Freshly fallen snow is a wondrous sight, especially in the mountains, where glistening landscapes can remain untouched for days. Frozen lakes, frosty firs and snow-capped peaks create Instagram-worthy scenes that are peaceful and serene. These heights aren’t often easy to reach, so leave your skis and climbing gear at home. Grab a warm cup of hot chocolate and enjoy these wonderfully wintry images from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest.

a ski resort at the base of a snow covered moutain
A quaint resort sits at the base of these majestic snow-capped mountains. Connor Jenkins, Montana, 2021
Glacial river stream winding through black volcanic sand, green moss and white snow
Glacial river streams resemble blue paintbrush strokes among black volcanic sand, green moss and white snow. Andro Loria, Iceland, 2018

a road in winter seen from above
A well-plowed road leads the way through snowy mountains and frosty flora. Jacob Wilson, New York, 2023
s snowy landscape with the sun sets
Is it possible to hear the quiet? This snowy scene seems quite serene. Matt Meisenheimer, Canada, 2017
a snow-covered vineyard
Do you enjoy your wine chilled? Unfortunately, it’s not the season to grow grapes. So, just savor beauty of these frosty vineyards. Der Mits, Switzerland, 2017
a snow-covered road in a forest is shown from above
The sun melts snow from the tops of some trees, revealing the copper-toned hues of fall underneath. Linda Persson, Sweden, 2022
sun set on a snow-covered mountain with the moon in the sky
The sun is setting, casting a glow on the snowy slopes, and its slow descent is interrupted by the rising moon. Marta Lucio, Pakistan, 2018

a person laying on a snow covered dock is shown from above
A drone operator takes an aerial selfie on the pier of a frozen lake. Manish Mamtani, Massachusetts, 2020
a tree lined frozen lake shown from above
With a shoreline shaped like a winged dragon ready to swoop down, this frozen-over lake could be the perfect location for a “House of the Dragon” taping. Raghuvamsh Chavali, Canada, 2021
a snow covered house surrounded by a forest is shown from straight above
Tucked away on a mountaintop, this home practically disappears among its snowy-white surroundings. Ryan Linton, Colorado, 2022

a snow-covered hillside with a road
This photo was taken at the border of Scotland and England, but it’s hard to determine where one country ends and another begins without the presence of manmade markers dividing us. Andrew Smith, United Kingdom, 2022
snow covered trees on a hill below a cloudy sky
Snow covers the frosty firs and high hills around Bergen. Remi Carreiro, Norway, 2016
snow and gravel is seen from above
With snow nestled into striking creases and crevices, it’s easy to imagine how the lava flowed from the earth centuries ago, eventually forming this geological mass in Landmannalaugar. Doron Talmi, Iceland, 2018
a windy road surrounded by snow-covered trees is shown from above
Lined with snow-covered trees, this road curves and winds like a snake. Julian Elliott, Italy, 2022

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