Travel 7 of the best national parks to visit during winter
A beginner’s guide to visiting Rocky Mountain National Park
During this time of socially distant and budget-friendly travel, few destinations have the allure of a national park. Rocky Mountain National Park is a classic national treasure. It might easily define and encapsulate the best of what a national park can be. It has snow-capped peaks that touch the sky and clear air that awakens …Rocky Mountain National Park is a classic national treasure. It might easily define and encapsulate the best of what a national park can be. It has snow-capped peaks that touch the sky and clear air that awakens the lungs like peppermint candy.
Ken Burns was one of the many who’ve said it: Thewere America’s best idea.
And it seems like the rest of the U.S. populace would agree. In 2019,toured the parks, up 9 million visits from the previous year. This year’s coronavirus pandemic has made the allure of our nation’s parklands even stronger, with travelers seeking wild, outdoor spaces in droves.
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Fortunately, you can usually get a reprieve from the crowds — and still enjoy spectacular scenery — by visiting a national park during the winter. From striking snowscapes to secluded retreats, these are the seven national parks best seen in the wintertime.
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In July of 2019, almost 402,000 people visited Bryce Canyon. But in March, there were less than 76,000 folks tramping around. That’s a big difference for travelers who’d prefer to commune with nature versus a bunch of other tourists.
As Disney stages controversial park reopenings, some Disney influencers are rushing back. Others are questioning the Magic Kingdom.
Influencers who have built their brands on Disney magic are faced with deciding how to protect their health and engage with followers.The reopening has delighted some Disney fans eager to return to normal life but horrified others who worry about exacerbating the pandemic in a state where COVID-19 cases are surging.
While the weather in winter can be quite chilly, the cold temperatures and high elevation offer winter visitors a fun opportunity: cross-country skiing. Outdoor enthusiasts can lay their own tracks or glide up groomed trails to check out the snow-capped hoodoos.
Entrance to the park is $35 per vehicle for seven consecutive days. We recommend getting anif you plan to visit more than one park a year. A pass is an especially good idea if you’re traveling to Bryce, since it can be easily combined with and .
Everglades National Park is actually busiest in the winter months. But it’s hotter than Hades when the wet season hits — and the ubiquitous mosquitos are the size of golf balls, so winter still reigns supreme at this southern national park.
In a rare bipartisan vote, Congress sends billions to the national parks
Lawmakers commit to fixing roads and buildings on forests and grasslands, as well as putting $900 million a year toward land and water conservation.Leaks at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church National Historic Park, where Martin Luther King, Jr. served as pastor, have left crumbling plaster and stains on the ceiling. The primary electrical system at Fort Mason in Golden Gate National Recreation Area has been deemed unsafe.
Head over to the Gulf Coast side of the park to canoe through extraordinary coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods. There’s a world-renowned variety of migrating birds, manatees and the only place on the planet where both gators and crocodiles coexist.
You can have aand still be within driving distance of Everglades National Park by booking a room at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort or Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, a Curio Collection property by Hilton.
Yosemite was one of the first tracts of land to receive thedenomination and is considered one of the most majestic places in the country. Millions of people make the pilgrimage every year to the home of the Half Dome and El Capitan — two iconic monoliths made even more famous by the .
While most visitors come to stroll around the valley or hike the arduous Mist Trail in the warmer months, the park offers just as many outdoor activities during winter, with snow sports ranging from downhill and cross-country skiing to tubing, sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating. Outfitters will take even take you snowmobiling. No matter what diversion you choose, you’ll face far fewer crowds than in the warm-weather months.
A beginner’s guide to visiting Yosemite National Park
Few national parks loom quite as large as Yosemite National Park. Located in the High Sierra of Northern California, Yosemite is one of the country’s oldest and most visited national parks. Outdoor adventurers and nature lovers flock to the natural wonders of Half Dome, El Capitan and the park’s many waterfalls. I began visiting Yosemite …Located in the High Sierra of Northern California, Yosemite is one of the country’s oldest and most visited national parks. Outdoor adventurers and nature lovers flock to the natural wonders of Half Dome, El Capitan and the park’s many waterfalls.
Keep in mind that Tioga Road closes from about November to late May or early June every year. But otherwise, much of the rest of the park remains accessible. Plus, the park also is home to a ski resort, Badger Pass, which is far more affordable (and less overwhelming) than popular megaresorts elsewhere in California such as those in Lake Tahoe or.
There’s a reason the Grand Canyon is one of thein the nation: It’s one of the due to its awe-inspiring scale and size. The summer crowds and corresponding traffic, however, can put a damper on the wonderment.
