The following are six of the most popular, beautiful, and rewarding winter hikes in the US:
1. Jud Wiebe Trail – Telluride, Colorado
This three-mile trail starts in town with views of the Telluride ski slopes. One benefit of this trail is that it’s usually quite dry, except after a huge snowfall, in which event all you need are a pair of good microspikes on your boots.
2. Bear Mountain Trail – Sedona, Arizona
This five-mile loop requires no special gear to traverse. By hiking it in wintertime, you avoid the massive crowds typical there during the summer. The hike gives you an extensive view of the highest point in Arizona, Mount Humphrey in Flagstaff.
3. Gorham Mountain Trail – Acadia National Park, Maine
This four-mile loop composed of former carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller is best traversed on cross-country skis or snowshoes. The trail offers a unique experience of ocean views and salty air while on a wintry hike. The landscape also includes snowy granite and spruce forest.
4. Fairyland Loop – Bryce Canyon, Utah
This hike is best done with snowshoes or crampons taking a little over eight miles to complete round-trip. It lies below Bryce Canyon’s rim and contains gardens of natural sculptures and spires, including, arguably, some of the most intricate and fantastical formations in the US. When covered with snow, the white contrast with the purples, oranges, and reds of the rocks makes the colors pop. Throughout the hike, you’ll descend and then re-ascend about 1,000 feet.
5. Harding Icefield Trail – Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
This trail running about 8.2 miles round-trip features the Harding Icefield, the largest ice-field contained wholly within the US. It’s a rigorous four-mile climb of about 1,000 feet in elevation each mile. Along the way, you pass through forests of cottonwood trees while the black bears permeating the area are securely in hibernation.
6. Florida Trail – Suwannee River State Park, Florida
Not every winter hike needs to be cold and snowy. On this hike from the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park through limestone bluffs and cypress trees, you can enjoy 60-degree temperatures and find well-made shelters with hot showers even in the depth of winter. It lasts almost eight miles and winds up at Holton Creek River Camp.
Where to Buy Picaridin
Even during winter, you may need to protect yourself from biting insects while out in nature. This is even more true now than prior, as climate change presses on to produce increasingly warmer, milder winters in which insects survive longer, some even throughout the whole season. For that protection, Proven Repellent is an all-natural alternative to toxic DEET-based bug repellents. Instead, this scent free tick repellent is made with Picaridin as its active ingredient.