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.
Skiers, snowboarders, hikers, and wildlife lovers should not miss this incredible Canadian destination: Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. This glacial lake is located near the Trans-Canada Highway and the tiny town of Lake Louise. The Eastern shore of the lake is home to the large luxury resort hotel Chateau Lake Louise. Accommodation for the budget-minded traveler can be found in Lake Louise town only 3km (2 miles) away. Other activities to be enjoyed at the lake and surrounding area include mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, dog sledding, snowshoeing and more.