5 Winter Adventure Vacation Ideas for Adrenaline Junkies

There’s no feeling quite like clocking out, grabbing your skis, and heading to your favorite winter vacation spot for some much-needed ski therapy. But maybe this winter you’re looking for something to really get your blood pumping. If you want to add some awesome and break free of the norm, keep reading for some winter adventure vacation ideas that’ll satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie.

Interlaken, Switzerland

Paragliding over the town of Interlaken, Switzerland.

Gliding with a view. Photo: Inga Vitola CC BY 2.0

Interlaken has the advantage of a central location in the midst of some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the world. Nestled between two gorgeous lakes, you’ll have easy access to three popular mountains; Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger.

Feel like some traditional winter activities? Done. Hike over 220 kilometers of trails, choose from over 45 mountain railways that visit 200 kilometers of pistes, or take a trip to Jungfraujoch, known as the “Top of Europe.” If that’s not enough, go ahead and explore Trummelbach Falls, Europe’s largest subterranean water falls, located in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

If that all sounds a bit too bland for you, don’t worry, Interlaken is often referred to as Europe’s Mecca for extreme sports. With heli-skiing, paragliding, skydiving, ice climbing, bungee jumping, and plenty more on offer, Interlaken is an obvious destination for our winter adventure vacation ideas.

Whistler, BC

The endless mountains of Whistler are perfect for a winter adventure vacation.

The possibilities are endless. Photo: Kent Goldman CC BY 2.0

Whistler is world-renowned for its top-notch skiing, and every year thousands of tourists flock to the resort town to hit the slopes. Swanky hotels dot the popular tourist town and don’t even get us started on the après-ski scene. Everyone from elite singles to close-knit families take refuge in Whistler for the ultimate ski vacation. As if you needed any more reason to visit, Whistler also offers a wide range of winter activities, making it ‘a must’ for any adrenaline junkie.

Hit your favorite slope, go back country, or maybe even try a little cross-country skiing. If that’s not enough adventure for you, book a heli-skiing tour and find the best untouched snow that’s only accessible via helicopter. Finally, you can also try your hand at snowmobiling or dog-sledding, winter zip lining, or take a dive and soar high above the glacier-fed Cheakamus River as you go bungee jumping.

Valdez, Alaska

Pristine conditions a top two peaks in Valdez, Alaska.

Pristine conditions. Photo: Hayley Total Heliski CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This small community in Alaska is located near the head of a deep fjord and is well-known, as many Alaskan towns are, as a fishing port. The town also has a colorful past as the terminal of the Trans-Alaska pipeline.

However, the town also boasts a proud history of amazing winter sports, and hosted the World Extreme Skiing Championships from 1991-2000. Needless to say, Valdez is a prime location for winter sports like cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snow catting, and heli-skiing. If you’re in the mood for exploring, you can also grab a kayak and check out some of the awe-inspiring glaciers at the nearby Shoup Bay State Marine Park.

Finally, try your hand at ice climbing if you’re looking for some real adventure. The blue, waterfall ice of Keystone Canyon is as good as unrivaled in accessibility, quality, and length of routes.

Utah Olympic Park

Bobsled track in Utah Olympic Park.

Following the path of champions. Photo: Rocky A CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Built for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Utah Olympic Park hosted the bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, ski-jumping, and Nordic combined events. Located in Park City, the park is nestled in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. Spanning an impressive 389 acres, this is another obvious candidate on our list of top winter adventure vacation ideas.

Although the park is still used as a training center for Olympic athletes, it’s open year-round to visitors, meaning you don’t have to be a world-class athlete to enjoy this amazing venue. Take a guided tour of the park, or feel free to participate in the many other activities on offer.

Go for a ride down the Olympic bobsled track for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the Comet Bobsled, or test your will power on the advance-level Summit Adventure Course. For the speed demons out there, reach the speed of world-class skiers on one of the steepest zip lines in the world.

Chamonix, France

Paragliding through the clouds above Chamonix, France.

Adventure among the clouds. Photo: Alexandro Lacadena CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Chamonix lies close to the border between France, Switzerland, and Italy, and is one of the oldest and most famous ski resorts in the country. Located at the base of the famous Mont Blanc in the French Alps, Chamonix is made up of 16 villages and hamlets, and has gained a reputation as home to some of the best adrenaline-fueled activities in the world, making it an obvious final contender on our list of top winter adventure vacation ideas.

Most visitors won’t pass up the opportunity to climb Mont Blanc and navigate its crags, but icefall climbing and paragliding are also popular activities in Chamonix. If you’ve really got a need for speed, then you’d best try speed riding, a combination of skiing and paragliding that allows participants to fly down some of the world’s best slopes.

A World full of Winter Adventure Vacation Ideas

Feeling the need for speed or the desire for danger? Our list may have only revealed the tip of the iceberg when it comes to winter adventure vacation ideas, but hopefully you’re feeling inspired to take the plunge and make your next winter trip one to remember. If the epic slopes of the Coast Mountains are calling you, contact our expert Whistler Concierge services. With insider knowledge and all the right connections, we can make your next winter vacation the most adventurous yet.

Gibbons Whistler

Gibbons has been celebrating with people since 1979. We operate venues, run festivals, brew beer, talk travel and throw parties.