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For most people, wintertime means staying inside as much as possible. Drinking tea while being bundled up in blankets and eagerly waiting for the cold season to end. While ski vacations are very popular, even the sheer thought of camping or hiking during the wintertime is foreign to most people. Camping is for the summer, end of story.
However, true outdoor fanatics know that exploring the outdoors during this season can be extremely rewarding. Besides the fact that you don’t have to deal with any bugs, the wintertime is also usually ‘low season’ for most national parks. This means much fewer crowds, more tranquility and seclusion, and sometimes, lower rates.
Many parks close down most of their campgrounds during the winter time. However, there are usually designated ‘year-round’ campgrounds where you can happily set up camp or park your RV, even when it’s snowing. If camping isn’t your cup of tea, there are also other accommodation options, like lodges. At these next locations in the US, it is not only possible- but spectacular to go on outdoor trips during colder months.
Yosemite National Park, California.
Yes, by now we all know mighty Yosemite. Breathtaking waterfalls, wilderness hikes and magnificent scenery. However, it’s beauty and accessibility are often underrated in the winter. There is a lot of snowfall in the winter, which also drastically shrinks the crowds. If you’ve only visited in the summer, this will allow you to see a beautiful side of Yosemite unlike you’ve ever seen before. Just be sure to check ahead of time which trails and roads are closed during the winter
Mt. Hood, Oregon.
Mt. Hood, Oregon's tallest peak, is a very popular summertime destination for tourists. Though there are some who argue that it is even more beautiful in the wintertime when you also have the option of doing a variety of snow sports. The large forest offers many camping spots to choose from. A good option is the Trillium Lake campground, which is located by a nice lake with a prime view of the mountain.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Rocky Mountain National Park is pretty much one of the most exciting locations for a recreational winter getaway. There are 77 first-come-first-serve camping sites available throughout the park. Due to heavy snowfall, the conditions can be quite unpredictable (avalanches are common). However, this also presents the opportunity for many outdoor winter activities such as cross-country skiing, ice-climbing, and ski joring, to name a few.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan.
The winter season is a great and unique time to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. You are able to view all the magnificent waterfalls, caves, sandstone cliffs and the popular Grand Sable Dunes without all the crowds. There are also many adventurous winter activities to do while you’re there, ice climbing being a popular one.
Sequoia National Park, California.
The Sierra snowfall transforms Sequoia- and Kings Canyon National Parks into a winter wonderland. Besides the usual winter sports activities, the park also offers guided snowshoe nature walks and hikes which will put you right in the middle of the beauty of the ancient mighty sequoias.
P.S. If you’re thinking about leaving your TRONO at home when packing for your winter adventure, think again...