North America

Picturesque National parks to visit in the wintertime

Generally, wintertime is associated with sitting by a crackling fireplace and watching the snowfall from the comfort of your warm home. Mix in some fast-paced winter sports like snowboarding and skiing, and it completes the package.

But, arguably the best part of winter is when snow falls and covers an expansive landscape. For some reason, the white powdery fluff atop mountains, trees, cliffs, and rocks is one of the most scenic pictures ever seen. When the snow touches a branch, it immediately becomes majestic.
That’s why wintertime is one of the best times of the year to visit National Parks. Not only do the parks slow down and become less crowded, but when the snow falls, these incredible landscapes become completely serene. Not all parks experience winter like the wonderland we see in movies, but the ones that do, are well worth the few added layers, just to gaze upon the sensational sparkling snow.

  • 1. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    iStock

    For a scenic adventure, Rock Mountain National Park the perfect place to explore in the wintertime. From snowshoeing through the backcountry to sledding in Hidden Valley, there is fun for everyone. Many Elk, Mule deer, and Moose can be seen around the park at this time of the year as well.

  • 2. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

    Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

    iStock

    Tis the season at Mount Rainier when the landscape dramatically transforms into an epic winter wonderland. With fresh white snow, and glaciers galore, you won’t want to miss this beautiful scene. The park attracts skiers, snowboarders, snowmobiling and more.

  • 3. Glacier National Park, Montana

    Glacier National Park, Montana

    Shutterstock

    Known for its alpine meadows and rugged mountains, Glacier National Park is a gorgeous place to visit in the wintertime. Visitors come to participate in the popular guided snowshoe walks or watch the sunset at Lake McDonald.

  • 4. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

    Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

    iStock

    Bryce Canyon National Park is arguably the most beautiful this time of the year. With the stunning contrast of red rock among white snow and bright blue skies, it is a surreal experience. Enjoy a snowshoe planet walk or try some cross-country skiing on the Red Canyon Bike Path.

  • 5. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

    Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

    iStock

    Crater Lake averages around 44 feet of snow in the winter, and cross-country ski and snowshoeing begins as early as mid-October. The serene quiet that exists in the park during this time of year is an experience that anyone can appreciate.

  • 6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina & Tennessee

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina & Tennessee

    iStock

    Take a peek at the Table Mountain Pines covered in snow among the Appalachian Mountains. The Smokies are gorgeous in the wintertime, like a scene straight from a movie. The wildlife is abundant with a record number of Elks and more.

  • 7. Arches National Park, Utah

    Arches National Park, Utah

    iStock

    Peaceful and serene, time spent at Arches National Park in the snowy season is a rare experience. Experience the arches as they glisten with ice and snow and take the time to soak in the natural beauty by yourself, since it is quite rare to have an arch to yourself in the summertime.

    These National parks are perfect for your next winter getaway.

    More from TheActive Times

    The National Parks: Ranked!

    16 Spectacular National Park Campgrounds

    Stunning Winter Hikes

    30 Great American Hikes