Though some are already longing for warm weather and a chance to go hiking, swimming and biking, those who really love mountain living know that winter offers just as many opportunities for outdoor adventure.
If you’re going a little stir crazy in the city or just want to get away for a little while, a quick trip to Evanston is an easy way to fit in your favorite kinds of winter fun. Read on for six examples of the adventures that await you.
1. Ice Fishing
Sulphur Creek Reservoir, located just outside of Evanston, is a prime location for ice fishing. Visitors can catch walleye, rainbow trout, bowfins and several other kinds of fish.
2. Ice Skating
The Union Pacific Railroad diverted the Bear River in the late 1890s, forming two ponds. Local workers harvested ice from these ponds to cool produce that was shipped all over the country. Eventually, the development of faster trains and electric refrigeration rendered Evanston’s ice-harvesting operation obsolete.
The ice ponds were refilled and restored for public use as ice skating rinks. The area is lighted and skating is free, but those without skates of their own can rent some from the nearby Evanston Recreation Center.
3. Cross-country Skiing
If you enjoy XC skiing, you’re in luck! Cleared and groomed trails can be found at Evanston’s Purple Sage Golf Course, Aspen Elementary School and Bear River State Park and are free for public use. If you don’t have equipment, you can rent it at the Purple Sage Golf Course Nordic Center.
Those looking for more extensive stomping grounds can take a quick ride south to the Uinta Mountains where they can park for a small fee at the Lily Lake area and enjoy miles of trails.
4. Yurt Camping
If you’ve been yearning to stay in a yurt, you’re in luck! Evanston’s Bear River State Park is home to five lovely yurts that campers can rent. Modeled after the structures built by Genghis Kahn, these round tents are equipped with bunks, propane stoves, kitchen utensils and plenty of firewood. Each yurt will house up to eight visitors for a unique and cozy camping experience.
If zipping around is more your speed, Evanston has tons of trails for you. The north slope of the Uinta Mountains is easily accessible from Evanston and has 80 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, while 165,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land around Evanston are also open to snowmobiling. Local companies rent and repair snowmobiles in addition to offering tours, so Evanston is the place to go if you feel the need for snowmobiling speed!
6. Sled Dog Racing
Not just anybody can participate in a sled dog race, but anyone who wants to can visit Evanston to take in the final leg of the annual International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. This famous race runs from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Evanston, Wyoming each year in late January or early February.
With so many activities available, a winter trip to Evanston will do the trick whether you’re looking for exercise, adventure or a nice homey yurt! To learn more and start planning your trip, check out http://www.evanstonwy.org/.