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Cross Ranch State Park - Things To Add To Your North Dakota Winter Bucket List

10 Things To Add To Your North Dakota Winter Bucket List (2023)

One of the least visited states in the United States, North Dakota is a package of surprises. Not only is it one of the most stunning states in the Wild West, but there are also many things to do and places to see here. While the summer months bring with them long days spent at the beautiful beaches of North Dakota, it is the winter months that bring out the best of the state in front of visitors. North Dakota experiences a lot of snow, and along with it, there are many activities to add to your bucket list of things to do and places to see.

10 Things To Add To Your North Dakota Winter Bucket List

Here are some of the best things to add to your North Dakota winter bucket list.

1. Frost Fire in Pembina

Frost Fire should be on top of your winter bucket list when in North Dakota. Frost Fire is one of the most magnificent ski areas in the state, located right in the magnificent Pembina Gorge. Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most popular activities here, but there’s also tubing for those who want to try out something different. Several parts of the Frost Fire recently got upgraded, so you will get to experience top-notch facilities once you reach here.

The area is located on the Canadian border, and tourists from both sides of the border flock to this ski area to enjoy the various activities. A good thing about the Frost Fire area is the beginner slopes. You can use them for snowboarding, and it’s also perfect for beginner skiers. The trails of the Frost Fire Ski Area are rated as either easy, difficult, most complex, or cross-country. If you are a beginner skier, you should try your luck first at the top-rated Appleton meadows or the Yarrow Trail here. Both these trails are popular with beginners and those who want to take it easy. There is also a separate tubing trail at the Frost Fire Ski Area, which is extremely popular with children.

2. Huff Hills in Mandan

Located in a different part of North Dakota, the Huff Hills is another excellent place you should be putting on your winter bucket list. Located in Mandan, this awesome skiing area is known for its fabulous snowboarding and skiing opportunities. Depending on what the weather looks like, the ski area is usually open all through the winter months all the way up to mid-March.

The Huff Hills Ski Area is one of the largest ski areas in and around North Dakota, having four chairlifts and 16 runs. The longest run is over 0.75 miles long. The area is popular amongst visitors for its separate beginner slopes with terrain more suited for children and beginners. And don’t worry if you don’t know how to ski. The Huff Hills Ski Patrol members offer free ski lessons, which attracts a lot of visitors to the Huff Hills Ski Area.

There is also a restaurant at the site that serves delicious food like hamburgers, chili, and even pizza. For those who don’t have their own equipment, you can easily rent equipment here.

3. Cross Ranch State Park

Located along the mesmerizing, free-flowing Missouri River, the Cross Ranch State Park is another great place you must visit during the winter in North Dakota. The scenic park transforms into a winter wonderland, and they even have a Winterfest to provide complete entertainment to visitors. You can take a ride on a horse wagon to check out the frozen sights throughout the park. You can also indulge in cross country skiing and snowboarding.

4. SnoTrails

Crisscrossing all the way from Minot to Bottineau in North Dakota is a great way to enjoy the winter months in this stunning state. There are some of the best snowmobiling trails in this region, known as the SnoTrails. So if you love snowmobiling, skiing, or snowboarding, then this is the perfect winter place to head to. And don’t worry if you don’t have a snowmobile. There are plenty of locations across North Dakota where you can rent one and enjoy crisscrossing over 350 miles of trails that make up this marvelous snowy delight.

5. Ice Fishing

You may find it difficult to believe, but ice fishing is one of the most popular activities in North Dakota, and if you have never tried the activity before, you must put it on your winter bucket list. Ice fishing is much more than staring blankly at a small hole in the ice waiting for fish to catch. There are many portable houses throughout the state that come up in the winters and offer all the comforts you would have at home, including heat. Ice fishing even tends to get quite competitive around this region, another reason why it is such a popular sport.

While you can carry out ice fishing at any lake in the state, some of the most popular destinations for ice fishing in North Dakota include Devil’s Lake, Icelandic State Park, and Lake Metigoshe State Park.

6. Turtle River in Arvilla

Another must-visit place in the winters in North Dakota is the Turtle River in Arvilla. The beautiful trails along the Turtle River are even more stunning in the winter than they are in spring or summer. You can try out snowshoeing on the snowshoe trails here or even practice some cross country skiing. If nothing else, exploring these trails as you walk through, taking in the sights is also a great idea.

7. Wonders of Winter – Prairie Isle Dog Trekking

This is one of the most spectacular things you can do in North Dakota. Located out in Petersburg, you won’t be able to find this unique activity at many other places in the US. Dog sledding is one of its kind activity you absolutely must try out when you visit North Dakota in the winters. The Prairie Isle teams of happy and hard-working dogs pull sleds across the stunning snow-covered plains, and the best way to try this out is through the Wonders of Winter program they offer. The organizers prefer to take advance reservations, so be ready to book your spot on this fabulous dog sledding tour of North Dakota.

8. Winter Badlands

An exquisite thing you must try out in the winters when in North Dakota is to pay a visit to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which is primarily a summer destination. Nothing is as beautiful as seeing the magnificent canyons covered in layers of snow. Even if you are just passing through the park in your car, stop for a while to take in this awe-inspiring sight. You might get lucky and spot a bighorn sheep strolling by.

9. Curling

If you have never been curling before, then North Dakota winters are the perfect time to indulge in this ultra-competitive sport. Curling requires you to have equal amounts of skills and strategies. If you are confused about what curling is, then it is a sport that involves a big disk and tiny brooms. Many cities in North Dakota have several competitive leagues, lessons, and open ice time for people who want to practice curling, and what better way to experience the local culture than to take part in an actual game of curling while you are here.

10. Bottineau Winter Park in Bottineau

Located in the heart of the stunning Turtle Mountains, the Bottineau Winter Park has some of the best snowboarding and skiing facilities in this region, including six ski lifts, a full-service rental shop, eight downhill trails that provide some of the best views of the beautiful Turtle Mountains, and the best feature of the ski park are the beginner’s lessons the ski area offers. You can either take classes in private or go in for group lessons.

The Bottineau Winter Park has a wide range of trails. From trails for beginners (located in a separate area) to the ungroomed expert glade runs and many other run-of-the-mill challenging racecourses to enjoy, there is something for everyone at the Bottineau Winter Park. You will definitely have a fun day of winter sports here at the Bottineau Winter Park. There are many loyal visitors to this park who keep returning year after year.

With so many exciting things to do and places to visit in the winters in North Dakota, you will feel like you have been transported to a winter wonderland.

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