Throughout North Dakota, winter brings brisk temperatures and endless opportunities to explore with unique outdoor activities and wide-open spaces. January is a perfect time to discover the natural beauty of the state and enjoy the warmth of the state’s welcoming communities. With so many ways to embrace winter’s chill, North Dakota Tourism is highlighting four Legendary winter adventures for visitors to experience the season.
Hit the slopes at Frost Fire Park
Located in Walhalla, North Dakota and showcasing the landscapes of the beautiful Pembina Gorge, Frost Fire Park welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The park features seven runs with green, blue and black trails, a terrain park, and certified instructors for those looking to hone their skills on the slopes. Ski and snowboard rentals and lift tickets can be purchased online and support the Pembina Gorge Foundation’s efforts to preserve and develop recreational, education and interpretive opportunities in the gorge for all ages.
After a few runs, warm up by the cozy fireplace in the lodge or grab a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant, Howatt Hangar.
Celebrate winter at Frostival
Frostival, a six-week celebration of winter’s “cooler” and colder sides, takes place in Fargo and its sister cities, West Fargo and Moorhead. With outdoor activities like cardboard sled races, winter adaptations of kickball, volleyball, and disc golf, plus movies on ice, snow sculpture competitions and even food and drink competitions, visitors of all ages will find activities to love. A full schedule of events for the 2022 Frostival, beginning January 15 and ending February 26, can be found online.
After a day full of Frostival fun, relax, unwind and warm up at the Jasper Hotel. Inspired by hotelier and “Father of Fargo,” Jasper B. Chapin, this new boutique hotel combines the pioneer spirit of adventure and hospitality with modern amenities in the heart of downtown. Rooted in delivering a truly local experience to its guests, every room at Jasper includes thoughtful touches such as a locally curated private bar and decor from local artists and artisans.
Discover a winter wonderland in North Dakota’s state parks
A snow-white landscape and a bright blue sky are part of the magic of winter in North Dakota. Embrace the shorter days and trade in hiking boots for snowshoes, skis or a fat tire bike to experience the state’s epic trails! Visitors can kick off their adventure by renting gear at these four state parks: Cross Ranch State Park, Fort Stevenson State Park, Fort Ransom State Park and Lake Metigoshe State Park. With thousands of miles of trails to explore and breathtaking scenery, winter is a prime time to be on the lookout for wildlife, including snow-covered herds of bison, elk, antelope and deer.
While trails can be found throughout the state, the weather and trail conditions frequently change during the winter months. Remember to check with the park for the latest information on conditions.
Reel in an epic fishing experience on Devils Lake
Calling all anglers! Bundle up and head over to Devils Lake, known as the Perch Capital of the World, to experience one of the best ice fishing destinations in the nation. Measuring in as the largest natural body of water in the state and attracting more than 33,000 anglers each year, Devils Lake is one of the top fisheries in the U. S. with plenty of room – and fish! – for more. In addition to the abundance of jumbo perch, walleye, and pike, Devils Lake boasts a consistent ice fishing season, typically freezing by mid-December, and staying frozen into March.
When fishing Devils Lake, consider staying at the Woodland Resort. The resort offers ice fishing packages complete with lodging, heated fish houses with pre-drilled holes, daily transportation to and from the fish houses, and bait. After a day on the ice, window shop and browse unique stores in downtown Devils Lake before grabbing a bite at Proz Lakeside at the Cove or warming up with a hot beverage at the Liquid Bean.
For more winter fun in North Dakota including snowmobiling in the Turtle Mountains, outdoor skating rinks, stargazing spots and tips for wildlife viewing across the state and in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, visit the Winter in North Dakota page.
North Dakota’s uncrowded spaces and stunning outdoor attractions have been an important respite for travelers for generations. North Dakota Tourism encourages all visitors to travel with health and safety precautions in mind. More information and resources, including CDC resources, for planning a trip to North Dakota can be found on the North Dakota Department of Health website.
Follow North Dakota Tourism on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TravelND, on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/northdakotalegendary/ or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NorthDakota and get tips on what to see and do all year long.
Picture: Fat tire biking at Lake Metigoshe State Park near Bottineau. Credit North Dakota Tourism.