15 Picturesque National Parks to Visit in the Wintertime from 15 Picturesque National Parks to Visit in the Wintertime

15 Picturesque National Parks to Visit in the Wintertime

15 Picturesque National Parks to Visit in the Wintertime

Flickr/Mark Stevens

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 experienced. 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.


Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Flickr/Steven Bratman

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. 
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Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Flickr/Mount Rainier National Park

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. 
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Glacier National Park, Montana

Flickr/GlacierNPS

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.
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Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Flickr/David Wilson

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.
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Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Flickr/Cary Bass-Deschenes

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.
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina & Tennessee

Flickr/Doug Kerr

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.
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Arches National Park, Utah

Flickr/Arches National Park

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.
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Acadia National Park, Maine

Flickr/Amy Meredith

Though most of Park Loop Road is closed in the wintertime, there is access at other points to enjoy a scenic ride through the picturesque park. Also, many visitors enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through the trails. There are even a limited number of winter camping sites, ice fishing and dog sledding or skijoring at Acadia.
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Yosemite National Park, California

Flickr/Dale Carlson

Visiting Yosemite during the winter is a time of snow and solitude. See the wildlife in their peaceful glory and experience the absolute magic of Yosemite Valley and Falls. Both downhill and cross-country skiing are very popular and a few hiking trails are still accessible.
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Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming

Flickr/Charles Chuck Peterson

Yellowstone is full of fun and exciting winter attractions. Watch as Old Faithful and other geyser basins steam and erupt. Rent a snowmobile and explore the scenic land. The time spent at Yellowstone is sure to be filled with long-lasting memories.
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Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Flickr/Christine

Even if the roads are closed, Shenandoah National Park is always open. Visitors can enter on foot for backcountry camping or expansive hiking trails. Winter brings a better chance to spot all of the woodland creatures including foxes, bobcats, deer, and even turkeys. The snow allows for fun while following the tracks of all the different animals.
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Zion National Park, Utah

Flickr/guney cuceloglu

Though snow does fall in Zion National Park, the warmer temperatures often make it disappear within hours at lower elevations. But, atop the canyons, after a snowfall, the snow sits beautifully creating a sparking sight you don’t want to miss.
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Denali National Park, Alaska

Flickr/Denali National Park and Preserve

Winter is an incredible season at Denali. While most of the year the landscape is covered in snow, this season brings a thicker blanket of snow, rivers and lakes locked in stronger ice, and some dangerous animals off in hibernation.
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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Flickr/Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon sits atop many of our bucket lists, and visiting it in wintertime is a definite. The winter storms top the canyons in a soft white snow that bounces light creating one of the most incredible sunsets you’ll ever see.
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Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Flickr/Angelo DeSantis

The gorgeous Lassen Volcanic National Park is a bustling park at this time of the year. Winter activities attract families and friends to play in the snow, snowshoe, camp, and cross-country ski among panoramic views of the snowcapped mountains.
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