7 extreme winter adventures in Eastern Idaho

The snow doesn't melt until April, which means it's super cold in Eastern Idaho for a long, long time. You could pretend you're a bear and hibernate until spring, but I guarantee you'll find yourself with a case of cabin fever if you do. You certainly can't beat the frigid, snowy weather, so you might as well enjoy it, playing in the pow all winter long. If you're looking for a snowy excursion in Eastern Idaho, land of what seems like eternal winter, check out these 7 extreme winter adventures.

Go fish

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Bundle up and grab your auger, bait and tackle and go ice fishing. From Bear Lake to the Ashton Reservoir, there are numerous places to try your luck at reeling in the catch of the day. If sitting around and freezing in cold temps on a frozen lake isn't your thing, slip on some waders and head to where serious fly fishing anglers catch brown trout in the dead of winter, the confluence of Warm River and Henry's Fork of the Snake River.

Shred the gnar

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Powderhounds rejoice: From Grand Targhee to prime backcountry powder, you'll find some of the best snow for downhill skiing and snowboarding along the border of Idaho and Wyoming. Along with incredibly short lift lines and snow from the heavenly winter gods, Grand Targhee Resort also offers snowcat skiing and boarding. But for me, taking in the view of the Teton Valley before shredding my secret powder stash at the resort is enough of an adventure. If you're craving deeper powder (and are avalanche smart), hike the Teton Pass (on your way to Jackson, Wyoming) for an unforgettable run.

Extreme sledding

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Sure, you could call dodging wild, little ones at the neighborhood sledding hill an extreme adventure, or you could go on a real sledding adventure in Island Park, Idaho, the epicenter of snowmobiling. With miles and miles of trails, snowmobiling in this winter wonderland is popular with local Idahoans.

Bike around

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Who said you can't go for a bike ride in winter? In Idaho, the bikes are outfitted with beefy tires for some extreme fat biking. These hefty mountain bikes are popular on the trails around Grand Targhee Resort, but you can also ride around for miles around the Teton Valley on groomed Nordic ski trails.

Go off the grid

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Find solitude in the mountains of Idaho by staying in an Idaho State Park yurt, a Mongolian-style, round tent. A unique opportunity for you and five of your closest friends, these yurts, which are available by reservation-only, offer protection from the outside, wintry elements and all of the fun of an extreme winter camping adventure.

Mush in Ashton

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The oldest all-American dog sled race in the Lower 48 is in, you guessed it, Idaho. Since 1917, Ashton has hosted the annual American Dog Derby in February. The best teams gather for a 55-mile race from Ashton to Yellowstone National Park, and amateurs duke it out in the 100-yard Mutt Race. If going on a dog sled ride is on your bucket list, like it is mine, check out Silver Sage Mushing, also located in Ashton, to schedule your chance to cruise along with a pack of dogs through the sparkling Idaho snow.

Ski, snowshoe, and soak

Strap on some snowshoes or a pair of cross-country skis for a beautiful day on 20 miles of trails in Mink Creek, just a few miles south of Pocatello. After a rigorous day of traipsing through the snow and breathing in that crisp Idaho air, soak your aching muscles at Lava Hot Springs, just 30 minutes east of Mink Creek. There are four sulfur-free, natural outdoor pools to relax in before turning in at one of the nearby lodging options in the Portneuf River Valley.

Ali Struhs grew up a spud in Eastern Idaho but was always bound for Denver, Colo. A freelance writer, blogger, and boy mom, she enjoys exploring the great outdoors, rocking out at Red Rocks, and chasing around her toddler.