Winter is right around the corner in the Western White Mountains. The temperatures have dropped, and the local ski resorts have started to make snow. The New Year will be here before you know it, and this winter will be like no other.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things this year, and winter in the Western White Mountains will certainly look a little different this year. While winter activities in the mountains will be open and in full swing, ski resorts, hotels and condos, restaurants, and attractions will all have extra precautions that you’ll want to be prepared for during your upcoming visit. Our winter resource guide is here to help you make your visit as smooth and fun as possible. A great place to start is at Visit NH, where you’ll learn What to Know Before You Go.
The keys to having a great travel experience (regardless of whether it’s taking place during a pandemic or not), are to find out what you need to know before you go, be respectful of local communities, businesses, and environments, and be prepared to follow guidance that is designed to keep you and the local residents safe. Planning ahead and pre-booking your accommodations, activities, and restaurant reservations are even more important now while many businesses’ capacity is limited due to the pandemic.
Both Loon Mountain and Cannon Mountain have implemented special mountain operations to help keep everyone safe this ski season. If you have an Ikon Pass for Loon Mountain, you must make a reservation online at IkonPass.com. You must purchase your ticket online for daily lift tickets and pick up at a contactless pickup box at the mountain. Lift tickets will be limited, so plan ahead for your desired dates! Cannon Mountain does not plan to require season pass holders to make reservations at this time, but that could change in the future. Limited daily lift tickets will be sold online only.
Other popular winter attractions such as the Ice Castle and Alpine Adventures are open for business with advance reservations. Pick your date and time, book your tickets online, and have tons of fun. Many hotels and resorts have limited capacity due to current state guidelines, so it’s important to book ahead of time, especially during peak weeks, such as the Christmas holidays and school vacation weeks. Hotels have heavily invested in sanitation and cleaning procedures to ensure everyone’s safety.
While You’re Here
Local businesses have worked hard to make your visit as easy, safe, and fun as in previous years. All businesses in the Western White Mountains, including the ski resorts, require face coverings to be worn at all times. Both Loon Mountain and Cannon Mountain will offer limited access to their lodges. You’ll be required to boot up at your vehicles. Lift lines will likely be longer due to social distancing, but with a little patience, you’ll get to the top in no time. Ski school is still in session this winter! With limited capacity and smaller classes, though, you’ll want to book in advance to ensure your spot.
All your favorite restaurants are open and ready to serve up your favorite dishes. Indoor seating is limited, so it is best to call ahead, and many restaurants are now offering take-out menus, so you grab and go.
If you’ve been coming to the Western White Mountains for a while now, then you know what the weather can be like during the winter months. It is important to dress in layers and be prepared for the worst. For winter layers and winter accessories, like hats, gloves, and face coverings, stop by Rodger’s Ski & Sport, Village Ski & Snowboard, and Burgeon Outdoor.
If you’re looking to escape for your socially distance winter fun, then you have come to the right place! The Western White Mountains offers an abundance of opportunities to escape the crowds. With hundreds of miles of hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing trails, you could spend all day without seeing another person. Granite Backcountry Alliance has tons of great information about the best backcountry ski areas in the White Mountains. For winter hiking trails and tips, visit the Appalachian Mountain Club or AllTrails. No matter what you choose to do, you’ll have fun in the Western White Mountains!
Staying Safe This Winter
The Western White Mountains is an incredible place to enjoy some family-friendly winter fun, but we all must do it safely and respectfully. As you arrive in the mountains, please wear a mask at all your favorite public places like ski resorts, hotels, restaurants, and grocery stores, among others. Practice social distancing, and remember to wash and sanitize your hands (and your gloves!) often. In addition to keeping your hands clean, please remember to leave Mother Nature clean by taking your trash with you. And if you or someone in your family isn’t feeling well, please stay home and reschedule your trip. We’ll be here waiting for you when you feel better!
Book Your Next Winter Visit to the Western White Mountains
This winter may look and feel a little different this year, but the Western White Mountains are open and ready to host all your winter fun. Just plan ahead, follow the rules, and you’ll be sure to have a wonderful time.