America’s national parks have much to offer visitors with scenic beauty, wildlife, and a multitude of outdoor activities. Although many travelers prefer to visit the parks in the peak summer season, the winter months are another great time to have a wonderful experience. If you are considering visiting one of the national parks this winter, be sure to check the official website of the park for up-to date information on daily operations. Then you can plan your visit to one of these top US national parks this winter.
The Top US National Parks to Visit this Winter
Visit the United States’ Largest Subtropical Wilderness
Travelers that love water activities should head to Everglades National Park. In this park, guests can take a guided boat tour and explore the South Florida wetlands. On the land, guests can navigate one of the five biking trails located throughout the park or go birdwatching. You can also stay at one of the many year-round campsites including Long Pine Key Campground and the Flamingo Campground.
Reasons to Visit this Winter: The subtropical dry season from November through April brings sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s during the winter. The climate also makes it much easier to spot the alligators, wading birds and other wildlife that call the wetlands home.
Experience One of America’s Best Winter Drives
Spend some time at the world’s first national park, the legendary Yellowstone National Park. Take a day tour a visit the remarkable Old Faithful and witness the fascinating wildlife in their natural habitat. Guests can also visit the many thermal areas in the park including Fountain Paint Pot, Mammoth Hot Springs, and many more.
Reasons to Visit this Winter: The breathtaking winter landscape has earned Yellowstone the distinction of being one of the best winter drives in the United States. Guests should make reservations far in advance to stay at The Old Faithful Snow Lodge and the Mammoth Hotel. Both establishments are open during the winter months.
Ski the South Rim
Prepare to get overwhelmed by the gorgeous wilderness at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Explore the trails along the North and South rims such as the Uplands Trail, and the Deadhorse Trail, plus many more. The Black Canyon National Park Astronomy Festival occurs at the park’s South Rim and provides guests with the opportunities to see the beautiful dark skies, guest speaker programs, and other astronomy activities.
Reasons to Visit this Winter: Skiers will have the time of their lives at this rocky chasm. The snowfall adds even more beauty to this park, and from December through April, guests can also snowshoe along South Rim Drive and see the spectacular view for the clifftops of the Gunnison River.
Spend Some Nature Time in the Southwest
If you prefer a desert climate for your winter adventure, visit Saguaro National Park. A must-see attraction at the park is the cactus garden, featuring the 45 foot tall Saguaro cacti, which is over 200 years old. At Signal Hill Petrograph Area you can get a glimpse of the past and view the Native American petroglyphs located long the trail. Guests can also view the spectacular sunsets at Javelina Rocks on the east side of the park, or from Gates Pass on the western end.
Reasons to Visit this Winter: The average daytime temperature averages at 65 degrees from November to through March. This is optimal weather for all types of outdoor activities in the park including hiking the 165 miles of trails that are prime for exploring.
See the Magnificent General Sherman Tree
The magnificent redwoods are the biggest draw year-round at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Besides the famous General Sherman, take a drive through the Tunnel Log, which stands at 8 feet high by 17 feet wide. The park also has a few year-round camping options including Azalea Campground, Potwisha Campground, and South Fork Campground, all operating depending on weather and other conditions.
Reasons to Visit this Winter: Guests can hike through the snowy and serene Cedar Grove trails, and then take in the stunning view of Kings Canyon from Cedar Grove Overlook. There are also numerous opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, wildlife sightings, and winter ranger programs.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com