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Winter Activities in ND

Snowmobiling & Skiing in the Roughrider State

Play your way through North Dakota this winter, where you can choose from the adventure of snowmobiling and skiing to the tranquility of ice-skating and sleigh rides.

Whether snowshoeing through the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park, downhill skiing in Bismarck, or roaring down the snow trails of Minot, your winter in the Roughrider State is sure to be a memorable one.

Winter in A National Park

A major fixture of the North Dakotan landscape is the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park – named for the successes of President Theodore Roosevelt with national parks in America. Visitors to this national park may explore three sections of this North Dakotan playground – the North Unit, the South Unit, and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit.

Set just west of Dickinson in the southwestern corner of the state, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park takes up 110 square miles of North Dakota badlands – just south of the Little Missouri National Grassland.

From October and stay until April, fresh snow covers the Little Missouri Badlands of western North Dakota – creating the perfect atmosphere for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park.

Winter visitors to this national park may cross-country ski or snowshoe on the closed park roads, the frozen Little Missouri River, or may create their own trail through the new powder. Enjoy views of local wildlife and the North Dakota landscape during your excursion on skis or snowshoe, and enjoy your time in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

A Brisk Break in Bismarck

For a true Roughrider State adventure, pay a visit to the capital city of Bismarck – home to the North Dakota Heritage Center and the North Dakota State Capitol. Taking a family vacation this winter? Bismarck has what you need thanks to sledding hills, cross country skiing trails, and the popular Papa’s Polar Patch.

Explore Bismarck with the help of the many cross-country ski trails available throughout the area. Rent some skis from the nearby Golf Shop at the Riverwood Golf Course – where you can zip down their trails from Friday through Sunday. For a more natural outing, head down the Missouri River Nature Trail, or strap on your skis at General Sibley Park and Sertoma Park.

For some downhill skiing, pay a visit to the Huff Hills Ski Area – North Dakota’s largest ski area – just 16 miles south of Bismarck in Mandan. Here you may bring your snowboard, and take advantage of free ski lessons from the Huff Hills Ski Patrol. Huff Hills features 16 runs and a 450-foot vertical drop, making this ski area ideal for even the most adventurous traveler.

For more fun on a hill, grab your sleds and check out the Tom O' Leary Sledding Facility in Bismarck, or try the sledding down at Lions Park or the Jaycee Centennial. More sledding can be found at Papa’s Polar Patch, where the kids may also throw laps on Polar Pond ice-skating rink, explore the Bale Maze and Castle, and sip some hot chocolate in the Polar Patch warming house.

Feel the Chill in Minot

If you’ve got the need for speed, Minot has your fix. Visitors are encouraged to snowmobile their way across this northern North Dakota city on the many snow trails in the area. From early December through April, snowmobilers may take to the fresh powder for zip along Minot’s Sno Trails, including the Burlington Trail and of course, the Minot Trail.

These Sno Trails total 351 miles, coursing throw McHenry, Ward, Bottineau and Renville counties. Rent or bring your own snowmobile, and see for yourself how this is snowmobile country.

If you’re visiting Minot during the holiday season, check out festive activities like horse-drawn sleigh rides, beautiful Christmas decorations, and the many holiday celebrations in town. Check out the the Renaissance Christmas Feast, or ride into town for the big to-do – Big One Arts and Craft Christmas Show in early November. Sings your carols and drink your cider, because you’re in North Dakota now.

Other winter activities in Minot may include cross-country skiing at Souris Valley Golf Course, and ice-skating also at Souris Valley Golf Course, plus the Roosevelt Rink, and Corbett Field & Rink.

Huff Hills Ski Area

Located south of Bismarck, Huff Hills Ski Area is a great wintertime destination for the whole family. As the largest ski area in North Dakota, the resort's sixteen ski runs and the 450-foot vertical drop provide plenty of terrain for a fun day in the snow.

While the kids learn in the beginner area, those ready for a challenge can hit the lifts and practice your best tricks from the advanced runs. The resort offers ski and snowboard rentals, as well as a great selection of food. Relax and warm your toes by the beautiful large stone fireplace while watching the activity outside.

Those new to the sport can attend a lesson with the Snowsports School before tackling the mountain.