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5 Places to Snow Camp (Without Really Snow Camping)

You like the idea of sleeping in a tent on a frozen glacier midwinter. But you also really enjoy beds and hot showers.

(Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos)
Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos

You like the idea of sleeping in a tent on a frozen glacier midwinter. But you also really enjoy beds and hot showers.

We asked the location scouts at the Venue Report to help us track down the world’s coolest glacier glamping spots—we’re talking about igloos and ice caves where you’ll also be treated to a fireplace, a comfy bed, and a hot tub. 

Arctic SnowHotel, Finland  

Click to enlarge. (Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos)

Tuck into a glass igloo, where you can watch the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed through a see-through ceiling. Or stay at the SnowHotel, which is carved each year from mounds of ice and sleeps up to 70 people wrapped in sleeping bags and reindeer furs. You’ll be granted a certificate of achievement after you survive the night in Arctic temperatures and this being Finland, there are multiple saunas on site, including one built with snow walls. You can ice fish for pike in the neighboring lake.

Hôtel de Glace, Québec City, Canada  

hotel de glace
Click to enlarge. (The Venue Report)

From early January to late March, this 44-room hotel gets built from the ground up using snow and ice. Now in its 16th year, you can stop into the Hôtel de Glace for a frosty cocktail at the ice bar or book a room for an overnight stay, which comes with access to the spa and sauna, a sub-zero sleeping bag atop a bed made from blocks of ice, and nearby activities like dogsledding, Nordic skiing, and more. Splurge and get a room with its own fireplace.  

Hotel Arctic, Ilulissat, Greenland  

Hotel Arctic
Click to enlarge. (Hotel Arctic)

The world’s most northerly four-star hotel, the Hotel Arctic is located 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle on Greenland’s Ilulissat Icefjord, an UNESCO World Heritage site. In addition to the hotel’s more typical rooms, you can sleep in igloo-shaped domes made with aluminum frames and outfitted with kitchenettes and TVs. Grab a drink at the snow bar, learn to build a traditional igloo from the pros, or dine on fish native to Greenland in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, which has views of floating icebergs.

Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel, Switzerland 

Whitepod Hotel Switzerland
Click to enlarge. (Whitepod Hotel Switzerland)

Deep in the Swiss Alps, you’ll walk up a snowy hill to reach your geodesic dome (to return, you can sled back downhill). The pods are heated via wood-burning stove and are designed to be warmed as efficiently as possible. Outside your pod, you’ll find a small private ski area. Your stay includes a buffet breakfast and afternoon tea, and for dinner, you can dine in the on-site restaurant or order to have food delivered to your pod. 

Blacksheep Le Village Igloo, France  

Blacksheep Le Village Igloo
Click to enlarge. (Blacksheep Le Village Igloo)

After a communal fondue dinner and wine made by someone’s grandma, you’ll retire to your bed of ice in a dorm-style or private igloo at Blacksheep, which is open from mid December to mid April in the French Alps. Awake to views of Mont Blanc and a hot breakfast. 

Filed To: Travel / Camping
Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons )

San Marcos, Texas

Billed as the world’s toughest canoe race, the Texas Water Safari, held each June, is a four-day, 260-mile jaunt from the headwaters of the San Marcos River northeast of San Antonio to the small shrimping town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There’s no prize money—just bragging rights for the winner. Any boat without a motor is allowed, and you’ll have to carry your own equipment and overnight gear. Food and water are provided at aid stations along the way. Entry fees start at $175 and increase as race day approaches.

The Ring

(Courtesy Quatro Hubbard)

Strasburg, Virginia

The Ring is a 71-mile trail running race in early September along the entire length of Virginia’s rough and rocky Massanutten Trail loop. To qualify, you need to have run a 50- or 100-mile race before the event and win a spot through the lottery system. Entry is free. Complete the run and you’ll become part of the tight-knit Fellowship of the Ring and be eligible for the Reverse Ring, which entails running the trail backwards in the middle of winter.


(David Silver)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Each spring, competitors gather in Santa Fe’s historic plaza with a simple goal: be the first to reach 12,308-foot Deception Peak, 17 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain away. Competitors run or bike the first 15 miles to the local ski area before transitioning to their waiting ski-touring setups for the final push to the top. Time stops only when they’ve skied back down to the tailgate in the resort’s parking lot, which is funded by the modest entry fee of around $25. To add to the sufferfest, some participants sign up for the Expedition category, in which they strap their skis, skins, boots, and poles to their bikes for the long ride up. Start dates vary depending on snow conditions, but look for the event page to be posted on Facebook in late March or early April.

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