If you find yourself in the wide open West this winter, either for business or for pleasure, take a look around. You’re in the midst of national park country, just minutes away from some of the most incredible sites in the USA.
Believe it or not, some of the most exciting parts of national parks can only be explored when the weather is at its chilliest. Instead of staying inside, bundle up, hit the trails, and take in some of the snow-covered wonders that nature has created. Here are three of the best national parks to visit in the U.S. this winter.
1. Yellowstone National Park
Despite its reputation as one of the most amazing parks to visit in the summer, Yellowstone has some great opportunities for the colder months as well. Like many of the other open spaces out West, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are very popular on the park’s great plains. With the expansive open areas in between lakes and woods, visitors have ample opportunity to take in a breathtaking sea of white.
For visitors to the park less inclined to walking, hiking, or gliding, snowmobiles are available for rent. Get the experience of a lifetime as you speed across the snow, seeing sights foreign to the dozens of summer visitors who grace the park each year. A wide variety of ranger-led programs are also available during the winter.
2. Bryce Canyon National Park
Unlike many of the other national parks in Utah, Bryce Canyon always gets snow, and generally lots of it. This park, known for its expansive canyon and rock structures, is a favorite in the summer but can be just as amazing in the winter.
With multiple hiking trails, cross-country skiing paths, and snowshoeing trails, visitors to Bryce Canyon have dozens of opportunities to enjoy some of the most striking landforms in the United States. Those new to snowshoeing or who want to get the best possible experience are encouraged to participate in ranger-guided snowshoe tours in order to see the best of the park during the winter months.
3. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is wildly known for its winter beauty in a way that has inspired artists and poets alike for generations. With the rugged terrain and large mountainous areas, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing, skiing, and ice skating around some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country.
With the proximity to Badger Pass Ski Area, downhill skiing and snowboarding dominate the winter sports scene in Yosemite, making the park a huge attraction for outdoor athletes. Featuring some of the best hills and slopes in the country, thousands of people make Yosemite National Park a cold weather destination each year.
Whether you’re a fan of winter or you like to stay away from snow, there’s no debating that the national parks have lots to offer during the colder months. If you’re visiting the area or happen to live in town, set aside a day, bundle up in your warmest clothes, and take a once in a lifetime adventure to the U.S. national parks. For more information, visit the National Park Foundation website.