People often tend to forget that hiking is still a viable and practical option in the winter. It offers reprieve from the unbearable summer heat, and it can offer solitude from the once-abundant tourist crowds. Tap into your adventurous side this winter and start marking off these top 5 hiking destinations from your bucket list, as snowcapped peaks, jagged cliffs, towering volcanoes and verdant forests await you. There’s no better time than the present- so give the ski lifts a rest this season and grab your boots as you explore nature’s wonders. If you’re a vaping enthusiast and want to enjoy top quality sessions during your outdoor adventures, make sure to pack the ultra portable Haze Dual V3 along with your other favorite hiking items.
Here are our top five must-see winter hiking locations in the United States:
The Wave- Arizona: Located on the border of Utah and Arizona, this natural wonder resides in an area called Coyote Buttes. The trail is usually limited to twenty people per day, and it generally takes an online reservation several months in advance to get in.
Zion National Park- Utah: In the winter, the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive within the park is open to private vehicles and because of this you have more freedom in your exploration and less crowds to deal with. You might encounter minor patches of snow and ice in the canyon, especially in the places that receive little sunlight, but most trails are still accessible, such as Emerald Pools Trail, Weeping Rock, and the Riverside Walk.
Big Bend National Park- Texas: This park offers three diverse ecosystems to its visitors: the high altitude Chisos Mountains, the riparian zone along the Rio Grande and the Chihuanhuan desert. You can comfortably hike up to Balanced Rock, explore the Santa Elena canyon and go bird watching in the Chios Mountains. The spring and summer months come with high temperatures, making winter an ideal time to visit.
Grand Canyon National Park- Arizona: Visiting this park in the winter can give you a completely new experience than in the summer. The canyon is much cooler, the crowds are sparse and the scenery shimmers with snow. Proper preparation will allow you to gain further access into the canyon, free of the harsh summer temperatures, maybe even all the way down to Phantom Ranch, a place where reservations are easier to make in the winter. Some of the less snow-covered trails include Hermit Trail and South Kaibab Trail.
The Yosemite Valley- California: Yosemite National Park is often packed with visitors during the summer, but the winter changes everything. Despite resting at about 4,000 feet, the climate remains moderately temperate and rarely requires the use of snowshoes or skis. Some of the best hikes to try in the winter are Bridalveil Falls, Lower Yosemite Falls, Mirror Lake and sections of Mist Trail. Additionally, the Yosemite Valley has a functioning ice rink in the winter.
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