Cross country skiing at Harriman State Park in Island Park, Idaho

Many people that live in colder climates (like Idaho) begin to hibernate during the winter months. This in turn leads to less exercise. You don’t have to slack off in the exercise department during the cold winter months! Ice skating is a great calorie burner and a fun, inexpensive winter weekend activity. Cross country skiing is an awesome workout and one of my favorite winter pastimes. Check your local state park and local park districts for cross country skiing information.

Cross country ski rental equipment is usually pretty budget friendly. Mike and I both went skiing all day for only $30! Using the groomed trails at state parks usually runs somewhere between $5-15, depending on the area. If you don’t get enough snow this winter you aren’t out of luck; you can head over to a ski resort.

Winter scenery at Harriman State Park in Island Park, Idaho

Cross Country Skiing at beautiful Harriman State Park

My last cross country skiing adventure was at Harriman State Park in Island Park, Idaho. This is a great place for beginners to learn how to ski. There are 25 miles of groomed ski trails ranging in difficulty from novice to advanced. Each trail begins at the visitor’s center and all trails are very well marked along the way. I like that there were a few small hills to practice your downhill skiing skills on. There is a warming hut that you can stop at to rest and have a cup of hot chocolate.

The setting is serene and scenic with an absence of noisy tourist crowds. The views are absolutely gorgeous! Seriously, this is one of the most tranquil and gorgeous winter recreation destinations I have ever come across on my travels. I highly recommend skiing the trails at Harriman State Park on your next winter visit to Southern Idaho! Because this park is so close to Yellowstone, it’s a wonderful add on activity.

Cross Country skiing at Harriman State Park in Idaho

Additional Details

Address: Green Canyon Road Island Park, ID 83429. For more information on skiing and other winter activities, visit the Harriman State Park website.

Lodging: There is limited lodging available in Island Park. I recommend staying in Idaho Falls, a small city with plenty of amenities of its’ own located just an hour away. Check out a full list of things to do in Idaho Falls.

Ski equipment rentals: Idaho Mountain Trading in Idaho Falls offers affordable rentals. Both daily and weekend packages available.