"From the sublime to the ridiculous" could describe options those headed to the mountain slopes have when it comes to choosing lodging.
Sure, there are motels and triangular "Alpine" places on just about every access road in North America.
Dotted across North America, too, are sumptuous spots - old and new, grande dames like The Balsams in Dixville North, N.H., and the Mountain Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods, also N.H., or the more recent Woodstock Inn, Vt., a Rockeller legacy, now a Preferred Hotel near Suicide Six, or the Mirror Lake Inn at Lake Placid, N.Y., near Whiteface Mountain Resort.
Looking for something more rustic? Mount Bohemia in Lac Labelle, high in the Keewanau Peninsula, part of Michigan's U.P., has 400 acres of terrain, 900 feet of vertical - the greatest in the Midwest. General Manager Lonie Glieberman called it "hard core, real powder" for expert skiers and riders on what's typically 300 inches of snow.
There is lodging to match, like a yurt right on the mountain that sleeps 10 in bunk beds and a pull-out couch. This is a very cheap option with 10 people. You bring your linens and towels, the yurt comes with electric heat, bathroom, shower, and sink. Also for a minimal fee, you can grab one of 14 beds in the hostel, or there are trailside cabins with bunk beds.
Spirit Trails near Kimberly, B.C., supplies the sleeping bags for their two-person igloos; also, breakfast, hot chocolate, and candlelight. Discounts come if you buy a package, such as "dinner in an igloo," which starts at 4:30 p.m. with a snowshoe tour, then storytelling by the campfire, tobogganing, and a salmon dinner. Another package option is a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Spirit Trails also has wildlife safaris and cross-country skiing.
Right outside Quebec City is the Hotel de Glace, North America's only ice hotel. The expected season this year is January to March. The packages include a room at the Four Points by Sheraton Quebec, for showers, luggage, and breakfast. guests can use the hot tubs and saunas under the stars at the hotel,. It's seriously all ice - from the beds to the glasses as the bar. The fires provide visual warmth, but no actual warmth.
Staying with an outdoor adventure theme and staying in Quebec, although the Eastern Townships now, you can drift off to sleep in one of two tree houses at Au Diable Vert which are available year-round. Perched between two trees, 12 to 15 feet in the air, these include a camp kitchen with wood stove, warm water tank, table and chairs. Solar panels provide lighting, and you get home on a staircase or ramp.
Au Diable Vert also has cabins, prospector tents with wood stoves, and camp sites.
You might have some off-the-wall lodging to report, so be sure and tell us about them with a comment below.