Last Updated February, 2021
If you are traveling around the US in the summer and looking for spots where to cool off, take a look at this post about some stunning places that have snow all year round.
When you live at higher altitudes or in northern regions where colder conditions prevail throughout the year, you definitely won’t be thinking about how to extend your winter when summer comes. I get that. Most likely you will be dreaming about how to escape winter destinations and travel somewhere where it’s warm enough. The majority don’t really think about summer skiing or snowboarding if their winter was long and cold.
However, there are people who enjoy cold more than anything else. They feel at ease and enjoy life in full when a street thermometer shows a temperature outside of no more than 55 degrees (12 degrees Celcius.) The lower the better it is. This is how Mark thinks. He believes that an ideal summer should be cool and breezy.
Even though I have a totally different opinion, I’ll still admit that I don’t need to be a winter lover to appreciate the beauty of this wonderful season. Not that sloppy slushy winter season that can give you depression. You know the one when on a daily basis you have to battle the front door of your home because it is blocked by unreal amounts of snow. Or when you need to scrape ice off the windshield early Monday morning (just like in Kentucky in winter) or try to hide away from slush waves that chill your bones.
No, the winter I am talking about is the one with beautiful sunny but frosty days, with crispy fresh air and snowflakes on our lashes. That winter when on a sunny day you are warm without a jacket but the snow doesn’t melt.
Winters like those exist. And, surprisingly, you can experience them not only during the winter but in summer too.
We got a chance to visit some absolutely magical places in the United States where winter lasts well into summer. These snowy holiday destinations are great to visit year-round but especially unique they are in the summertime.
So if you are looking for the mountains with snow all year round or wondering about summer snowboarding options, check out this post!
Amazing Places in America That Have Snow All Year Round
North Cascades National Park, Washington
Visiting North Cascades National Park last July turned out to be a complete surprise.
We drove to Lake Ann Trailhead with a goal to hike all the way to Mount Shuksan but instead confined ourselves to walking in the snow near the parking lot.
There was so much snow in July that most of the hiking trails were closed and, for the most part, people were skiing. It was so interesting to watch skiers wearing shorts and tanks while spending hours in the snow. And the fact that people were skiing in July didn’t resonate with us. Noone ever got cold!
The sunset over snowy peaks was gorgeous and we had a blast, but regretted a bit we didn’t put a snowboard in our car. We couldn’t even imagine we’d need one!
If you take Mount Baker Highway (Road 542), there are plenty of activities along the way. Artist Point is the area where the road ends but most likely you won’t be able to get there by car until August. Somewhere around the Silver Fir Campground, it starts looking more like winter.
WHERE TO STAY:
Most of the places to stay near the North Cascades National Park are in Deming and Glacier. You have a choice between cabins and lodges.
We personally love to choose airbnbs and stayed in a small cozy studio called Robyn’s Nest in Deming. It proved to be a perfect base from where to explore the different parts of this region.
Inyo National Forest, California
What we always loved about California when we lived there was the diversity of the state. Look to sunbathe in the morning and hit the slopes in the afternoon? Visit wineries, rent a campervan, and drive one of the legendary roads, go to a volcanic area, or desert? Or perhaps you are looking to swim in a lake and enjoy the mountains? No matter what your heart desires, California has it all.
Inyo National Forest, in the eastern part of California in the Sierra Nevada, which is part of Yosemite (one of the best national parks), keeps attracting skiers and ice climbers year-round. Simply because it is all year round skiing destination.
To be able to see and enjoy snow in summer, head to Saddlebag lake, walk around it (less than 3 miles) or take a boat to get across and hike to North Peak. You’ll be getting more and more snow while hiking up to the peak.
If you would love to ski or snowboard, keep in mind that slopes are rather challenging and suit more for backcountry skiing. Be careful in late summer. Snow turns into ice what makes it a bit dangerous.
WHERE TO STAY:
There are plenty of charming B&Bs and hotels to stay in along highway 395, especially between Bishop and Mammoth Lakes. When we were visiting we found a lovely sunny studio-condo where we were able to cook in the morning and in the evening.
Juniper Springs Resort is one of a few hotels in the area with the best reviews. It is located within 5 minutes drive of the Inyo National Forest, has rooms with balconies and kitchens, and offers a heated outdoor pool.
Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon
Driving two and a half hours away from the largest city in Oregon will bring you to winter fairytale, which is probably one of only a few places providing year-round access to snow.
Most of the ski descents there are steep and only experienced skiers or snowboarders should be conquering them. But you can drive to Mount Hood area to get a breath of fresh crisp air, play snowballs and drink a cup of hot chocolate in Timberline Lodge restaurant overlooking the snowy peaks. By the way, if you are looking for places to ski in the summer in the US, Timberline Lodge offers summer skiing if weather permitting.
It is a perfect getaway in Oregon when lower elevations are hot. However, snowstorms sometimes come as a surprise!
WHERE TO STAY:
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Crater Lake National Park is magical year-round but in summer it is especially beautiful. And did you know that winter in this park usually doesn’t leave until the beginning, sometimes mid-summer?
