climbing trips throughout Mt. Washington Valley.
From February 3rd through the 5th, 2023, Mt Washington Valley celebrates this sport with the MWV Ice Fest. This festival, hosted by International Mountain Climbing School, hosts some of the best ice climbers come to Mt Washington Valley for clinics and camaraderie.
Whether you’re brand new to the sport, or a seasoned ice climber, Mt Washington Valley offers a wide variety of terrain, learning experiences and knowledgeable retailers.
Why stick to the trails? Go backcountry! Mt Washington Valley offers a wide variety of backcountry terrain for those who wish to go “off piste”. And from February 9th - 12th, 2023, learn from the experts at the Mt Washington Back Country Ski Festival. Whether you're an alpine skier looking to make the transition into the backcountry or a seasoned ski mountaineer, this Backcountry Ski Festival offers an adventure in the White Mountains while you learn new skills during full-day courses.
Experienced guides will be leading skiers in sessions geared for different interests and skill levels, such as Intro to Backcountry Skiing; Avalanche Awareness & Rescue; and Ski Mountaineering. Festival participants can also ski on their own, enjoying beautiful terrain and gear demos, plus there’s plenty of time to swap stories at the après ski social hours and evening events.
From the Seat of a Snow Coach: You’ve heard of sightseeing in the summer, but very often in the colder months. This winter, travel up the Mt. Washington Auto Road via the one-of-a-kind SnowCoach. A specially constructed all-wheel drive and unique 4-track system allows the SnowCoach to deliver you to the world above treeline at the 4.5 mile mark on the Auto Road for an unforgettable winter experience. For the more adventurous, the SnowCoach offers the option to XC ski, telemark or snowshoe back down the Auto Road. SnowCoach tours last approximately 1.5 hours and depart daily, weather permitting, December through March from Great Glen Trails; where you can also snowshoe, cross-country ski, snow tube, and more!
From the back of a Dogsled: Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel, based in Jefferson offers a variety of year-round dogsled rides. Dog sledding tours here range from introductory experiences to interactive clinics, for ages two and up. While our dog sledding adventures vary in duration, they are all designed to be more than "just a ride". Guests are encouraged to be hands on to their comfort level and are given the opportunity to meet and greet sled dogs, and help their musher prepare the team for the trail! Call 603-545-4533 for more information or check out their website for more information. Tours sell out quickly, so make sure you make a reservation in advance!
Experience winter with a Guide Service: If you’re looking for short-duration, low-key, completely customized outdoor adventures, wilderness educational opportunities, guiding services such as Redline Guiding, Northeast Alpine Start, and Wander in the Whites can offer a wide variety of adventure offerings including hiking, snowshoeing, alpine and Nordic backcountry skiing, 4000-footers, and mountaineering (winter Mt Washington trips).
For those seeking more survival and backcountry options, consider Redline Guiding’s educational opportunities including wilderness navigation (map and compass), winter hike skills, mountaineering skills, glacier skills, camp craft/backpacking, a hiking introduction, river crossing skills, and a Nordic backcountry skiing introduction. And believe it or not, if a winter mountaintop wedding is in you plans, Redline Guiding can provide a variety of wedding services. Their senior guide is also a NH Justice of the Peace and will perform mountain-top and wilderness wedding services. Now that’s an adventure!
From the seat of a snowmobile: Whether it’s gliding through peaceful pine woods, on the state of New Hampshire’s hundreds of miles of trails (which go right through Mt Washington Valley) or across open meadows, Mt Washington Valley is one place with tons of terrain and trails for snowmobile adventures. Mt Washington Valley is lucky to have many snowmobile outfitters, including Northern Extremes Snowmobile and Northeast ATV & Snowmobile. Both offer rentals, guided tours and sales of sleds and accessories.
Consider taking on Northern Extreme's winter "Ride the Rails" snowmobile tour, that combines snowmobiling and a ride up the Mount Washington Cog Railway! Known as one of the most unique winter tours, you'll find yourself riding to the Cog, where you'll take a train ride 4,000 feet up Mount Washington, enjoy lite refreshments, and return to snowmobile to make your way through Jefferson Notch and over Cherry Mountain. Reservations are filling up quickly for both tour outfitters, so make sure you book in advance!
When it comes time to plan your winter adventure, visit www.visitmwv.com for complete trip-planning resources. To talk directly with a vacation planning concierge, please call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364). To learn more about vacations in New Hampshire, visit www.VisitNH.gov.