Winter Skiing For All Levels

Where to Ski at National Parks

There is nothing better than hitting the slopes at Yosemite National Park on a sunny day!

Winter is finally here, which means it’s time to start planning your snow play trips. Whether you’re an experienced skier or have never strapped on a pair of skis in your life, there are options for you.

Many people think of national parks as summer destinations, but many of the national parks also get bountiful snowfall during the winter months. This opens up opportunities for snow adventures such as snowmobiling, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tubing, and skiing.

Some of the ultimate ski destinations in national parks include Badger Pass Ski Area in California’s Yosemite National Park, Hurricane Ridge in Washington’s Olympic National Park, and Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park. No matter which of these places you add to your travel dream list this winter, there are options for all skiing experience levels.

Skiing Lessons for Beginners

Badger Pass in Yosemite National Park offers ski lessons for all ages.

If you’ve never hit the slopes before, watching the pro skiers glide down the mountain with ease can make it look a little intimidating. Luckily, there are options, even for beginners.

At Badger Pass in Yosemite, you can sign up for ski lessons. At the ski schools, you’ll learn from professional instructors how to ski safely and with confidence. Ski lessons can be a great way to start your vacation and get your skis under you before you start going downhill.

In addition to skiing at Badger Pass, you can rent a tube and hit the tubing hill for some family fun. Tubing needs no lessons, simply hop on the tube and slide down the hill with glee. Tubing is a great way for kids or kids-at-heart to enjoy a winter activity without needing lessons or a lot of gear.

Ski Slopes for Experienced Skiers

If you are an early bird, make sure to take advantage of the fresh morning snow all to yourself.

If you’ve skied before and are looking to refresh your skills but aren’t a total beginner, you’ll be looking for a little something more than ski lessons. Badger Pass, Hurricane Ridge, and the trails near Union Creek Resort offer a variety of hills, catering to all levels of skiers.

Badger Pass – Yosemite is known for its dramatic waterfalls, giant sequoias, awe-inspiring cliffs, and abundant wildlife. But, it’s also home to Badger Pass Ski Area, which has 10 slope runs of varying difficulties. The five chair lifts take skiers to the top of runs in minutes, so you spend your time skiing and not waiting in line. With a variety of runs, you can refresh your skills when you arrive and work up to harder runs and challenge your skills.

Hurricane Ridge – Olympic National Park in northwestern Washington is home to several diverse environments, including glacier-capped peaks, valleys of forests, rugged Pacific coastline, and hot springs. The mountains are perfectly built for downhill skiing.

In the heart of Olympic National Park is Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area, where the average snowfall is 400-plus inches annually. This amount of powder is groomed into superb runs, steeps, bowls, and glades for the accomplished skier. Open from mid-December to the end of March, the ski area has two tow ropes and a Poma lift.

Cross Country Skiing at Union Creek Resort – While most skiers are focused on the downhill thrill, there’s another option: cross-country skiing. While Crater Lake National Park is best known for its deep lake, you can also find cross-country skiing at Union Creek Resort and at Crater Lake National Park. The backcountry trails aren’t groomed, giving skiers a wilderness experience as they glide across the trails.

The trails are available in beginner, intermediate, and advanced, so you can pick the challenge that you’re looking for. For updated trail information, you can call the National Park Service ahead of time to find out which trails are perfect for your visit. If you don’t have your own skis, you can rent them from the resort before hitting the trails.

Ski Slopes for the Advanced Skiers

There are slopes for all ages and levels, make sure you check out your options before you get to the mountain.

If your heart is true and your skills are strong, you’ll find some courses to challenge you at Badger Pass and Hurricane Ridge. Each ski area has a number of different trails, including some that will challenge even the most skilled of skiers.

Badger Pass – At Badger Pass, you’ll find a variety of trails, ranging from beginner-friendly to black diamonds. At the resort, 15% of the trails are black diamonds and are ready to challenge any skier brave enough to take on the slopes.

Hurricane Ridge – At Hurricane Ridge, 75% of the trails are rated at intermediate or above. This means that there are plenty of trails for even the most experienced skiers.

It’s Time to Book Your Winter Vacation

Enjoy the view as you take the lift up the mountain at Hurricane Ridge!

In conclusion, there’s no reason to stay home this winter when there are many places where you can strap on your skis and enjoy fresh snow. While national parks are often thought of as summer destinations, their beauty is maintained in winter as light, fluffy snow falls and covers the mountains.

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