Niche Resources
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6 Colleges for People Obsessed with Snow

Quick. Name your favorite season.

Winter?

Right on. While you’re definitely not in the majority here (in fact, most surveys claim less than 10 percent of people prefer it), you’re perfectly at home at any one of these college campuses.

And, if you’re looking forward to a wintry wonderland to call home for the next four years, start your application ASAP.

Soon you could be living and learning—and skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and skating—in your own personal snow globe on one of the snowiest college campuses in the United States.

 

 

  1. syracuse university snow
    • AVERAGE SNOWFALL:
      123.8 in.
    • AVERAGE HIGH IN JANUARY:
      31.5°F
    • AVERAGE LOW IN JANUARY:
      15.7°F

    For the quintessential winter wonderland, look no further than Syracuse University.

    Nestled in the northeast corner of the Finger Lakes and known for its practically limitless wine tasting and hiking opportunities, the city of Syracuse offers plenty of wintertime activities, including downhill skiing at Song, Labrador and Toggenburg mountains.

    On campus, Syracuse snow lovers unite for the annual Winter Carnival. Last year and pre-COVID protocols, the university held a moonlit snowshoe hike and a glow-in-the-dark late night skate night to celebrate the season.

    And to that we say: Let. It. Snow.

  2. nau snowboard grad
    • AVERAGE SNOWFALL:
      101.7 in.
    • AVERAGE HIGH IN JANUARY:
      42.5°F
    • AVERAGE LOW IN JANUARY:
      17.3°F

    Arizona usually conjures up images of succulents and cacti, barren desert landscapes and golf courses galore. Not exactly a winter wonderland, right?

    Think again.

    Flagstaff, home to NAU, racks up more than 100 inches of snow each year, making it the perfect (if not unexpected) place for people who simply love winter weather.

    Just off campus, there’s classic and skate-style skiing and snowshoeing at Nordic Village (as well as cozy little cabins and yurts to cuddle up in at night). And just 30 minutes from campus is Arizona Snowbowl, with 55 downhill skiing runs and four terrain parks for you to channel your inner Chloe Kim.

Top 25 Snowiest Cities in America
  1. Frozen Taughannock Falls pin
    • AVERAGE SNOWFALL:
      99.5 in.
    • AVERAGE HIGH IN JANUARY:
      31.7°F
    • AVERAGE LOW IN JANUARY:
      17.6°F

    Have you ever seen a lake freeze over? How about a waterfall?

    For all sorts of frozen adventures, head to Arende… Rochester, we definitely mean Rochester.

    This upstate New York campus gets just shy of 100 inches of snow each year, making it the place to be for snow lowers.

    Grab your skis or board and hit the slopes at one of four nearby ski resorts, including Bristol Mountain, which boasts more than 1,200 feet in vertical drop.

    For a little more leisurely endeavor, hike to Taughannock Falls, one of the only gorge (and gorgeous) trails in the New York State Park System open in winter. When temps are blisteringly cold, this already awe-inspiring feature freezes over and, well, it’s downright magical. 

    Check out Ontario Beach Park too. There’s a frosty spot where the lake meets the Genesee River, and frigid weather freezes over the two for totally grammable shots.

  2. ISU XC skiers
    • AVERAGE SNOWFALL:
      66.4 in.
    • AVERAGE HIGH IN JANUARY:
      35.6°F
    • AVERAGE LOW IN JANUARY:
      19.1°F

    Skiing and snowboarding? Pshhh. How about ice climbing?

    Real snow lovers will absolutely melt over ISU’s diverse winter activities that range from the casual (snowshoeing) to the near-crazy (ice climbing).  If you’re seriously into winter—like, maybe even more than your academics—Idaho State University might be the place for you.

    For starters, the campus holds its own ski swap. It’s a huge, two-day market for public and private groups to sell and buy gear for the upcoming snow season.

    Also on campus—the Outdoor Adventure Center. It holds year-round outdoorsy events, including classic winter activities, and even offers daily and weekend gear rentals for almost any cold weather escapade—from backcountry skiing to ice skating.

    Anyone need an avalanche transceiver? It’s seven bucks.

     

Top 50 Coldest Cities in America
  1. portland me ice skating pond
    • AVERAGE SNOWFALL:
      61.9 in.
    • AVERAGE HIGH IN JANUARY:
      31.2°F
    • AVERAGE LOW IN JANUARY:
      13.4°F

    Name the most famous thing about coastal Maine and it begins with the letter “L.”

    Lobsters.

    OK, so maybe second thing. Lighthouses. And they look absolutely breathtaking in the winter. All snowy and icy and just awe-inspiring.

    You can easily tour the area’s six lighthouses since they’re just a short (20 minutes or so) drive from campus. Grab a coffee, make a holiday song playlist and pick up a friend.

    If you’re looking for something to get your blood pumping, then the city proper boasts plenty of parks (that look like holiday cards, mind you) for sledding, ice skating and cross-country skiing.

    And, the city’s got a little tech savvy. It monitors these spots’ conditions and marks them on its winter conditions map as green, yellow or red depending on their usability. What’s probably the coolest thing is that the skating spots are actually ponds, not man made rinks, and so they’re only usable when the thermometer sinks well below freezing.

    Lace up and give it a shot. It’s not too late to qualify for the 2022 winter games, right?

     

  2. snowmobile utah
    • AVERAGE SNOWFALL:
      57.1 in.
    • AVERAGE HIGH IN JANUARY:
      39.6°F
    • AVERAGE LOW IN JANUARY:
      22.3°F

    Fortunate for snow lovers, BYU lies smack in the middle of Provo, Utah, a place that offers all the wintry activities named above—and then some.

    Sled dog rides? Got ’em. Snowmobiling? Yep.

    Less than hour away from campus, outfitters rent snowmobiles, equipment and maps for you to explore Idaho’s massive Uinta-Wasatch National Forest.

    And if you’re more of the I’ll-enjoy-winter-from-the-comfort-of-a-temperature-controlled-environment kind of person. Well, BYU can accommodate that too.

    They’ve got a Division II ice hockey team whose games (when fans are allowed) can make for a fun night.

    And about 1.5 hours away at Park City ski resorts, there are annual winter sports competitions. So if you’re not into actually interacting personally with the snow and ice and wind (we get it), you can certainly cheer on those who live and breathe it.