Visit your favorite National Park in winter months and not only will you avoid the crowds and mosquitos, you will be treated to a winter wonderland missed by fair weather visitors. Winter temperatures make proper preparation and packing a must. Be sure you have plenty of warm clothing, especially warm boots, extra hiking socks, and gloves. You can find more info for each park on their official websites, and you should check with the park and weather services before your visit. So check out our favorite parks to visit during winter and plan your own National Park adventure!
Olympic National Park offers winter visitors variety of terrains to explore, ranging from snow-covered peaks, temperate rainforest, and ocean beaches. Winter activities include camping, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Plan your day correctly and you can experience winter snow, the waves of the ocean, and the lush green of the rainforest in a single day!
The Grand Canyon offers winter visitors the contrasting beauty of the red rocks blanketed with white snow. Although the north rim is closed from October to May, the South rim is open year round and is perfect for hiking popular trails that are normally crowded in the summer. Other activities include camping, stargazing, and guided tours.
Yosemite National Park is a must visit in winter. Be aware some of the parks roads close during winter months, but the roads to Yosemite Valley and Wawona are open year round. Additionally, Glacier Point/Badger Pass Road is plowed from mid-December through April to allow access to the Badger Pass Ski Area. Although parts of the park are inaccessible during winter there are still plenty of sights to see, trails to hike, and activities like cross-country skiing to enjoy.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the busiest park in the country, making winter a great time to visit and avoid some of the summer crowds! During the cold of winter, bears will be hibernating, but other wildlife is easier to spot since the trees are free of leaves. Sections of the Appalachian Trail pass through the park and make for a great hike or snowshoe adventure depending on snow fall.
If you aren't a fan of snow or just need an escape from winter weather at home, there are many National Parks located in warmer climates.
Death Valley National Park has a scary name but is actually a beautiful park well worth a visit. Death Valley is the hottest, lowest, and driest location on the planet, the average high during summer months is over 100 degrees, making winter a more comfortable time to visit. This also means that park attendance peaks during the winter months, so you will still encounter crowds. Popular activities include hiking, canyoneering, and of course, world-class star gazing due to the park's remoteness.
For those seeking a tropical winter vacation, no National Park beats Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Home to the planet's most active volcano, Kilauea, visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park frequently observe flowing lava. Because of the active lava and gasses that are emitted along with the lava, some areas of the park are occasionally closed for safety, so be sure to pay attention to signs and warning from the rangers. Activities include hiking, camping, and of course, visits to nearby beaches for snorkeling and surfing.
Have a burning desire to see Pele's fire? Talk with park rangers about current conditions, and visit our website www.nps.gov/havo. And remember: Today's the final day of fee-free admission in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Photo courtesy of park volunteer Eric Fandrick.#HVNP100 #FindYourPark #NPWest #LetHawaiiHappen
Big Bend National Park is located in one of the most remote regions of the great state of Texas. Accessible via 80 miles of 2 lane highway, this park's seclusion makes it one of the least visited National parks and a hidden treasure for the few who make the trip. Activities include hiking, rafting, camping, and epic stargazing.
Winter is the perfect time to visit Everglades National Park in Florida. Temperatures are cooler, and the mosquitos are fewer. The Everglades is home to ecosystems and wildlife not found at other National Parks including alligators and manatees. Activities include hiking, bird watching, boating, and fishing.
Planning a Winter Camping or Backpacking Trip to a National Park? Read our 11 Tips for Winter Camping and Backpacking.
Snowshoeing is an activity that can open your eyes to breathtaking new dimensions and faces of nature. Not only is it a fun and achievable goal to help you get outside during the winter, but it is an experience unlike any other that is sure to make an impression.
Though it can be overwhelming to think about planning a beginner trip in the winter weather, anyone can take a snowshoeing trip with the right preparation and mindset. For me, a cold-natured summer hiker, snowshoeing offers confidence in my own abilities and an outlet to enjoy the winter that I have grown to anticipate and love.
My favorite family Christmas tradition has always been driving up into the mountains and cutting our own Christmas tree. We grew to perfect the process, carefully judging potential trees for our own living room and for the growing number of family members who began to ask for real trees, too. Grandma likes her tree not too full, but Nana likes it when the branches droop, like trees on vintage postcards. Each year, we would cut a little bit off of the trunk and add it to our quirky collection.
Though you probably do not know her name, Whitney Thomas is a true outdoorswoman.
When I set out to interview her about women in the outdoors, I had no idea how strikingly real and powerful her insights would be. Instead of lingering on the lack of quality, technical women’s gear (and how so much of it is pink) or on the gender gap in guiding, Whitney took time to talk over why she loves the outdoors, and what all it has offered her.
|Small||4 - 6.5||2 - 4.5||35 - 37||20.5 - 23|
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|8 - 10.5||41 - 45||26 - 28.5|
13.5 - 15
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|Small||N/A||N/A||N/A||20.5 - 23|
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|5.5 - 8||39 - 41||23.5 - 25.5|
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|WOMEN'S||FITS SIZES||US Sizes (Inches)|
|Small||2 - 4||Length: 26"||Width: 15 ¾"|
|Medium||6 - 8||Length: 26 ½"||Width: 16 ½"|
|Large||8 - 10||Length: 27 ⅛ "||Width: 17 ½"|
|X-Large||10 - 14||Length: 27 ¾"||Width: 18 ½"|
|2X-Large||14 - 18||Length: 28 ⅜"||Width: 19 ½|
|MEN'S / UNISEX||CHEST TO FIT||US Sizes (Inches)|
|Small||34 - 37||Length: 28"||Width: 18"|
38 - 41
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42 - 45
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46 - 49
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|2X-Large||50 - 53||Length: 32"||Width: 26"|