If you are willing to brave the cold this winter, there are a plenty of ways that you can entertain your family outdoors, including beautiful national parks throughout the country. You will see some of your favourite national parks from an entirely new perspective in winter, giving you a new experience of places you may have visited several times before.
All you have to do is put on warmest winter coat and venture outside to one of your nearest national parks, for a completely new and exciting winter adventure. We have selected five of the best national parks to visit during the cold season.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of the most famous national parks in the United States, with awe-inspiring views and challenging routes through the vast canyon. However, many visitors are unaware of the out of season opportunities and do not venture into the park in the winter months.
While the North rim of the canyon is closed during the winter (opening May-October), the South rim is open every day, all year round.
There are several hiking trails to try both around and below the rim, as well as a cycling route along the Greenway Trail. The routes below the rim can sometimes be marginally warmer than the rest of the national park.
The most amazing aspect of the Grand Canyon national park in winter is seeing the bold red of the rock blanketed in crisp white snow. This is a view that the majority of visitors will never get to see.
As well as the striking changes in the landscape, the Grand Canyon park will also be less crowded during winter.
Death Valley, California and Nevada
Unlike the majority of the other national parks, winter is actually the peak season for visiting Death Valley. This is due to the extremely high temperatures of Death Valley national park, which are slightly more bearable during the winter months. While the summer can see highs of up to 120° Fahrenheit, during the winter temperatures will be approximately 70° Fahrenheit.
Reserve your spot and experience snow-capped mountains and sand dunes in the unusual below sea level environment, as well as some amazing star gazing opportunities.
If you’re used to sunny climates in California, winter is the perfect time to visit Sequoia national park to take in the scenery like you’ve never seen it before.
There are over 50 miles of snowshoe and cross country trails to hike, all covered in gleaming white snow, creating a wonderful atmosphere with a beautiful view. The routes will be less crowded during the winter months.
It is recommended that you visit the Wuksachi Village and Lodge for the full winter experience, which boasts 102 rooms and some of North America’s oldest forests.
Hawaii Volcanoes, Hawaii
The perfect winter get away or excursion, the Hawaii Volcanoes national park not only has a variety of hiking trails and vistas, but offers the chance to get close to the volcanoes themselves.
Hawaii is often associated with beaches and swimming, so a trip to the Hawaii Volcanoes national park is a unique experience for the whole family.
Learn something new and visit the Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, which is located on the mainland. Or, you can pay a visit to Mauna Loa, a large shield volcano, for an outdoor winter experience that is both educational and enjoyable.
Bryce Canyon, Utah
Gaze at the stars and brave the icy environment of Bryce Canyon national park in Utah for an outdoor winter excursion that is out of this world.
The cold, dry air makes the stars appear brighter, a view which is enhanced by the frosty weather.
Bryce Canyon national park is known for its winter astronomy programmes, with full moon snowshoe trails and weekly Saturday activities available for the whole family to take part in.
You’ll definitely want to attend the annual Winter Festival, which is held throughout President’s Day weekend in February.
Experienced hikers can apply for a backcountry permit; all trail walkers are required to wear specialist boots in the park and traction devices are also recommended during your time in Bryce Canyon.