We didn’t know this fact and last June when we visited Crater Lake for the first time we were pretty disappointed. When we arrived fully equipped with hiking gear at the beginning of summer with hopes to go hiking, instead we learned that the main road was closed because of the snow.
The snow in Crate Lake National Park often doesn’t melt until the mid of July. Rangers at the park told us there were years when snow in summer never went away completely making winter in that area a year-round season. So get ready and check the park’s website for more information before your trip.
If you are a hiker, check some awesome Crater Lake’s hiking trails here.
WHERE TO STAY:
The most popular place where to stay right in the park is the historic Crater Lake Lodge. It is welcoming guests year-round and offering fantastic views of the lake from many rooms and a restaurant. Besides this hotel, there is nothing else in the park to stay in (except for campsites).
Another (the closest) area where to stay would be Fort Klamath. We stayed a bit farther near the Upper Klamath Lake since there were more options for budget travelers.
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
Didn’t expect to see one of the states on the East Coast? Among all the places to see in the USA, New Hampshire is rarely on the list. But I highly recommend adding this part of New England to your itinerary. And there is a chance you can still see winter in White Mountain National Forest sometime in July.
Choosing this place for a holiday getaway in winter guarantees there will be a lot of snow.
But in case you didn’t get enough winter fun, visit in spring or even summer. Tuckerman’s Ravine, in the Mount Washington area, is a spot for a spectacular backcountry adventure.
If you do visit in summer, to be able to see snowfields around the park you have to hike. It will take up to two hours to hike one way into the base of Tuckerman’s Ravine. The area every year gets blessed with much snow well into summer, so besides a great workout, you’ll be witnessing winter wonderland.
For more details, go here.
WHERE TO STAY:
There are numerous places to stay near the White Mountain National Forest. The closest one to the slopes and Mt Washington is Omni Mount Resort.
If you are on a more tight budget, check the beautiful The Glen House with breathtaking views, comfortable rooms, and gorgeous territory. Among all the places we checked, this hotel seemed to be the best place around Mt Washington for the price and quality.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Mount Rainier is probably the only place that many people know about not only in the U.S. but outside the country. It is a popular training ground for those who are getting ready to trek higher climbs in Himalayas and Alaska. Thus this peak keeps attracting climbers from across the globe.
It is such a grand place. And it can be a great vacation spot if you love being in nature away from hustle and bustle.
No, you don’t have to go trekking to the top of this mountain. But you can visit to ski, play in the snow or walk in the wilderness.
Depending on a trail, you may need to get a pass, as well as some special equipment. But there are always some easy and moderate hikes when nothing is required.
If somehow in the middle of summer you find yourself in Seattle or anywhere near it, and suddenly start missing the snow, head to Mount Rainier National Park to experience winter one more time.
One of the trails to snowfields starts from the Paradise parking lot towards Muir Snowfield. You don’t need to hike all the way up to feel colder temperatures and get to the snow. Of course, it depends on the year, but very often there is still enough snow right near the Henry Jackson Memorial Visitor Center until mid-end of July. If not, hike in a direction to Mcclure Rock, and very soon you will be approached by winter.
Professional mountaineers or those who hire a guide should look into Anvil Rock and Gibraltar Rock slopes.
If you would love to visit in summer, Mount Rainier National Park is an amazing choice. Just being there and walking around helps you to disconnect from the entire world.
WHERE TO STAY:
Mount Reinier, while being the most popular national park in Washington state, doesn’t have too many hotels to choose from. However, there are quite a few cabins and lodges. Some of them like Totem Lodge are located in the forest and have a hot tub by the river.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Some of the most splendid scenery in Wyoming is in Grand Teton National Park. The solitude and majesty combined in one place keep attracting more and more wildlife and nature lovers each year.
And I really believe that Wyoming is one of the best places to go in the USA in the summer. It is so incredibly beautiful.
I visited in May and oh my gosh, there was so much snow! I can only imagine how astonishing this place gets in the wintertime.
Most likely you won’t be visiting just for the snow. And why would you? There is so much else to experience – hot springs, glamping, hiking, camping are just a few of those experiences. But in case you have an urge for playing snowballs while touring Grand Teton in summer, there is a place in the park where you can find that.
Be ready to put your boots on, hike a dirt trail, and get a little bit muddy.
Lupine Meadows Trailhead, which is usually flooded with visitors, is a gateway towards winter wonderland. Don’t worry, the trail to snow peaks gets rarely crowded. The majority of hikers prefer other trails that also take their beginning from Lupine Meadows Trailhead. You need the one towards Nez Perce. The farther away from the trailhead you walk the more winter wonderland you get to see.
You can find so many beautiful lodges, hotels and Airbnb not far from Grand Teton National Park. If coming with a family, take a look at Teton Club lodging. Each room is spacious with a full-size kitchen and private balcony. The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Teton Village where all the shops and restaurants are within walking distance, and right next to the slopes. Still, it is very quiet.
WHERE TO STAY:
If you want to stay as close to the park as possible, the best option is Jenny Lake Lodge. Other than that, you’d need to look into the valley of Jackson Hole which is close to Grand Teton and Yellowstone.
Have you been to any destinations that snow all year round? Not necessarily in the US, they can be anywhere else in the world. Share in comments, please, how your experience was!