Top 10 Snowshoe Adventures Around the World for Families

When you are looking for the perfect destination for a winter family getaway (that includes plenty of snowshoeing) there are so many options to consider. We have looked at hundreds of destinations and compiled a list of what we believe to be the best 10 snowshoe destinations for families. We examined factors such as location, ease of access to superior snowshoe trails, amenities for kids and parents, and opportunities for guided and non-guided snowshoe treks.

From luxury hotels to themed resorts there is a destination here to suit every family’s needs. To make the most of your experience, visit the websites provided for more information on any of our destinations.

10. Ski Portillo, Chile

person snowshoeing with mountain and son in background

Photo: Ski Portillo

The first of two all-inclusive options on this list–Chile’s Ski Portillo resort; this once-in-a-lifetime vacation destination is the perfect spot for families to relax, bond, and snowshoe. Overlooking a pristine lake and situated in the Aconcagua Valley in the heart of the Andes, the scenery is enough to make you want to hop on a plane right now. But this destination offers so much more than just magnificent views and a ski hill.

Portillo offers two excellent lodging choices for families. Family apartments in the main hotel offer two connecting rooms that allow for privacy for both kids and parents alike. The second option is the rental of an entire chalet. The chalets range from two-bedroom to four-bedroom and include a living room.

2014 marks an important year for Portillo in terms of snowshoeing. For the first time they are offering two access trails to the mountain, along with numerous opportunities to trek around the base of Mt. Aconcagua. This all-inclusive resort includes meals, lift tickets for your entire stay (we suggest trying your hand at some skiing), accommodations, airport transfers and all amenities on site. From the dedicated tubing hills and outdoor heated pool for the kids to the outdoor hot tub and nightly live music for the adults, this gem should not go undiscovered.

Click here to visit their website.

9. Adventure Suites, New Hampshire, USA

Photo courtesy of Adventure Suites

Photo courtesy of Adventure Suites

Our next destination is truly a kid’s paradise. If you are looking for a relaxing, unwinding vacation, this may not be the one for you. But if you are looking for something totally unique that will have your kids begging to come back, Adventure Suites is the place. Named one of the top 10 theme hotels in the world, this hotel offers more than just really awesome rooms.

We first need to talk about the suites they offer. From a prehistoric cave suite that features a five-person hot tub in the suite to a jungle themed suite that offers an upstairs for the kids complete with a flat screen TV and PlayStation… it may be hard to want to leave your room. Within walking distance are five restaurants and room service is available until 10:30 p.m.

Adventure Suites offer guided snowshoe treks as an add-on to any stay and offers free trail passes if you stay two or more nights. If you are looking to get on your own, Glen Trails Outdoor Center and Purity Spring Resort offer extensive trails to explore.

Complimentary popcorn, cookies and a nightly campfire that you can cook marshmallows and s’mores on complete your day and as you drift off to sleep gazing at the star filled sky in your jungle room; you will wonder why you didn’t discover this destination earlier.

Click here to visit their website.

8. Hoshino Resort Tomamu, Japan


A huge resort featuring more than 800 rooms in two magnificent towers, an indoor wave pool, an ice village in the center of the resort (January-March) and unparalleled views of the mountain from your room makes Hoshino Resort Tomamu number eight on our list.

Along with the many restaurants this resort offers, there is also a food court that offers up local delicacies or the more western style food you crave. Tunnels connect the towers to the restaurants and food court, which allow for warm ease of access during a cold night.

Snowshoeing has become quite a popular sport in Japan and visiting the Polar Village Activity Center is where you will find all your snowshoe needs. Equipment rentals as well as maps of the area are provided.

Members of the resort’s staff are happy to help and if you tell them what kind of difficulty or length of trek you are looking for they will point you in the right direction. With fresh powder, breathtaking scenery and an experience you won’t get in North America, Hoshino Resort is a fantastic choice for a family getaway.

Click here to visit their website.

7. Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Photo courtesy of Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets

Photo courtesy of Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets

If you are looking for the finest family accommodation in Banff, look no further as Douglas Fir Resort and Chalet is where you want to be. Located a four-minute drive from downtown Banff in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the views from your patio will take your breath away.

