17. Portneuf Mountain Range, Idaho
Why go: The Portneuf Range, extending about 60 miles across southeast Idaho, is known for climbing, even in the winter (although you need permission to summit Mount Putnam and South Putnam Mountain, both of which are on Fort Hall Indian Reservation). You can get to the range in under two hours from Salt Lake City, UT, or Jackson Hole, WY, and five hours from Boise, ID. This is a remote stretch of wilderness tailored to backcountry and cross-country skiers.
Where to stay: For a really unique trip, rent one (or more) of Idaho State University’s yurts. There are four traditional Mongolian dome structures with clear skylights for stargazing. You can use just one yurt as your basecamp, or plan a yurt-to-yurt skiing or hiking trip.
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