Fun Things for Winter in Idaho


Idaho winters tend to bring gray skies and snow. Things get cold. However, Idaho winters also tend to bring a lot of fun and physical activity. In fact, probably the majority of Idaho winters have been ideal times for people to get out and have fun in the snow, rather than stay inside and struggle to stay warm and entertained. There are a thousand things to do in Idaho’s snow, many of them an absolute blast that will leave you waiting with impatience for winter to come around every year. People flock from all over the country and even from other nations to experience a little bit of Idaho in the winter, bringing with them skis and sleds and all of the best tools of cold weather fun. I am going to introduce you to some of these fun winter activities and why you might be interested in them. Maybe it will enhance this winter for you and make every coming winter a time of excitement instead of boredom.

No collection of the best winter activities is complete without a healthy mention of skiing. Skiing is probably the biggest draw for many people during the winter and likely one of the biggest sports in the snow, if not the biggest winter sport in the snow. All of this is with good reason. There is nothing quite like the thrill that comes when you are flying down a steep slope on two things pieces of fiberglass and in complete control of your descent, blazing past trees, and other skiers. Pretty much everywhere you go in Idaho there is going to be some kind of resort, mountain, or simple slope that is essentially dedicated to the practice of skiing. If you are a novice at skiing, you are going to find a bunch of different places where you can learn how to be a better skier. If you are an expert skier and have been shredding snow all of your life, you will find nearly endless opportunity to test your skills and really push the limits of what skis can do. Whatever you think of skiing and whatever your interest in the sport, it is massive in Idaho during the winter, and if you have ever been interested in trying it out, there is no better place to start. If skiing is not an option, let's move on to a few more winter activities. 

One of the downsides of winter is that it basically closes down a lot of places for regular use. If you have a hiking trail you like to use out in the mountains, you are not going to be able to hike it if there is snow blocking access. However, if you get creative, not everything is going to be closed down for you. As long as the roads are intact and are not too snowed in, you can always replace your hiking time with snowshoeing time. Those same vistas and experiences you had while hiking can be had with a little bend on them if you put some snowshoes on your feet and start awkwardly waddling around in the snow. Now, it definitely will be awkward at first and you will want to bring your feet closer together than is actually possible with snowshoes on, but you will get used to it, and eventually, you will be keeping a similar pace to if you were just wearing shoes on hard packed dirt. Okay, not quite that fast, but pretty close, and you will likely be getting even more exercise than on a regular hike. Snowshoeing might sound kind of boring, but it is actually quite fun.

But what if the roads are totally snowed over and there is no way you are going to get close to a place good for hiking or snowshoeing, even in a four-wheel drive vehicle. A snowmobile can help you with that. Anywhere a car cannot go in the snow, a snowmobile can handle the challenge no problem. Of course, driving a snowmobile is significantly different from driving a car, but the principles are the same and if you have ever driven a motorcycle, the transition might not be so difficult. Of course, you do not have to use snowmobiles purely with utility in mind. Sometimes it is just fun to contact a renting agency that will take you on a tour of a snowy area and show you the ropes of how to use a snowmobile. There are a bunch of these kinds of places dotted all over Idaho and for a small price you can have a few hours of fun on some motorized skis. Speaking of skis again, cross-country skiing opens the world up in a similar way to a snowmobile. If you love to ski and want to take a trip across Idaho terrain with a pack on your back, cross-country skiing can mean a lot of fun.

Finally, you should probably be ready each winter to provide yourself with some indoor fun. Sometimes, Idaho winter turns from skiing weather to stay inside weather, and you are going to need something to keep yourself entertained. Further, if (Rare, but what if it did happen) the weather is bad enough and there is a massive blizzard hitting the state, you might not have power. It is always better to be prepared. This raises questions of how you are going to stay warm when it is so cold outside, but if you are totally prepared for the survival aspect with analog sources of warmth, boredom becomes something you need to stave off as well. Have some source of entertainment that will keep you occupied in both power rich times and power poor times. The latter might take the form of a board game or a few books you might like to get through, but that is all up to you. Just be ready for the rare time when you are cooped up inside for a while.

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