While everyone else is complaining about the cold, you can be out making memories in some of the most beautiful places on earth. When you visit a national park in the winter, you're sure to take in some pretty unforgettable views.
Here are 5 jaw-dropping winter national park views and where you can find them.
1. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Many Utah locals prefer to visit Bryce Canyon National Park in the winter. The bright softness of fallen snow offers a drastic juxtaposition to the red spires and sheer canyon walls in Bryce Canyon. From ranger-guided full-moon snowshoe hikes to winter astronomy programs to cross-country skiing, there's a ton of fun stuff you can do in the park while you enjoy the dramatic scenery. You can find the view pictured below at Sunrise Point.
2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
You can find this snow-covered view of the Grand Canyon if you venture to the South Rim Village in Grand Canyon National Park in the winter. Grand Canyon is a great choice for an unforgettable national park experience in winter. It's one of the nation's most visited parks, and by going in the winter, you are sure to experience the view with more peace and open space, and less hub-bub. Scenic drives are less congested and trails are quieter.
3. Arches National Park, Utah
Another National Park located in the beautiful state of Utah, Arches National Park is a wintertime gem. The summertime crowds and heat are a thing of the past, and the peaceful beauty of the snow-covered red earth is simply stunning. You can find the view pictured below on Delicate Arch trail, but be sure to come prepared with trekking poles and added traction on your shoes, as the trail can get slippery.
4. Denali National Park, Alaska
"Winter" in Denali National Park is considered to last from mid-September through mid-May, and yes, winter in Alaska can be brutal. But, visiting Denali in winter is truly an other-worldly experience. Night-sky watching is particularly magical here, with the aurora borealis showing up often. You can catch the view pictured above from Government Hill, but the sprawling preserve has no shortage of breathtaking views and scenery. Try cross-country skiing, alpine touring or snowshoeing for an unforgettable experience in the huge Denali National Park and Preserve. And, if you own a bike with snow tires, you can ride on the sled dog trails.
5. Glacier National Park, Montana
You can take in the serenity of the view pictured below at Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, but with over 700 miles of trails, you can enjoy gorgeous views all over the park. You can try your hand at some freshwater fishing at Lake McDonald, and snowshoeing and skiing are also great ways to enjoy a snow-covered Glacier National Park.
Okay, now you have five very convincing reasons why you should visit National Parks in the winter (from part one of the series), as well as five life-changing views that are waiting for you to discover them. Ready to go? Part three will offer a bunch of ways to make the most of your visit. Stay tuned!