Amazing Outdoor Events Happening in January
With another whoosh of flying calendar pages it seems another year has passed us by, and without even a break in the action 2016 is upon us. Lucky for you, with some of the nice winter weather that has been passing through the country, you don’t need to take a break from the adventure, and starting in January you can be sure to make 2016 the year of exploration. To help you on your way, here for you today are 10 awesome events happening in January:
Don’t let the winter weather disrupt your workout routine and strap on the ole’ trail runners January 9th for the San Tan Scramble in Queen Creek, Arizona. Featuring 50k, 26K, 17k & 9k running routes, no matter the distance you choose you’ll be traveling through the saguaro-infused, ultra-scenic trails of the San Tan and Goldmine mountain ranges. The best news of all, the temperature for this year’s race looks to be hovering around the upper fifties, aka the best weather to run in.
The pinnacle of ice climbing festivals, the Ouray Ice Festival in Ouray, Colorado is the place to be if you have even the slightest interest for ice climbing. With gear demos, presentations, clinics and enough hot food and drink to keep you toasty, this 4-day event is catered towards everyone from the professional climber to the interested spectator of the sport. Open for the whole family to attend, check out the Ouray Ice Festival to see what ice climbing is all about.
If you ever had any doubts about how much fun can be had on the short days of winter, be sure to check out any and all the events happening during the BANFF National Park’s annual SnowDays. Featuring more than a few ways to stay warm, whether your winter flavor is guided snowshoe hiking, outdoor concerts, or a little Aprés action, BANFF National Park and their full calendar of SnowDays events has you covered from head to toe.
Get a little taste of the Cascades this winter by checking out the Bavarian IceFest located in the appropriately bestowed town of Leavenworth, Washington. A trip to Leavenworth, a completely Bavarian-themed town, is worth the visit enough, but throw on top of that the chili scavenger hunt, live ice sculpting, rail jam competition, and the fireworks of IceFest, and you’ll have a winter memory that will last forever.
To find some of the best cross country skiing in the world the first place you should look is the Methow Valley in Winthrop, Washington. To give you a good look at it, the Methow Valley Nordic Festival is taking place this month and alongside free skiing all weekend long, this celebration event features races, clinics, and tours of the magical winter wonderland that is Winthrop. There is no need for extra reasons to visit the north Cascades of Washington, but the Methow Valley Nordic Festival is something no winter-loving mountain athlete should miss.
Pull your sleds on over to Merrill, Wisconsin this January for the Merrill Winterfest Sled Dog Races. Taking place over the weekend, Winterfest will feature multiple different dog sled, skijoring, and kid-friendly races that will push mushers cross country and through some spectacle winter scenery. The only question at the end of the Merrill Winterfest Sled Dog Race is who had more fun, the mushers or the dogs who get to go out and play?
Much like every other winter festival happening in January, the Icefest 16’ in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania was created to battle the wintertime blues. Approaching its 14th anniversary, and with a long list of activities to participate in including ice sculpting viewing, cake decorating competitions, double-wide ice sledding races, and many more, it’s clear that the lowering temperatures doesn’t stop Chambersburg from keeping the excitement levels high.
The culmination of “alternative” winter sport action, the X-Games have grown nicely to become a world-wide stage for some of the best mountain athletes around. Having Aspen as a backdrop doesn’t hurt the popularity of this annual event, and 2016 is sure to prove to be another exciting year for X-Game’s history. Featuring 4 days of skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling finals, plus live music every night, some might argue that the Winter X-Games might be the biggest adventure event of the year.
Stay on top of the snow this winter at the Bigfoot Snowshoe Festival taking place at the base of the Wasatch Mountains of Utah late into the month. Featuring 5 different race categories ranging from 50k to 5k, there is a little something for everyone at this epic snowshoe gathering and race. The better news, the shortest three of the races are qualifier events for the USSSA Snowshoe Championships taking place down the road in Ogden, Utah this February.
For those winter anglers out there, don’t think you’ve been left out of the winter fun. The Ice Fish Fest taking place at Catfish Bat of Sioux Falls, South Dakota is shaping up to be a spectacular ice fishing event. Featuring pre-drilled holes, all you need to bring is your fishing gear and some warm clothes, and with big cash prizes for nabbing the biggest fish (including a 1st place $1,000 check), be sure to show some patience and don’t forget the thermos for the Ice Fish Fest at Catfish Bay.
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