10 National Parks That Look More Stunning in the Snow

Seeking a little winter relaxation? Break away from your fireplace and head for the great outdoors. Far from the holiday hustle and bustle, and from winter chores like shoveling the walkway, lie America's pristine national parks. Take a respite from the daily grind and head for the hills—or the canyons, the valleys, or coasts. There's so much to see in these United States, as this list of our favorite winter destinations proves.

Watch the Winter Night Sky in D.C.

Rock Creek Park Winter

Rock Creek Park is a gorgeous and accessible retreat for couples and families. This urban oasis in the heart of Washington D.C., contains hiking paths, waterfalls, and enough acreage to put distance between you and the city lights so you can see some natural sparkle. Through December, take your kids on a special weekend night outing under the stars.

Related: Winter Retreats of Presidents Past and Present

Wikimedia Commons via Carol M. Highsmith

Athletes’ Heaven at Yosemite

Yosemite National Park Winter

From snow-tubing to sledding, winter sport options are almost endless at Yosemite National Park, one of our nation’s greatest natural treasures. You can bring your own equipment or rent gear and take professional lessons on site. Be sure to check weather conditions and road closures before you head up for the weekend.

Related: Expecting Snow? Do These 7 Things ASAP

flickr.com via Jeff P

Music, Hot Chocolate, and Hiking, Oh My!

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Winter

For an exciting array of winter activities, look no further than Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. Its jam-packed winter events guide includes concerts; an outdoor reading of A Christmas Carol; photo exhibits; train rides; and a festival of lights.

Related: 23 Brilliant Hacks to Help You Weather Winter

flickr.com via Chris Capell

Playtime in the Colorado Snow

Rocky Mountain National Park Winter

Imagine the dramatic backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park as the setting for your winter fantasy playground. For serious athletes, the park offers ice-climbing and skiing. And for families, check out the Yuletide Lights Driving Tour, which runs from December 5 to January 1.

Related: The Gear You Need to Fight the Worst of Winter

flickr.com via Scott McLeod

Dazzling Safaris and Fine Dining

Yellowstone National Park Winter

Whether you prefer to stay by the fire or trek through icy wonderlands, Yellowstone has the adventure for you. Book one of the exciting tours on the park’s website, and explore fine dining options at the Yellowstone Lodges, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinner.

Related: 17 Log Cabins We Love

flickr.com via Pat Henson

Relive American History in Tennessee

Stones River National Park Winter

Are you a Civil War buff? From December 26 to 29, Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is commemorating a tide-turning battle for the Union. Retrace the soldiers’ footsteps with rangers, storytellers, and fellow history enthusiasts. Plus, enjoy Tennessee’s gentle hills and waterways.

Related: Would You Recognize These 9 Iconic Streets Way Back When?

flickr.com via Casey Fleser

Celebrate the Season in Maine

Acadia National Park Winter

Schedule some outdoor family time in Maine at Acadia National Park’s Winter Festival, which lasts from February 10 to 12. Have you ever wondered what a quinzhee is? Well, you’ll get to build one, as well as a gingerbread birdhouse—and then you can build up your thigh muscles with a few snowy hikes.

Related: 7 Snow Shoveling Lessons No One Ever Taught You

flickr.com via Amy Meredith

Hike Under the Light of the Moon

Bryce Canyon National Park Winter

For some wintertime magic, head to Bryce Canyon National Park on a clear, moonlit night, when the tent rocks are bathed in silver light. You’ll understand why they’re also called “fairy chimneys.” The dramatic natural setting is perfect for a romantic getaway or an unforgettable family vacation.

Related: 7 Camping Favorites Destined for Your Home

Wikimedia Commons via National Park Service

Canyon Camping and Breathtaking Views

Grand Canyon Winter

What better place than the Grand Canyon to spend Christmas? Soak in the silence, dazzling vistas, pastel sunsets, fresh snow, and wildlife such as mule deer and bald eagles. Consider booking a suite at Bright Angel Lodge, so you can enjoy this historic property before it closes for renovations in September 2018. 

Related: Endless Acres: 14 of the Biggest Properties in America

Grand Canyon National Park

Soak in the Sun and Save the Earth

Everglades National Park

Beat the winter blues and head south to Everglades National Park in Florida, a precious and endangered sanctuary. Your visit will also help raise awareness of our beautiful, fragile coastal ecosystems. In fact, just by visiting our national parks, you are helping to preserve America’s epic wilderness.

Related: 15 Tiny Beach Bungalows for Your Next Vacation


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