Many U.S. National Parks in winter make great destinations. So cold weather doesn't mean you have to park your RV! There's some spectacular scenery to see.
Reasons are aplenty: less crowds, beautiful landscapes, and weather conditions (and way less bugs) in some places that are actually more desirable during winter, as noted by Travel + Leisure.
Additionally, many of the National Park Service’s winter activities are in full swing by mid-December, with plenty of opportunities to hike, ski, or snowshoe through all the landscapes the parks have to offer. Be sure to check out our “10 National Park Adventures Perfect for Winter.”
In short, there’s no need to wait until next summer to explore our national parks — make plans to visit these winter wonders in the near-term.
Everglades National Park in Florida
December through March at Everglades National Park means a subtropical dry season marked by sunny skies, 70-degree days, and reprieve from the blood-sucking bugs that plague South Florida’s wetlands during the rest of the year. With less rain, your chances increase of finding wildlife congregating at watering holes — perfect for spotting the Everglades’ iconic alligators and wading birds like the bright pink roseate spoonbill.
Here's a Video of our recent National Parks in Winter visit to Flamingo Campground in the Everglades.
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park’s gravity-defying limestone spires (hoodoos) appear even more delicate when snow dusts the reddish-orange rocks. Feeling adventurous? Consider joining a ranger-led full moon snowshoe hike (November through March, snowpack permitting).
For some truly spectacular views, consider timing your visit during a new moon phase for world-class stargazing beneath some of the West’s darkest skies. And like all national parks in winter, there are fewer people you'll encounter.
For more details on Bryce Canyon National Park, along with others in the region, consider our “Southern Utah Travel Guide” available now in the RV Lifestyle store.
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho
Our RV Lifestyle Fellow Travelers may know how much we love Yellowstone. In fact, we wrote a book about it called The “Yellowstone National Park Travel Guide” that you can download now from the RV Lifestyle store.
At the top of every RVers bucket list, it is a place so majestic, so wild, and so big that it calls us to return, to explore, to get to know the diversity of its land and animals over and over again.
Everywhere you look are waterfalls, fast-moving rivers, geysers, sheer rock faces, towering lodgepole pines, all framed by mountains under the bright blue cloudless sky.
It’s spectacular for those who love the wilderness and getting up close and personal with it. When you are looking for awesome scenery at national parks in winter, Yellowstone has to go to the top of your list.
Winter brings a whole new level of bizarre and beautiful landscapes at Yellowstone as scalding geothermal features collide with single-digit winter air. Visitors also can glimpse frozen waterfalls, and watch the world’s most famous geyser with barely a soul in sight.
Check out the official Yellowstone webpage for more details.
Acadia National Park in Maine
In an average year, 5 feet of snow blanket Acadia’s evergreen forests and rocky headlands. As a result, the park’s scenic loop drive and winding carriage roads are transformed into a paradise for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Adventurous types and early-risers can climb Cadillac Mountain to be the first in the country to catch the sunrise.
The Acadia Winter Festival usually is held in early February, where naturalists of all ages can participate in winter ecology hikes, birdhouse building, dutch oven cooking, and more.
We love Acadia National Park.
Saguaro National Park in Arizona
If you love autumn, consider Saguaro National Park, where daytime temperatures average a comfortable 65 degrees from November through March. Visitors can learn about desert-dwelling critters on a ranger-led nature walk, take in a stunning Sonoran sunset, or check out the park’s namesake cacti, which can grow to be more than 45 feet tall and age more than 200 years.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado
The vertigo-inducing depths of this remote, rocky chasm in west-central Colorado take on a whole new dimension with snow involved. Adventurers will be happy to learn that from December through April, they can ski or snowshoe the six-mile South Rim Drive to peer from clifftops to the Gunnison River nearly 3,000 feet below.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in California
Winter at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks offers visitors a chance to hike in snow-dampened silence to the General Sherman Tree, which is among the world’s largest living things. Looking for more adventure? Park your RV and make the strenuous six mile-trek into the backcountry to overnight at the cozy Pear Lake Winter Hut.
EXTRAS: Want to visit these national parks in winter? CLICK HERE for what you need to know about winter camping.
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