Visiting our national parks during snow season can become a completely different experience than any other time of the year. The often crowded trails become quiet, and snowfall can turn any perspective into something entirely different. Of course that often times also means more preparation and special consideration for weather forecasts. Here are our suggestions for parks to visit during the colder months.
1. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
For the truly adventurous, Mount Rainier simply must be on your bucket list. With over 50 feet of snow each year the park truly transforms into a truly unique experience. If you can brave the elements, backcountry camping is permitted and you can find skiing, snow snoeing and other winter activities to take part in.
2. Yosemite National Park, California
One of the most popular national parks in the country due to great views and hiking, Yosemite also offers plenty of winter activities including cross country skiing, snow shoeing and more. While Yosemite Valley and Wawona remain accessible, Tioga and Glacier Point roads are typically closed.
3. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Iconic red rocks, dry air and amazing skylines are synonymous with Bryce Canyon National Park. And what better time to visit than when the temperatures aren't scorching hot and the crowds are dramatically smaller. The real treat in saving Bryce Canyon for winter time is the contrast between the snow and red rocks. Star gazing in the dry, crisp climate is also a sight to behold.
4. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
With multiple trails open all year long, RMNP is a popular destination during the winter. Colorado snow will certainly have an impact on your trip, and you can find over 50 peaks that will be snowcapped above 12,000 feet. Some great activities that you can take part in include snowshoeing, camping, cross-country skiing, and hiking.
5. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
One of the most popular destinations throughout the year, visiting the Grand Canyon during the cooler months will certainly lessen the crowds as you traverse this magnificent landmark. While the North Rim closes in the fall, the South Rim remains open and you will be able to traverse across some of the most beautiful landscape around. Winter storms can often times still blanket areas with snow and you should be warned that temperatures can drop lower than expected.