7 Places You Wouldn’t Expect to See Snow

When people think of the snow they typically think of places like Whistler Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen, Bear Mountain, Japan, New Zealand and lots lots more.  These locations are have high snowfall and tourists typically visit these places in the tens of thousands to get their snow fix during the winter months; and why not?  The quantity and quality of the snow at these places is absolutely amazing and there has obviously been a lot of local investment in the areas to ensure visitors have an unforgettable time.

On the opposite side of the scale there are locations that most people would never expect to find snow.  These places are usually associated with surfing or beaches, deserts or just generally hot climates.  But, we’ve done the research and we’ve found the Seven places you wouldn’t expect to see snow.

So next time you’re planning a holiday with your friends or family you should try and surprise them with one of these destinations.  Without further ado, here are the top 7 places you wouldn’t expect to see snow.


7 – Hawaii

Hawaii is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the only region of the United States of America that is located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator.  Because of this, nearly 8 MILLION tourists travel to Hawaii each year.  These tourists are attracted to the relaxed island life, the beautiful beaches and warm weather.  However, there are three mountains – volcanoes actually –  of Mauna Kea, Manua Loa and Halekala in Hawaii.  These volcanoes have peaks of between 10,000 and 14,000 feet (3,050 and 4,300 metres) and as such, the summit of the volcanoes get covered in snow EACH YEAR.

Ok, let’s not go crazy here; while the volcanoes do receive snowfall, they lack all the amenities of a typical ski resort – ski lifts, accommodation, rentals etc. – but that hasn’t stopped people from ski on the volcanoes.

Despite the lack of ski resorts, there is still plenty to do on the Hawaiian volanoe – see Snow Games.

6  – Arizona

Arizona located in the south-west region of the United States of America and home to the Sonoran desert.  When most people think of Arizona their minds revert to a red, hot formiddle land with cactus and cold blooded animals thrive.  Arizona is NOT a place most people would typically associate with snow; however, to the surprise of many it does snow in Arizona.  In-fact, Arizona has two ski resorts; Arizona Snowbowl and Sunrise Park Resort.

The ski resorts receive (on average) approximately 255 feet (6.5 metres) of snowfall a year and have fully operational ski lifts and services.  Ok, the snowfall is as spectacular as you’d find in The Rocky Mountain region; but when your average temperature is xxx degrees all year round you’ll take any snow you can get.


5 – Australia

Australia is a country literally surrounded by oceans and populated by citizens with beautiful golden tanned skin.  Most tourists flock to Australia for their well-known world class Bondi Beach and Surfers Paradise.  But located between the two largest cities – Sydney and Melbourne – you’ll find ski resorts of Falls Creek, Mount Hotham, Thredbo, Perisher Blue, Mount Buller, Mount Baw Baw and others.

Unlike those in Hawaii, the Australian ski fields have all the amenities of a ski field.  So next time you’re thinking of a holiday Down-Under, perhaps you should consider checking out the Aussie snow!

4 – Mexico

Mexico!  Similar to Australia, most people would expect the people of Mexico – Mexicans – to be languishing in the balmy afternoon under the sun with a sombrero for shade.  Ok, that’s a massive stereotype but, Mexico is the Tropics and is HOT.  Temperatures in places like Mexico City, Tijuana, Playa del Carmen etc. don’t typically get below 4 degrees Farenheit (5 degrees Celcius) and hence snow fall is extremely rare.  But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t snow in Mexico.  Chihuahua is one of the northern most states of Mexico is bordered by New Mexico and Texas.  Passing through Chihuhua is the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range and that have mountain peaks of up to 10,800 feet (3,300 metes).  The elevations are enough that snowfall of approximately 1 foot (30 centimeters) occurs per year.  However, in extreme conditions up to 39 inches (1 meters) of snow has fallen in one snow storm.

3 – The Equator

Ok, so the Equator is not a place – not a physical place anyway.  But we all know the Equator to be the invisible line drawn across the center of the Earth that separates the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.  It is considered to be as close as you can get to the Sun – whilst still being on Earth – and because of this it would be one of the last places you’d expect to see snow.  But Mount Kenya which is located Kenya – I bet you could have probably guessed that – and a mere 10 miles (16 kms) from the Equator is made up of a number of peaks that have altitudes of up to 17,000 feet ( 5,200 meters).   Given these altitudes snowfall on Mount Kenya is obviously not so surprising; Mount Kenya even had a ski resort to accommodate the tourists hoping to carve up the mountain snow.

2 – India

India, with a population of 1.2BILLION and firmly located within the Tropics is perhaps a country better known for being hot and very populated; very likely one of the last place you’d expect to see snow.  However, the northern regions of India are located within the Himalayas and as a result the mountains of India are some of the largest in the World.  In fact, India has 20 of the top 100 tallest mountains in the World.  As a result, many mountains that receive snowfall each year.  Additionally, many of the mountains have established snow facilities making them popular destination for the skiers and snowboarders.


1 – Brazil

Yes, we are serious!  Brazil is one of the rare countries that travels across the Equator meaning regions of the country are in the Northern Hemisphere while the majority of the country is in the Southern Hemisphere; technically it’s always winter somewhere in Brazil.  Regardless, because of its location across the Equator and within the Tropics you would be forgiven for not knowing it snows in Brazil.

Most people when travelling to Brazil visit places like Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Olinda and Fortaleza.  But its the southern regions of Brazil where the climate is prefect enough to generate snow.

The city of São Joaquim the capital Santa Catarina is also the snow ‘capital’ of Brazil.  São Joaquim is located approximately 4,400 feet (1,350 meters) above sea level – which is obviously not quite as high as some of the other locations on this list – but the elevation is enough that snowfall each year is not uncommon.  Ok, so it’s not a huge amount of snow, but it’s enough to make the locals excited enough to build snowmen- see Snowman Making.  It’s also enough to make Number 1 on our list of surprising snow holiday destinations.

That concludes our list guys.  We’re glad you took the time to check them out.  If you’ve ever visited one of these locations we’d love to hear your experience.  So please feel free to Contact Us and send us some pictures or simply shoot us an email.


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