Skip to Content

Best National Parks to Visit in Winter

Best National Parks to Visit in Winter

Sharing is caring!

Are you looking for the best national parks to visit in winter in the United States? Keep scrolling to find out which are the best national parks in winter for your next family vacation!
This list of the best national parks to visit in winter contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Ready to explore some of the United States’ most beautiful national parks this winter?

If you’re all about nature and the outdoors, you don’t have to wait till summer to explore some of the most epic national parks in the USA.

In fact, the colder months just happen to be the best time of the year to hit the outdoors.

You’re going to love checking these places off your bucket list. Not only are they stunning, but they offer a unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

With fewer crowds blocking the views and scenery so unique it’ll get your jaw down to the ground, there are plenty of reasons to put these epic national parks at the top of your winter bucket list.

Epic National Parks to Visit in Winter

Death Valley National Park, California

Visiting Death Valley National park during the summer months is not the best idea. It gets scorching hot… we’re talking temperatures in the 120 degrees! However, winter is an ideal time to visit this epic national park.

Death Valley National Park in California
Death Valley National Park in California

Don’t let its name fool you. Death Valley National Park brims with life and there’s no better time in the year to experience its desert magic than winter.

Think eerie-looking rock formations, salt flats as far as the eye can see, and hills splashed with colors you never thought belonged in nature! These are just a few reasons why it’s one of the best national parks for winter.

Where to Stay in Death Valley in Winter

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is pretty much a gem of a place year-round. But during the colder months, the entire national park becomes a winter paradise of snow-capped forests, frozen lakes, and alluring geysers that look out of this world.

Plus, there are tons of cool things to do in Yellowstone, even in the winter.

Yellowstone during winter can be breathtaking.
Yellowstone during winter can be breathtaking.

Starting in early November, getting to Yellowstone can become a bit of a trek. Most roads are closed to traffic and only accessible via special vehicles.

Still, though, with a little planning, you’ll be able to enjoy the epicness of this national park in a truly unique way. I highly recommend visiting Yellowstone in winter.

Tip: Another perk of visiting Yellowstone during the winter? You can take a break from the incredible vistas you’ll find with a ski or snowboarding session in the nearby Jackson Hole.

Where to Stay in Yellowstone in Winter

Arches National Park, Utah

This park boasts over two thousand archways that give the park its name, gigantic mesas, and strange-looking rock formations. A visit to this desert wonderland in Utah will make you feel as though you’ve completely left Earth and wandered into Mars.

Image of Arches National Park in winter. Red rock glowing from the low light casted by the setting sun with a bit of snow on the ground
Arches National Park in winter.

While it does snow in Arches during the winter, it’s not really enough to ruin the day. In fact, it snows just enough to bring out an epically beautiful contrast of white against the red rock landscape Arches is oh-so-famous for.

Moreover, there’s just something about the winter skies and the dreamy snow-capped La Sal Mountains in the backdrop that make winter sunrises and sunsets at Arches something incredibly magical. It’s no wonder it’s one of the best Utah National Parks.

Where to Stay in Arches in Winter

Biscayne National Park, Florida

Feeling more in the mood to completely escape the cold and make the most out of that winter sun? Biscayne National Park is just what you’re after if what you’re looking for is to combine a beach and nature getaway.

Boca Chita Key Trail  in Biscayne National Park in Florida.
Boca Chita Key Trail in Biscayne National Park in Florida.

Located in the Florida Keys, this national park sees sun year-round. But what makes it truly special is the fact that it’s 95% underwater. That sets it apart from other warm national parks in winter.

Yep, this means you’ll need to go below the surface to really get to explore it. You essentially have two options: Snorkeling or booking an (epic) scuba diving expedition. If you’d rather not get wet, there’s a secret third option, which involves a glass-bottom boat tour!

Once you’re done exploring under its waves, you can check out the 5% of the park that’s actually on land. It consists of epic little islands that you can explore on foot in search of epic wildlife and unparalleled nature.

Where to Stay in Biscayne in Winter

Canyonlands National Park

Think red rock canyons plastered all over and sandstone spires piercing the sky to get a pretty good picture of what visiting Canyonlands National Park is all about.

With over 330,000 of land to explore, you can pretty much visit Canyonlands dozens of times and never really get to do the same thing twice.

Winter sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah.
Winter sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah.

If you’re wanting to experience some of its epic desert magic, though, winter is the perfect time to get an excellent introduction.

While it does get chilly during the evenings, visiting Canyonlands during the winter months means fewer crowds.

This basically means you’ll get to experience some of the most epic viewpoints and have them practically all to yourself! Psst… don’t miss sunrise at Mesa Arch!

Where to Stay in Canyonlands in Winter

Grand Canyon National Park

Imagine one of the USA’s most famous views, but dusted in a layer of snow! If you want to get a truly unique experience at one of the most popular spots in the country, a winter escapade to see the Grand Canyon is a must on your travel bucket list.

Grand Canyon panorama view in winter with snow and clear blue sky.
Grand Canyon panorama view in winter with snow and clear blue sky.

While the North Rim closes during the winter, the South Rim (which tends to get super crowded any other time of the year) remains open. It gives you the chance to explore some of the most popular hiking trails without the hoards of visitors around.

If you’d rather not break a sweat, you can grab your car keys and drive the scenic road to Desert View. Or book a flight to get a birds-eye view of the canyon blanketed in snow. This provides a view you won’t soon forget!

Where to Stay in Grand Canyon in Winter

Best National Parks to Visit in December, January, or February Wrap Up

Visiting these national parks in the United States during the winter pretty much guarantees an epic trip. If you love quiet outdoor experiences and would much prefer to have the views all to yourself, then right there is the top reason to pack your bags and hit the road this winter.

Looking for more winter travel ideas? Check out the best Christmas getaways, best winter trips from Seattle, warm winter destinations in the U.S., and snowy winter destinations!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.