Winter Visits

Bring your spirit of adventure, pack your sense of humor and prepare for snow in all its glorious variations. Winter is a season of extremes. Average annual snowfall is more than 270 inches, but the winter of 1997 delivered more than 400 inches. Temperatures generally hover in the 20s and 30s (Fahrenheit), but the recorded low was minus 32 on Dec. 30, 1968. 

Things You Should Know:

Things to do in the Village include sledding on Chalet Hill, back country skiing and snowshoeing, book and Bible discussions, board games, movies, and live variety shows, in addition to scheduled retreats and special events. Sleds, cross-country skis with boots, snowshoes and poles can be borrowed from the Hike Haus.

Life in the Village is quieter and more intimate during the Winter. Daily worship is held in the Fireside Room of Koinonia or sometimes in conjunction with meals in the Dining Hall.   

Living quarters and other buildings are kept as warm as possible, but heavy clothing is advised and all the quilts you want will be provided. Hot meals are served family-style in the Dining Hall, with an emphasis on homemade bread baked daily. Electricity is a precious commodity—by all means, leave hair dryers and other personal appliances at home.

Getting around the Village can be challenging in the Winter. Despite constant efforts by Village staff to keep pathways clear and free of ice, the massive amount of precipitation that Holden (once called the "Switzerland of America") receives makes the elimination of hazards impossible. Lodging is not wheelchair-accessible in winter. Traction devices on your boots and other aids (such as ski or trekking poles) are advised for navigating between buildings.

Getting to the Village takes extra planning to accommodate winter conditions and travel schedules. Please check the boat schedule as the Lady of the Lake limits its runs during the Winter. Please note that Holden Village will NOT provide transport to and from the Village on Sundays from January through mid-April (even though the boat will run on Sundays). 

Since we generally have only one bus run on transport days, you should expect about a two-hour wait in Lucerne on the day of your departure. Holden has a basic A-frame cabin there with a woodstove for you to use while you wait. Check the “Getting to Holden” page for more information.


  • Have readily at hand (not tucked away in your luggage) cold-weather clothing for the 40-minute bus ride between Lucerne (where you'll leave the boat) and Holden Village. NOTE: Most travel goes as planned, but there is always the possibility of avalanches and other adventures that can delay that bus trip. Be prepared for the unexpected.
  • Bring extra medications and other essential personal items that you would need if weather conditions prolong your stay in the Village.

Weather conditions do not usually disrupt travel plans—but it occasionally happens. If your travel connections are critical, you may wish to add a couple of extra days as a buffer in case we can't meet the boat on the day you plan to leave.