Most of the country's national parks receive the vast majority of their traffic in the spring, summer, and fall. For winter adventure lovers looking for snow, this seasonal trend presents phenomenal opportunities to snowshoe and ski in some absolutely stunning terrain without the crowds. There can be trade-offs, to be sure; many campgrounds and lodges close for the season, and road access can be a logistic hurdle if certain arteries through a park are not plowed or maintained. But any extra effort required for a winter trip is easily offset by pristine views of a snowy and undeveloped landscape. Whether your fix is found with a quiet lunch near a glassy alpine lake or some deep turns in untracked backcountry stashes, national parks are almost certain to have a great adventure option for you. Here are a few ideas from some of the West’s magnificent national parks to get your planning process started.
Note: Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.