5 Must-Visit State Parks for Winter Sports Enthusiasts in the U.S.

When it comes to winter sports in the United States, national parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite usually steal the spotlight. However, several state parks offer equally thrilling winter escapades, often with fewer crowds. This post will take you through five state parks that are winter wonderlands for snow sports lovers, based on Joe Yogerst’s insights in “5 Great State Parks For Winter Sports.

5. Wasatch Mountain State Park, Utah

Situated just a 30-minute drive south of Park City, Utah, Wasatch Mountain State Park stands on the eastern slopes of Utah’s snow-capped mountains. It provides a more laid-back and budget-friendly alternative to the region’s upscale winter resorts. During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the park’s Soldier Hollow Nordic Center hosted cross-country skiing, biathlon, and Nordic combined events. Today, it continues to attract winter sports enthusiasts with its 31 km of cross-country and snowshoeing trails, a family-friendly tubing hill, and extensive snowmobile routes.

4. Mt. Spokane State Park, Washington

Less than an hour’s drive from Spokane, this park is unique in Washington State for offering downhill skiing and snowboarding. With over 60 km of Nordic ski trails and 26 km of groomed snowmobile routes, it caters to a variety of winter activities. The park also provides night skiing opportunities and a kids’ club with beginner ski lessons and fun snow activities.

3. Adirondack Park, New York

This vast green space in Upstate New York has a rich history, having hosted the Winter Olympics twice. The town of Lake Placid, within the park, remains a hub for numerous winter sports. The Herb Brooks Arena, named after the coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, hosts various ice hockey games and is home to the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. Nearby, Mt Van Hoevenberg and Whiteface Mountain Ski Area offer cross-country and snowshoe trails, as well as alpine skiing facilities.

2. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this park defies the Midwest’s reputation for flat landscapes, offering substantial elevation for downhill skiing and snowboarding. With 140 km of trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, plus multiple snowmobile routes, it’s a snowy haven for winter sports lovers. The park’s Porkies Winter Sports Complex features 20 downhill runs and a natural terrain park.

1. Chugach State Park, Alaska

Alaska’s Chugach State Park, nestled in the majestic Chugach Mountains, provides a plethora of winter sports options. Activities range from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to glacier trekking and ice climbing. The Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, located along the park’s southern edge, is renowned for its challenging downhill skiing and snowboarding slopes, including night skiing and heli-skiing opportunities.

Each of these state parks in the U.S. offers a unique blend of snowy adventures, making them ideal destinations for winter sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking challenging ski slopes, serene snowshoe trails, or family-friendly winter activities, these parks provide an array of options to explore and enjoy the winter season.


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