Located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, the Ansel Adams Wilderness is a wilderness area encompassing 937 square kilometers (362 square miles or 231,533 acres). Within the Ansel Adams Wilderness are glaciated mountains including Mount Ritter, Banner Peak, and the Minarets, all of which are part of the Ritter Range. The wilderness area is also home to many lakes, including Shadow Lake, Thousand Island Lake, Lake Ediza, and Garnet Lake. A popular feature located in the Ansel Adams Wilderness is Devils Postpile National Monument, an unusually symmetrical formation of columnar basalt. Visitors to the wilderness area can enjoy 562 kilometers (349 miles) of hiking trails, opportunities for technical rock climbing on the Minarets, and cross-country skiing at Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain in the winter.
The ski and snowboard season is here, and Colorado has no shortage of resorts. Monarch Ski Resort is one of them, with its base located at a staggering 10,790 ft elevation, high in the Sawatch Range of the Colorado Rockies. At Monarch Ski Resort, you can enjoy carving fresh powder in the morning, break for lunch at one of their three fantastic restaurants, and head out to hit the terrain park in the afternoon. If you’re looking for something a little different, you can take a snowcat tour, or strap on your board and explore the 130 acre Mirkwood Basin for some extreme riding. For you veterans who are always looking to switch it up, Monarch Ski Resort is partnered with 17 different ski resorts that offer free days and deep discounts to Monarch Ski Resort season pass holders. So what are you waiting for? Slap some wax on that board and hit the slopes!
New Zealand’s north island is home to Mount Taranaki, or Mount Egmont, a 2,518 meter (8,261 ft) tall active volcano. Taranaki is quite young for a volcano, having become active only 135,000 years ago. Its most recent activity was a mere 160 years ago. Mount Taranaki is the center of the Egmont National Park, the circular tree-line boundary of which can be seen in two of the photos below. Visitors to the mountain can enjoy the Manganui ski resort for skiing and snowboarding. Those more adventurous types can trek to the summit during the summer months. The closest major town is New Plymouth, just north of the mountain, where all types of hotels and other accommodation can be found.
In the southwestern part of Utah in the United States lies a wondrous work of erosion – Bryce Canyon. Despite its name, Bryce Canyon is an eroded natural amphitheater rather than a canyon. The most notable features of Bryce Canyon are its “hoodoos”, or geological structures formed by harsh weather erosion caused by wind, ice and water. One of the hoodoos is called Thor’s Hammer because its shape resembles that of a hammer. Visitors to Bryce Canyon can enjoy a scenic drive to 13 viewpoints overlooking the canyon. Tourists can also enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Bryce Canyon is close to both Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, as well as the town of Kanab, Utah, where many visitors to the area choose to find accommodation. Lodging can also be found in Bryce Canyon National Park’s two campgrounds or its lodge.
Beautiful Lake Tahoe lies in the Sierra Nevada mountain range along the border of California and Nevada in the United States. With 496 square kilometers (192 sq miles) of surface area and lovely mountain scenery, the lake is a major tourist destination year round. There are over 12 ski resorts at Lake Tahoe and visitors can find all manner of winter activities here including snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snow tubing, and more. Many water sports are also enjoyed here, such as swimming, boating, water skiing, and scuba diving. A large variety of accommodation can be found on the lake, from ritzy expensive resorts to backpacker style hostels.
Towering over nearby Portland, Oregon, is the Majestic Mount Hood. It stands 3,429 meters (11,249 feet) tall and is home to 12 glaciers. Mount Hood has 6 ski resorts: Timberline, Mount Hood Meadows, Ski Bowl, Cooper Spur, Snow Bunny and Summit. Timberline is the only year-round ski-lift in all of North America. Mount Hood is a dormant volcano, but it is consider the volcano most likely to erupt in Oregon with a 7% chance of eruption in the next 30 years. It is popular with climbers in addition to skiers, and about 10,000 people reach its summit yearly. Hikers can enjoy trekking on the Timberline Trail which circumnavigates the mountain, and the Pacific Crest Trail also passes by via the Timberline Trail. Most of the ski resorts have beautiful lodges to stay in, and any kind of accommodation can be found in the city of Portland, 124 km (77 miles) away. There are also many small towns in the area that offer some accommodation, including Government Camp, the closest town to the ski resorts.
The Dolomites are a section of the Alps mountain range in Italy. Besides the spectacular views, visitors to the Dolomites can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice skating and sledding in the winter months, and hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, base jumping, paragliding and hang-gliding in the summer. The Dolomites were recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in August, 2009. Marmolada, the Dolomites’ largest peak, stands 3,344 meters (10,972 feet) tall. The Dolomites span three Northeastern Italian provinces: Belluno, Bolzano-Bozen and Trento. Accommodation can be found in any of the many cities and villages in the area.
Tucked away in the mountains of Austria you’ll find the tiny town of Hallstatt. Hallstatt and its population of less than 1000 residents rest on the southwestern shore of the Hallstätter See. In addition to the picturesque view of the town on the lake, tourists can see the world’s first salt mine, enjoy nearby skiing, take a trip to the World Heritage Museum, and visit the Dachstein ice cave. Though this village is very small, there are a few different hotels and restaurants to choose from.