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White Mountains Winter Activities

Plan your Vacation for this Winter

Do you need inspiration for things to do in Bretton Woods in the winter? From days on the slopes to snowshoeing through the mountains, see below for the best White Mountains winter activities to include in your trip to Bretton Woods, Franconia, Bethlehem, Whitefield, and surrounding areas.

Alpine Skiing

White Mountains region boasts some of the best skiing in the northeastern United States. With an average of over 200 inches of snowfall each season, the White Mountains offer skiers and snowboarders a long and exciting winter season to enjoy the slopes.

In addition to Bretton Woods, there are many other resorts within close proximity:

  • Cannon Mountain (15 miles west – Franconia Notch)
  • Attitash/Bear Peak (22 miles – Bartlett)
  • Black Mountain (30 miles – Jackson)
  • Loon Mountain (31 miles – Lincoln)
  • Cranmore (31 miles – North Conway)
  • Wildcat (39 miles – Pinkham Notch)

Cross-Country Skiing

On the grounds of the historic Mount Washington Hotel and the White Mountain National Forest, the Bretton Woods Nordic Center is one of the largest cross-country areas in the East. The 100-km trail network crosses open fields, meanders through woods of spruce and fir, passes beaver ponds and mountain streams, and traverses open hardwood stands. Enjoy classical and skate skiing or snowshoeing on trails painstakingly prepared with our state-of-the-art groomers. Visit the on-trail destinations: the warming yurt on Porcupine Trail and the lift-served Mount Stickney Cabin.

To get started, visit the Nordic Center on the grounds of the Mt Washington Resort (It’s to the right of the hotel as you arrive).


The incredible network of hiking trails that surround us make for great winter hiking and snowshoeing, as well! For many hikes, if the snow isn’t too high, a simple pair of spikes or crampons available at most stores around, will be perfect for a short winter jaunt. Snowshoes are available for rent at the Bretton Arms Inn as well as the Nordic Center. Some of our favorite trails are the Zealand trail, just up 302 towards Twin Mountain, and Arethusa Fall, on the other side of Crawford Notch. Both are well marked along 302. The steeper Sugarloaf trails, located in the Zealand area, are also stunning year-round. You can also snowshoe on the resort’s ground by purchasing a snowshoeing pass – you can even snowshoe at high elevation by taking the ski resort’s Express Quad! Always be careful and don’t venture out beyond your abilities. If you prefer, you can also arrange for a guided tour through the hotel. Of course, you can also bring your own snowshoes and snowshoe our own trails!

Please note: hiking in the winter can be deadly. Please review this important safety information before you plan to hike during the winter months!  Keep in mind that winter conditions in the White Mountains can be found between September and May and sometimes even into June. Always check the Higher Summit Forecast from the Mount Washington Observatory, and keep in mind that the conditions at the trailhead can be very different from what you will find as you head higher up in elevation.

Snowmobiling (Snow-Machining)

There are many options for snowmobiling or snow-machining as the locals call it, giving you access to over 1000 miles of snow-machine trails, stretching as far as Quebec. You can arrange for a tour through the hotel, or visit one of the many local outfitters, including the popular Northern Extremes at Bretton Woods, next to Fabyan’s Station restaurant, or in Bartlett, across the Bear Notch entrance on 302.

Visiting Mt Washington Summit – the “rockpile”

Home of the worst weather in the world, the summit of Mt Washington is a bit more challenging to reach in the winter. Hiking to the top should be reserved for the most serious and prepared hikers and climbers, as weather conditions are such that small mistakes can be extremely dangerous. However, if you would like to experience the summit in its winter glory, you can now do so in the comfort of a Snow Cat. Trips follow the auto road from Pinkham Notch, but availability is EXTREMELY limited, so you need to book far in advance. For more information, visit Mt Washington’s website. If that’s sold out, or if you’d like a less extreme version, you can also take the Snow Coach up the auto road.

Other Winter Activities

The Bretton Woods Resort offers a number of other wintertime activities, including:

For more information, visit or the hotel’s concierge.

Spa and Relaxation

If relaxation is what you need (and the peace and quiet of the house isn’t quite enough), a spa day might be what you need! In Bretton Woods, you can head to the Mount Washington Hotel which offers a wide array of spa services. Recently, Omni has suffered from staffing issues which have caused access to the spa to be limited, especially on busy weekends and holidays. Another great option is the spa at the Mountain View Grand, with a breathtaking setting in a tower with incredible views.

WANT MORE IDEAS? Check these pages out: Visit the White Mountains and Visit Mount Washington Valley.

Plan Your Vacation For This Winter

We offer the largest selection of properties! From slope side Townhomes at Bretton Woods to single-family homes in the Bretton Woods Resort, Twin Mountain, Franconia, Bethlehem, and surrounding areas, we will help you find the perfect home for your vacation!

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