Six Summer Destinations for Winter Lovers


April is upon us. The snow melts, birds return, and green is the new brown. The time has come to wake from our hibernation and plan that long awaited summer trip. The most popular summer vacations involve hot days, minimal clothing, and ice cold drinks. However, the thought of cheating on winter with a sandy beach scene lacks appeal.

If you are holding on to that last melting snowball, cry no more. There exists plenty beautiful, chilly summer destinations for you winter lovin’, snowball throwin’, hot chocolate drinkin’ Jack Frost son of a ski run.

These destinations might lack appeal for spring breakers or Hawaiian shirt wearers but what do they know? Escape the heat of summer. Change your mind. Resist the urge to satisfy Mother Nature’s grasp of her lengthy summer days and enticing mild temperatures. Think winter this summer. Below is a list for the top summer destinations for not only the ski freak but also the winter hiking enthusiast.

1. OREGON: Government Camp, Mt Hood

Mount Hood Image

Image: Summer ski resort: Palmer Snowfield, Timberline Lodge. Photo Courtesy of Charles Dawley

Timberline Lodge, located on Mt. Hood, boasts the title of the only year round ski resort in the United States. Be prepared for a short ski day, summer ski hours end at 1:30 p.m. Not all the lifts are operational in the summer but what more can you ask for slope fun June through September?

More information on Timberline Lodge

2. COLORADO: Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin ImageImage: A-Basin’s Eastwall

If you plan on an early summer vacation, you should think about Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in Keystone, Colorado. Simply referred to as “A-Basin,” this ski area has the latest ski season in Colorado ending in early June.

More information about Arapahoe Basin

3. MONTANA: Glacier National Park & Red Lodge

Glacier National Park and Red Lodge ImageImage: Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park: Iceberg Lake and Grinnell Glacier

Iceberg Lake: Situated in the shadows of three towering mountains, Iceberg Lake hosts glaciers year round. To reach Iceberg Lake, expect a 10 mile hike round trip from the Iceberg Lake trail head.

Grinnell Glacier: Depending on where you start, the hike to Grinnell Glacier can range from 7 to 11 miles round trip. Whichever landmark you plan on seeing, Iceberg Lake or Grinnell Glacier, do be aware both trails might not open till July or even later.

More information about Iceberg Lake 

More information about Grinnell Glacier

Red Lodge

Open to the public from April to possibly July, this ski area near the border of Montana and Wyoming recommends an advanced intermediate ability for their summer slopes. Opening date for this year is May 24, 2014.

More information on Red Lodge

4. ALASKA: Denali National Park

Denali National Park ImageImage: Mt. McKinley in the Summer

Denali National Park:

Denali provides a variety of trails for any skill level. If you are looking for a challenging trail, check out the Mount Healy Overlook Trail. Feel like bagging a big summit? Check out the Mt. McKinley Trail. Be prepared though, this hike to North America’s highest peak ain’t jokin’ around!

More information about Denali

More information about McKinley

Check out Alaska’s guided glacier hiking HERE

If you have the budget for summer heli-skiing in Alaska, click HERE for more information.

5. WASHINGTON: Mt. Rainier National Park

Muir Snowfield ImageImage: Muir Snowfield in August

Mount Rainier National Park

Muir Snowfield might not be the easiest hike in Mt. Rainier National Park by bringing hikers through rock, snow, and ice but what more could you ask for a wintry summer walkabout? Hiking through Muir Snowfield brings you to Camp Muir, a couple rock shelters.

More information on Mt. Rainer National Park

6. CALIFORNIA: Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta Image Image: Mt. Shasta in July, Photo by Adam Clark

Don’t let California’s warm and sunny coastal weather fool you. Mt. Shasta can only be hiked with adequate snow pack. Expect a winter snow hike in the middle of summer.

More information on Mt. Shasta


If you are experienced and willing to hike for your right to ski, check out this source for more great summer ski spots.

Indoor ski arenas can be seen in a few places throughout the world. However, although the temperature indoors might be winter worthy, these travel destinations might not quite be the chilling outdoor temperatures you are hoping.