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Reader Participation Day: Which Is Your Favorite Winter Event/Activity In The National Park System?

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Do you have a desire to attend the Bracebridge Dinner at Yosemite National Park? Photo by Lani Spicer | Andrea Fulton Productions.

Visit Mesa Verde National Park in December and you can experience cliff dwellings by the soft glow of luminarias. Head to Yosemite National Park later in the month and you can feast at The Ahwahnee.

But what other winter events are there that interest you? Do you look forward to the year-end holiday bird count events in the parks? Are the winter months the perfect time for birding in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve? Are you hoping to tour the "ice caves" at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore?

Tell us, travelers, what you're looking forward to in the coming months, and we'll try to include your suggestions in our winter travel guide to the parks.


The near total silence of a small canyon in Zion during a gentle snowstorm. A time when you can actually hear snowflakes hitting the ground and the red rocks around you are blurred by snow and mist.

But a hike in a snowstorm almost anyplace at any time will disclose some special beauty if one will simply watch for it.

Bents Fort, the castle of the plains, has a great Christmas celebration....yeah, they call it Holiday... but it's Christmas. It's terrific.

December 6-7, 2013: Holiday Celebration
Witness for yourself the joys, pleasures and pastimes of the 1840s at an isolated trading post. The spirit of the season comes alive with wagon rides, games, toy making, taffy pull, pinata break, frontier cooking, storytelling, and other holiday festivities. The event begins Friday evening, December 6 with candlelight tours of the fort and continues all through Saturday, December 7 culiminating with another evening of candlelight tours. For reservations for the eveing tour, phone (719) 383-5026 after November 1, 2013.

Snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park. I agree, hiking while the snow is coming down can be spectacular!

Nordic skiing into the Ostrander Ski Hut in Yosemite. The ski in and out is wonderful, but sharing the hut with other skiers is what makes it really special. I am not sure who the ranger is who is statiioned there during the winter now, but it used to be Howard Weamer, a modern-day John Muir. He made the stay in the hut even more special.


Winter is when I hunt up low-altitude hikes in the Smokies or off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Last winter, we hiked sections of the Old Settlers Trail on the TN side of the Smokies.

Next month, I'm taking a group on the Old Sugarlands Trail. These are hikes I wouldn't consider once spring comes.

Danny Bernstein

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