This resort offers three different types of accommodations ranging from one bedroom condo units to two bedroom chalets and three bedroom family suites. Depending on the size of your family and the level of privacy you want, there really is an option for everyone. All rooms include complimentary WiFi, flat screen TVs, plug-and-play panels for personal gaming systems and a fireplace.

What makes this resort even more family friendly is the indoor two-story playground, the indoor water park featuring two giant waterslides and a “quiet time” for adults only, and an outdoor hot tub with views of the awe-inspiring mountains.

There are unlimited snowshoe opportunities in Banff ranging from beginner to experienced. We highly recommend trekking around Marble Canyon in Kootenay National Park and the Sundance Trail to Sundance Canyon. Parks Canada offers up suggestions here or check out a tour company for a guided experience.

Overall, Douglas Fir offers a family friendly resort with enough amenities to please both kids and parents. The views, the hot tub and the ease of access to hundreds of snowshoe trails sweeten the pot even more.

Click here to visit their website.

6. Firelight Lodge, Silver Star Mountain, British Columbia, Canada

Photo courtesy of Firelight Lodge

Photo courtesy of Firelight Lodge

The Firelight Lodge, located in the Silver Star Mountain Village, is one of the newest properties to the village; Firelight is located right next to the skating pond and tube park. With access to 16km of snowshoe exclusive forested trails, Silver Star Mountain is your perfect destinations.

Firelight Lodge offers up your choice of rooms that can include anything from a personal outdoor hot tub to a gas fireplace and patio BBQ. Almost all suites (except studio suites) include a full kitchen, boot dryer and private laundry facilities. An in-resort shuttle runs through the Firelight and Village areas of the resort making it easy to access all amenities and restaurants. Snowshoe rentals and trail passes/maps are available at Ski Dazzle Rentals or the Village Ski shop.

The kids will go nuts for the tube park and mini snowmobiles, or perhaps they will try their hand at the indoor climbing wall or ski-in ski-out bowling alley. Parents can relax in the outdoor hot tub, visit one of the pubs or unwind at the Yoga classes offered next door to the lodge. Whatever you choose to do at Silver Star Mountain, we promise it will be memorable.

Click here to visit their website.

5. Crystal Mountain, Michigan, USA

Crystal Mountain Family Snowshoeing 2

Photo courtesy of Crystal Mountain Resort

Crystal Mountain Resort in Michigan is a compact resort that offers older kids a chance for independence as condos, restaurants and amenities are within a five-minute walk. For the wee ones with the tired legs, there is a complimentary shuttle to take you where you want to go.

With more than 250 rooms ranging from the standard hotel room to bungalows to full houses, the accommodations at Crystal Mountain are superior. Many offer full kitchens for those families who choose to cook meals while families who are looking for a mountain top adventure can choose the residences that look over the village.

Snowshoeing is permitted on the entire Crystal Mountain property, except for the downhill runs and the cross-country ski trails. Equipment rental and trail maps are provided on-site as well as guided tours. For something a little different take a trek Michigan Legacy Art Park where ice sculptures line the way. Moonlight snowshoe tours are a popular activity at Crystal Mountain and a fun way to explore nature in the dark.

Offering an indoor pool and hot tub, an outdoor hot tub, ice skating, snowmobiling, skiing, sleigh rides, nightly bonfires and an incredible 18,000 square-foot spa; this resort will wow kids and parents alike.

Click here to visit their website.

4. The Lodge at Sugar Bowl, California, USA


Photo courtesy of The Lodge at Sugar Bowl

The Lodge at Sugar Bowl is not your typical family resort. Here you won’t find huge flat screen TVs, gaming systems or world-class children’s programs. Here you will find the country’s only snowbound lodging experience, where you park your car in a garage and whisk up to the lodge in a gondola with your luggage. This ski-in ski-out lodge is perfect for the family looking for both great snowshoeing and superior skiing access.

There are many different room options ranging from standard Mountain View rooms to family suites and adjoining rooms. The lodge also boasts a dining room, bar and new athletic center. But what you are really coming here for is the miles upon miles on snowshoe trails at Royal Gorge. Located right outside your front door you have access to North America’s largest cross-country resort that features an array of exclusive snowshoe trails. Rentals and trail passes are available at the Summit Station Lodge where you can also rent a sled to pull the little ones along the trails with you.

