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The Top 5 National Parks to Visit This Winter

The Top 5 National Parks to Visit This Winter

Just because the weather gets colder doesn't mean you can have a great time outdoors. Visit these 5 national parks this winter! Team


2 min read

November 10, 2023

Winter transforms national parks into magical wonderlands, offering unique experiences and breathtaking beauty. For those adventurous souls seeking to explore these natural marvels during the colder months, here's a guide to the top 5 national parks in California to visit this winter.

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite is an iconic destination, and in winter, it becomes a snowy paradise. The park's famous granite cliffs and waterfalls, like El Capitan and Yosemite Falls, are draped in snow and ice, creating a stunning contrast against the crisp blue sky. Winter activities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and simply enjoying the tranquil beauty of the park without the summer crowds.

Yosemite National Park is one of the most well-known national parks in the country.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

These twin parks, known for their giant sequoias, offer a serene winter experience. The massive trees, including the world-renowned General Sherman Tree, are a sight to behold under a layer of snow. Grant Grove and Giant Forest are accessible for winter hiking and snowshoeing. Keep in mind that some areas require tire chains due to snow.

The titanic trees at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are a stunning sight during the winter.

Joshua Tree National Park

Winter is the perfect time to visit Joshua Tree National Park, as the cooler temperatures make exploring the desert landscape more comfortable. The park, named after its distinctive Joshua Trees, presents a different kind of winter beauty. Enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and photography, especially during sunrise and sunset when the colors of the sky contrast stunningly with the desert scenery.

The titular Joshua Trees are perfect all year long.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

This park is a hidden gem in winter, offering a snowy landscape dotted with geothermal features like fumaroles and boiling springs. The park's hydrothermal areas, such as Bumpass Hell, are surreal against the snow-covered backdrop. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular activities, with ranger-led tours often available.

A centerpiece of Lassen Volcanic National Park is the gorgeous Lake Lassen.

Death Valley National Park

While not your typical winter destination, Death Valley's mild temperatures in winter make it an ideal time to visit. Famous for being one of the hottest places on Earth, the park's vast salt flats, sand dunes, and colorful badlands are more accessible and enjoyable during the cooler months. Winter also brings the chance of rare rain showers, which can lead to spectacular wildflower blooms.

The temperatures can be pretty normal when visiting Death Valley National Park in the daytime during the winter.

Tips for Winter Visits

  • Check weather conditions and park alerts before your visit, as winter weather can lead to road closures and other changes.
  • Dress in layers and prepare for colder temperatures, especially in higher elevations.
  • Respect park rules and stay on designated trails to protect the natural environment and ensure your safety.

California's national parks offer diverse and awe-inspiring experiences during the winter months. Whether you're looking to admire snowy landscapes, explore quiet deserts, or simply enjoy nature's tranquility, these parks provide unforgettable destinations for your winter travels. Pack your bags, grab your camera, and set off to explore these natural wonders.

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