1. Acadia National Park, Maine from The 14 Most Amazing Snow Camping Destinations
The 14 Most Amazing Snow Camping Destinations
1. Acadia National Park, Maine
Blackwoods Campground is the only one available in the winter for tent camping until March 31. You’ll need a permit but it’s free. The entrance gate is closed which mean you’ll have to hike about a mile to the site…but enjoy nature in the meantime. While in the park you can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, ice fishing, dog sledding and skijoring.
2. Adirondack Mountains, New York
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If you want to go hiking in the Adirondacks, you should do it in the winter because the snow cover can make things much easier – you basically slide through and opposed to walk in mud. Frozen lakes give you access to places you may not be able to reach, at least not easily or fast, in the summer. Try camping in an Adirondack lean-to. It’s a three walled log camping structure. You can find them on Lower St. Regis Lake and also along the south shore of Osgood Pond near Paul Smiths.
3. Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon
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This awesome getaway spot is very popular in the summer. But going there in the winter can be much better as you want to escape crowds, enjoy the snow covered forest without pumping into people, or go downhill skiing freely without worrying you may hit someone. Nordic skiing and skijoring are the things to do in the winter there. The Trillium Lake Campground is a good place to settle. The lake is beautiful and small, and you get a magnificent view of Mt. Hood.
4. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
This park has the tallest dunes in the country. So go camp near them and enjoy try sandboarding. You can also sled or ski on the dunes in the winter. The Piñon Flats Campground is open but you have to make a reservation. It’s always peaceful there this time of year. It’s also almost always sunny but very cold. The weather can change in an instant as the Great Sand Dunes is a high elevation park. Bonus: You may come across deer or elk in their natural habitat.
5. The La Sal Mountains, Utah
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You can camp in the desert or in mountains. The La Sals are second only to the Uintas as the highest peaks in the state of Utah. The views are remarkable in the winter. The campgrounds are open. When there is a lot of snow, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and snowmobile are what people go there for. The Negro Bill Canyon and the Hidden Valley hikes are among the most popular.
6. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
This park is paradise for skiers, ice fishers and snowmobilers, not to mention hiking. You can set up for backcountry camping anywhere in the park. It’s free but you need to get a permit. All campsites are accessible only by water and are available on first-come, first-serve basis. The park also offers over 50 miles of hiking trails, 110 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, many cross-country ski trails. Bonus: Wildlife is abundant there.
7. Mt. Monadnock State Park, New Hampshire
This is a year-round destination for camping and hiking. Nordic skiing around the 3,165-foot Mt. Monadnock is an amazing experience. Silver Ranch in Jaffrey and ice skating is popular on local ponds. The mountain has about 40 miles of maintained foot trails and thousands of acres of protected land. The summit is the most frequently climbed mountain in North America. Tent sites are on a first-come first-served basis; group reservations are required.
8. Yosemite National Park, California
This is one of the oldest national parks in the U.S. and also among the most famous ones. It’s known for its waterfalls and deep meadows. But when snow begins to pile up, people disappear clearing the view and making it even more beautiful. Most of the park has a lot of snow until March. Set up camp and go hiking or skiing. Do that along the Wawona Meadow Trail to Mariposa Grove, which is filled with gigantic sequoias.
9. Sequoia National Park, California
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Snow is heavy there and the temperatures are reasonable. Campgrounds open in the winter include Potwisha (near Ash Mountain) and Azalea in Grant Grove Village. Ski or snowshoe to the Pear Lake Ski Hut high above Wolverton. Reservations are required.
10. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
These grand mountains will energize you like nothing else. Ski through the massive rocks, scream from the summit, and enjoy the peace. Primitive winter camping is allowed at Colter Bay for $5 per night from December 1 to April 15. Backcountry camping is allowed year-round but you need a permit. It’s free. The park is mostly empty in the winter except for the occasional cross-country skiers, snowshoers and photographers.
11. Denali National Park and Preserve
Winter camping is allowed at Riley Creek Campground. It’s free (but you need a permit) and you can choose to sleep in a tent or an RV. The experience can be very rural. The camp has no water or electricity but there is a vault toilet and fire grates. You have to go and get your own wood, though. The closet place you can buy anything is 11 miles away. Among the usual winter activities, people enjoy dog-mushing. Certain paths have been designated by park staff but you are allowed to go anywhere else and explore. The best times to winter camp there is in February or March.
12. Rocky Mountains, Colorado
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The Rocky Mountains are among the most exciting places to go winter camping. It’s unpredictable. Avalanches can be sudden and are common because of the snowpack’s instability. There are many campsites with different regulations apply. In winter there are 77 first-come, first-served sites. While you’re there, the mountains offer an adventure for all kinds of explorers – snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the lower valleys, winter mountaineering in the high country, downhill skiing at Eldora, sledding at Hidden Valley, snowmobiling at Grand Lake, or maybe a Snowcat Tour on Twin Sisters.
13. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
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The best time to visit the park is in the winter. You get to see all the waterfalls, sandstone cliffs and the Grand Sable Dunes covered with snow and ice. Ice climbing is one popular adventurous activity there this time of year among the usual suspects of skiing, snow showing, and snowmobiling. Campsites are rustic so look out for animal tracks before you set up. Backcountry permit is required year-round. The fee is $5 per person, per night ($15 reservation fee). Winter camping is permitted in drive-in campgrounds without charge.
14. White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
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If you live in the Northeast and you want to escape the city and go camping in the countryside, the White Mountains is a beautiful choice. Hike your way to a camp site or drive. However, you need to make a reservation if you want to stay at the developed campsites. Tent camping in the forest, which is accessible year-round, is an option. It’s important to store food properly unless you want a close encounter with a bear.