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Reader Participation Day: Which Is Your Favorite Winter's Day Hike In the Parks?


If you are in reach of a unit of the National Park System in the coming months, is there a particular hike that is a must-do in your opinion?

Winter is coming to the country, and that means snow, ice, and fewer leaves in the northern half of the National Park System, while mild, if not warm or even hot, days are on tap across the southern half. Those contrasting conditions translate into a wide array of hiking conditions -- both under foot and in the surrounding landscape.

Do you look forward to snowshoeing in the parks, or prefer to leave your footprints in the sand along beaches in places such as Padre Island National Seashore or Virgin Islands National Park?

Share your winter hiking secrets with the rest of the Traveler readership.


So far, it's Fall Canyon, Death Valley NP. Thin winter light.

One winter we purchased a small booklet on identifying animal footprints in the snow. We took it with us cross country skiing at Longmire at Mt. Rainier National Park. The Trail of Shadows is right across the street from the Lodge. We had a great time both skiing and identifying many critter footprints. I believe we had a nice hot meal at the Lodge afterwards.

After a fresh coating of new fallen snow, the Navajo Loop trail at Bryce Canyon is a "must do" experience. Perferably, it should be taken early in the morning, before anyone else has had the chance to put footprints on virgin snow. Yak trax on boots are recommended.

I have to agree with Kutztribe2. Longmire's a terrific place to go in the wintertime. So is the Carbon River area in the northwestern corner of Mt. Rainier NP.

Another good place to walk in the wintertime, esp. after a storm, is along the beach around and north of Kalaloch in Olympic National Park.

And I have wonderful memories of visiting Zion in February one year, and walking the Gateway to the Narrows trail.

The AT in Shenandoah National Park is great in winter. Few if any people will be with you and with the leaves off the trees every step is like a new vista either over the peidmont of Virginia or over ridge after ridge of Appalacians all the way into West Virginia. And you can make it as long or as short as you wish.

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