10 Great National Parks for Winter Activities

Grab your skis, sleds, and ice skates! Not only are national parks amazingly beautiful in the winter, but they have plenty to offer for all of your favorite winter recreation activities. 

 

A view of Wizard Island covered in snow.

Crater Lake National Park, OR – Crater Lake has some of the most winter activities of any national park, ranging from ranger-guided snowshoe walks to downhill skiing and snowboarding. With a winter season that often lasts from November to May, there is plenty of opportunity to plan a visit and enjoy some snowy fun!

On a clear spring day, Mount Rainier seems to glow.

Mount Rainier National Park, WA – With an abundant snowfall each year, Mount Rainier is full of opportunity for winter adventure. Some of the most popular activities include sledding at the snow play area at Paradise, one of the park’s major visitor centers.

A snowshoeing school group following a park ranger through the woods

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, MI – Some of the best snowshoeing and cross country skiing in any national park can be found at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Some of the larger dunes also double as fantastic sledding hills when covered in snow.

 

 

landscape photography of ridege

Yosemite National Park, CA – Badger Pass Ski Area is Yosemite is the oldest ski area in California, and is a popular destination for both visitors and locals. Enjoy both downhill and cross country skiing at this historic area, and make the most of a winter trip to Yosemite!

Bryce Amphitheater and hoodoos with covering of snow

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT – Bryce Canyon’s famous views are even more stunning in the winter, with the red rock and white snow creating a striking contrast. While a good time is guaranteed during any of the winter months, consider visiting in February, to catch the festivities at Bryce Canyon Winter Festival!

several people riding fat tire bikes while others walk on a snowy road

Denali National Park and Preserve, AK – With winter weather often reaching subzero temperatures, Denali is one of the coldest parks to visit. However, that’s nothing that good clothing can’t fix, and being prepared for the weather allows you to experience some of the most magical snowy landscapes our national parks have to offer. Common winter activities include skiing, biking, and snowshoeing.

 

 

 

Reflections on Emerald Lake

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO – Winter in Rocky Mountain provides many fun recreation opportunities, such as snowshoeing and cross country skiing. However, humans aren’t the only ones enjoying the winter weather! Winter in the park can often be the best season to spot elk, moose, and other large mammals.

When there is adequate snow, cross-country skiing is a popular activity along the carriage roads.

Acadia National Park, ME – Winter hiking is one of the most popular activities during the cold months in Acadia. Although some trails can be icy, proper gear will ensure a safe hike and incredible views! Popular activities include scenic drives, winter hikes, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.

Heaven's Peak

Glacier National Park, MT – Winter ski and snowshoe trails are some of the best ways to experience Glacier, and some of the least crowded!

 

 

 

View of Spruce Tree House surrounded by snow.

Mesa Verde National Park, CO – Colorado is often thought of as one of the best winter destinations, and Mesa Verde is no exception! Hit the trails for some fantastic Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking.