Last updated: 05:00 AM ET, Tue March 17 2015

Where to Go to Let Your Winter Last a Little Longer

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | March 17, 2015

Where to Go to Let Your Winter Last a Little Longer

For a portion of the country, this winter has been one of the worst on record. But there is portion of the population that looks at this winter in a totally different light, seeing an epic presentation by Mother Nature that they just don't want to end. For those mavericks, I have a list of the five places with the longest winters in the country as well as the average date of the first freeze so that you can get ready to get your winter groove on again.

Clayton Lake, Maine

Sitting about 75 miles almost due East of Quebec is the tiny hamlet of Clayton, Maine (if you can call it a hamlet). The average day for last day of freezing in the town of Clayton Lake is May 31st. They average about 100 days a year without a freeze and you can start getting out the winter coats on the average about the first week of September. It is absolutely beautiful country up that way and if you want peace and quiet, this is certainly one of the places to go. There is a landing strip there for small aircraft and I would assume they have some fantastic ice fishing in the winter.

Tower, Minnesota

Photo courtesy of

Tower Minnesota may sound like a tall place, and in comparison to Clayton Lake it definitely is. The oldest town north of Duluth and the gateway to Lake Vermillion, during the summer you get some of the most incredible views of nature anyone has ever seen. In the winter what you get is cold. Real cold. The record cold temp for Minnesota was set here in 1996 at -60 degrees. Here is how long winter lasts in this quaint little city: 313 days. Well, to be honest they average about 52 days without a freeze per year and that range is from about June 29th to August 21st. Winter is the spirit up here and I am sure you can find some fantastic ice fishing and a game of Cribbage up here just about all winter long.

HERMIT 7 ESE, Colorado

Photo courtesy of Antlers Lodge

This isn’t so much a town as it is a weather station in Colorado. But to give you an idea of where it is, think about being 150 Southwest of Denver or a little more than 100 miles north of Santa Fe, New México. Technically it is in the Town of Creede, Colorado in the middle of the Rio Grande National Forest. There isn’t a whole lot going on in these parts in the winter with even places like The Antlers Lodge and Restaurant only being open seasonally. They only average about 26 days without a freeze in these parts and that typically falls somewhere between July 17th and August 12th.

Barrow, Alaska

Photo Courtesy of Top of the World Hotel

You just had to figure Alaska was going to wind up on the list somewhere. The northernmost city in the US and the 121th in the world, Barrow is home to just under 5000 people. This is one of the few places in the world where snow is known to fall in every month of the year. Here you are only getting on average 10 days reprieve from the freezing weather and they fall around the July 28th to August 8th time frame. There are no roads in and out of town, so plan to fly your way in. Most of the folk here work on or in support of the oil fields and because of the landlocked nature of the town, a lot of food is fish sourced locally. There are modern medical facilities here, and you can stay at the Top of the World Hotel and book great tours right out of there as well.

Bondurant, Wyoming

Photo courtesy of

You want to learn how to ski? This is the place where you will have more time to work on your stop than anywhere else in the country. Bondurant, Wyoming in western Utah has by far the longest winter with an average of eight days that are above freezing. To put that in perspective, the average last day of freezing weather is July 27th and the first day of freezing weather starts back up around August 5th. That gives a whole new meeting to summer vacation.  What’s to do out there in Bondurant you ask? Well it is technically within the confides of Yellowstone National Park and Idaho Falls, Idaho is only about an hour and change away (when it’s not snowing). There are 93 people who call this place home year round and if you want to meet some of them you can stop off at the Branding Iron Café and grab a bite to eat.

For more information on Maine, Minnesota, Colorado, Alaska, Wyoming

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