Up and at ’em, hibernators! You don’t have to stay dormant just because the temperatures are low. In fact, winter is one of the best times to explore the parks. You’ll experience scenes of rare tranquility and discover majestic landscapes that the usual crowds are none-the-wiser to.
Bright Faces in Brisk Air
Yosemite is one of America’s treasures, and highly deserving of its popularity. But a little-known secret is Yosemite’s status as a winter hiker’s wonderland. The Upper Falls freeze from December to March, a reminder to visitors that even the powerful forces of the park answer to the seasons. The Lower Falls flow on, and provide a breathtaking view for hikers and snowshoers alike.
When you come to visit, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. Tire chains are required to enter the park if there is a chance of snow. You’ll also want to read any warnings or notices posted on the park’s website.
Fly Away to Florida
Another great place to visit when the weather is cool is Florida, and especially the Everglades. The two obvious advantages of visiting the Everglades from December to April is the weather (far more pleasant than in summer months) and the bug count (lower is better). But the real reason the Everglades is a must in winter is to see the seasonal wildlife. Like us, birds love travel, and this month the park is filled with millions of our feathered friends. You couldn’t ask for a best time, so join the migration party!
The available accommodations are also fantastic seeing as you can camp right in the Everglades National Park. Who wouldn’t want to wake up and spot a manatee?
For the Real Winter Warriors
If you’re looking for the authentic winter experience you need to head to Apostle Island National Park in Wisconsin. There you’ll see renowned ice caves as you hike across the nearby frozen Great Lake. Don’t delay too long! The spring thaw is just around the corner and you won’t be able to access the caves once the ice path has melted.