National parks have been seeing record numbers of visitors this year, and some are seeing crowded trails, roads and parking lots. It's safe to say that most people don't go to national parks to see people. They go to experience the solitude and beauty of the great outdoors. So how do you avoid the crowds in national parks? Go in the winter!
2. Novel and dramatic views
There's something awe-inspiring about taking in a quiet, snow-covered vista in a beautiful setting. Stay tuned for part two of this three-part National Parks in Winter series, which will offer more information on the most dramatic views of National Parks in the winter.
3. Night-sky watching
There's no better place to get in some quality night-sky watching than in the wilderness of a national park. Look to the sky in the winter and get a good look at some grand constellations like Gemini, Orion, Taurus, Cassiopeia, and Canis Major. You can also spot some of the brightest stars in the winter sky; try spotting Castor and Pollux, Sirius, Capella and Betelgeuse on a clear night.
4. Snow Sports
Want to experience something unforgettable this winter? Try Nordic skiing, snowshoeing or backcountry skiing in a national park. You can snowshoe on practically any snow-covered trail in a national park (as long as the trail is open, of course), and many national parks are well-known for their Nordic skiing opportunities. More details on snow sports in national parks are coming in part three of this three-part series.
5. Cooler temperatures
While cooler temperatures aren't a positive thing for many park-goers in the north, it's a huge boon for explorers in the southern states. You can escape the cold of the north in the winter and avoid the debilitating heat of the summer if you explore our nation's southernmost national parks during the winter months. Big Bend, Death Valley and Everglades National Parks are all great parks with mild winter weather.
There you go, five very convincing reasons why you should visit national parks in the winter. Still not convinced? Stay tuned for part two!