Many visitors consider winter an underrated and particularly.
That’s when the dramatic red rocks pop beneath a dusting of snow and you’ll share the scenery with just 10% of the number of tourists here in the summer. If you want to beat the crowds, then, winter may be the best time to visit. Take in the view from the popular Bright Angel Trail. You’ll also see more animal activity during the cooler months, because of the weather and also because the wildlife is emboldened in the absence of humans.
While the North Rim of the canyon does close for the winter, the South Rim area remains open, with temperatures at the rim generally peaking in the 40s and dropping into the 20s. Temperatures on the floor of the canyon are a bit higher, between the 30s to high 50s. Consider bedding down at the Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Canyon, both of which are near the South Rim.
7 ways to visit America’s national parks for less
There are few travel experiences more distinctly American than a visit to a national park. Generations of families have piled into the station wagon (and now its modern cousin, the SUV) to road trip through iconic destinations such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains. National parks in the United States …National parks in the United States can be some of the most rewarding destinations for travelers to visit. Whether you have a toddler or a teen, or are looking for a rewarding solo trip, national parks offer a wide variety of travel experiences — from the educational to the more adventurous. It’s no wonder the parks are often called “America’s best idea.
If you’ve visitedduring the summer, you were likely met with herds of tourists (irresponsibly) stopping to take selfies with bison and had your view of Old Faithful impeded by hundreds of selfie sticks. But in the winter, visitors are rewarded with a different kind of experience.
Steam from erupting geysers and hot springs creates an impressive contrast to the snow-covered backdrop. Wolves and bighorn sheep make their appearance — definitely participate in a wolf-viewing tour. And skiers enjoy a serene experience that can’t be found at any ski resort on Earth.
Search Cook City, Gardiner, Red Lodge or West Yellowstone in Montana for hotels or rental properties near the trio of Montana entrances.is another option if you want a more luxurious lodging experience using your points that’s about 90 miles away from Yellowstone.
There are also plenty of places to bed down at the two Wyoming entrances (especially Cody, Wyoming). If you’re looking for a place to stay with points, consider the Holiday Inn in West Yellowstone; the Ascend Hotel or Comfort Inn in West Yellowstone; the Days Inn by Wyndham West Yellowstone or the Best Western Desert Inn and Best Western Weston Inn.
Thanks to social media and the popularity of adventure travel, may of us are convinced we have to catch a flight toor Alaska for a chance to see the northern lights.
The best times to visit the Grand Canyon
There are so many different vantage points and ways to experience the vast Grand Canyon National Park that you can easily visit a dozen times before you really begin to absorb its beauty and scope. But, not everyone has the luxury of multiple visits, so we’re here to help you choose the best time …There are so many different vantage points and ways to experience the vast Grand Canyon National Park that you can easily visit a dozen times before you really begin to absorb its beauty and scope. But, not everyone has the luxury of multiple visits, so we’re here to help you choose the best time of year for your trip.
But you can simply head to— a designated — during the winter, and you’ll have a solid shot of witnessing the celestial phenomenon. Lake MacDonald, which stretches 10 miles to the north, is surrounded by high peaks and offers an unobstructed view of the sky.
Glacier National Park normally charges a $35 entrance fee per vehicle in the summer, but travelers who brave the cold will get a discounted rate of $25 in the winter.
If you visit Glacier in the winter, however, you’ll want to stay just outside the park. There are a few luxury hotels including the Firebrand Hotel in Whitefish, and travelers can use points to stay at the TownePlace Suites Whitefish in Kalispell; a SpringHill Suites in Kalispell; or one of Hilton’s four properties in the area including a Hilton Garden Inn, a Hampton Inn, a Homewood Suites and a Hampton Inn and Suites.
Big Bend National Park
Discover impossibly dark skies andat Big Bend National Park in West Texas. Visit during the winter to escape the blistering southern heat and stargaze in solitude.
Spend your days hiking in the Chisos Mountains (you can hike the entire south rim trail until Feb. 1, according to TPG writer Katie Genter — that’s when it closes for Peregrine Falcon nesting) or soaking in the area’s natural hot springs near Rio Grande Village.
Plan far in advance, and you can stay at the Chisos Mountains Lodge (when it reopens) — but travelers can also take advantage of the park’s vast campgrounds. After all, the lows rarely drop below the low 40s even in the height of winter, making it the perfect time toor tent.
Additional reporting by Josh Laskin and Melanie Lieberman.
Featured photo by Noppawat Tom Charoensinphon/Getty Images.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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