The Peak of Winter
The White Mountains are an ideal winter destination for exciting snow activities.
Wintertime evokes images of stunning snow-capped mountaintops, with festive sentiments filling travelers’ minds as they seek an outdoor escape. For these and more, look no further than New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the largest and most rugged mountain range in the New England area of the United States.
The White Mountains are very popular among tourists and include 48 stunning peaks that are over 4,000 feet tall. This section of the Appalachian Mountains is known for the region’s very best snow recreation activities, including skiing, ice climbing, snowmobiling, tubing, dog sledding and zip lining.
The White Mountain National Forest spans over 300,000 hectares across New Hampshire, and welcomes over six million visitors annually.
The area is especially popular with skiers and snowmobile riders. There are 10 major downhill ski mountains, over a dozen touring centers and a statewide snowmobile trail network that sprawls over 640 kilometers. Cross-country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts will find beautiful stretches of alpine terrain, pristine snow-covered trees, frozen lakes and epic mountaintop views along the way.
The White Mountains also offer many unique attractions to delight families looking for a taste of seasonal pageantry. One such destination is Santa’s Village, a winter-themed amusement park that features rides, shows, games, elves, reindeer and, of course, Santa Claus. With fun rides such as “Little Elf Flying School,” “Reindeer Carousel” and “The Chimney Drop,” Santa’s Village offers family-friendly entertainment that aims to bring out the joyous spirit of the winter season in all.
For accommodation, most visitors opt for one of the many four-season ski resorts throughout the White Mountains. The Attitash Mountain Resort, located near the White Mountains’ highest peak, Mount Washington, is considered one of New Hampshire’s premier year-round vacation areas. For more rugged and adventurous travelers, there is a unique group of alpine huts, owned and operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club for over 125 years. Modeled after the classic huts found in the Swiss Alps, the network of eight huts appears along a 90-kilometer stretch of the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains. They offer lodging, meals and supplies to passing backpackers. Hikers can reserve bunks at the huts. The smaller huts accommodate around 30 people while the bigger huts can hold up to 90 people. The huts are typically 10 to12 kilometers apart, and it is common for hikers to travel from hut to hut while traversing the famous trail.
Whether you stay in a breathtaking mountain resort or a rustic communal hut, the festive atmosphere, cultural richness and scenic beauty of the White Mountains in winter will give you a story to pass along. The White Mountains provide many “peak” experiences that embody the very essence of the winter season.
Jason Chiang is a freelance writer based in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.