When someone says off-season travel, it might sound…well, a little depressing, right? But in many of our national parks, winter is actually the time you WANT to travel. And now that the government shutdown has ended, national parks are open again for all to enjoy.
Yellowstone National Park isn’t just about seeing the geysers. In the winter, they have snow coach tours of the park to view the landscape and wildlife. It’s a cross between a bus and a snowmobile. It’s a lot more relaxed—and a whole lot warmer than a snowmobile.
Most people think of Utah’s ski resorts in winter, but don’t overlook the southern part of the state. Bryce Canyon National Park is at a pretty high elevation, so it gets a good amount of snow. In winter, you can go on a two-hour guided snowshoe hike—it’s totally free, on a first-come, first-come basis.
Hitting the parks with kids? Between January and April, Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota has free kids programming. They’ll get hands-on learning about the park’s ecosystem.
And it doesn’t get much better than Yosemite in winter. Take a night hike and you’ll get a close-up view of nocturnal animals—and it’s only about a mile. Totally easy and family friendly.