This destination is truly for the snowshoe and ski lover family who seeks to get away from the fast paced normalcy that is life. Here you can step away from the TV and the video games and truly bond as a family over nature and the outdoors.

Click here to visit the lodge. Click here for more information on Royal Gorge.

3. Waldorf Astoria Park City, Utah, USA

Front Exterior

Photo courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Park City

If you are looking for a luxury family getaway, Waldorf Astoria Park City in Utah is where you will want to head. With more than 4,000 acres of varied terrain in the backyard, this resort was meant to be explored. Dedicated shuttles will take you to local dining, skiing, shopping and entertainment. We do recommend this destination for kids 10 and up.

Ranging from standard guest rooms to three bedroom suites with full kitchens, this resort offers such pleasures as upscale bathrooms with hot tubs and TVs, a free gondola up to Canyons Resort and free kids s’mores at night.

Guided snowshoe tours are provided at Canyons Resort (a free shuttle ride away) where equipment can be rented. You can also go off on your own around the Canyons Resort and follow the marked trails. If you are looking to explore other areas, we recommend checking out Snowshoe Utah where you will find a variety of trail maps.

Boasting terrific on-site dining, a round-year heated outdoor pool, superior accommodations and access to so many snowshoe trails, this resort has the combination for success.

Click here to visit their website.

2. C Lazy U Ranch, Colorado, USA

Photo courtesy of C Lazy U Ranch

Photo courtesy of C Lazy U Ranch

If you are looking for a vacation that combines the love of the outdoors, breathtaking scenery and a chance for the kids and you to learn something new, C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado is the perfect destination. From horseback riding to sledding to ice skating to snowshoeing, this dude ranch is the perfect all-inclusive winter wonderland.

Offering numerous private cabins to choose from, there is no need to worry about the kids making too much noise. Choose from models that include refrigerators, stone fireplaces or separate bedrooms for the older kids. Enjoy the personal touches such as daily housekeeping service, bed turn down, coffee and tea, plush robes and a fruit basket that is replenished each day.

Now let’s talk about the snowshoeing. A popular winter activity at this resort, all equipment is offered for no extra charge and a trail map is provided on request. From beginner to expert, there are trails to suit any level of experience. Other activities include skating, sleigh rides, sledding, snowmobiling, skiing and so much more.

What makes this resort especially unique is the kids and teen program. Kids and parents start the day together having breakfast. Children and teens are then separated into age groups and are led off by counselors on a fun-filled day. Parents and kids will rejoin after dinner at the ice cream parlor for some family time. Giving your kids an action packed ranch adventure while allowing yourselves to relax is the perfect combination for a family vacation. Did we mention their food is to die for?

Click here to visit their website.

1. Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vermont, USA

Photo courtesy of Smugglers' Notch Resort

Photo courtesy of Smugglers’ Notch Resort

Rated as the granddaddy of all family resorts, it is no surprise that Smugglers’ Notch Resort ranks No. 1 on our top 10 list. The choice of activities for parents and kids alike is a touch overwhelming and we highly suggest doing your research online before you go. From the huge fun zone offering an arcade, slides and after-dark teen programs to the heated indoor pool to the massages for mom and dad, Smugglers’ has gone above and beyond what one expects from a resort.

Upon booking your vacation you will have the choice of condominium style lodgings. Each are either within walking distance or an on-demand resort shuttle is available to take you to all the village amenities.

The Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Adventure Center is where you want to head for all your snowshoe needs. Here you will find 24km of dedicated snowshoe trails to explore off the beaten path. If lessons are what you are looking for, they offer both group and private lessons with equipment rental on-site.

For a memorable snowshoe experience try the snowshoe adventure dinner; a dining experience atop Sterling Mountain with a 40-minute snowshoe after dinner back to the base lodge. For more dining options check out one of nine restaurants that are located within the village.

Click here to visit their website.

About the author

Lindsay MacNevin

First a mom… then a writer… then an avid traveler… then an outdoor enthusiast. Graduating from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, Lindsay’s love for writing, travel and the outdoors sparked a full-time career as a freelancer. In addition to writing for Snowshoe Magazine and its sister publication, River Sports Magazine, Lindsay is also a correspondent for Concourse Media’s Beyond freelancing, Lindsay partnered with her sister, Jenny, to create—a blog that combines their love for travel, adventure and motherhood.

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