1. Joshua Tree National Park

California is known for its year-long sunny weather, but it usually does get its dose of snow for a few short weeks. Joshua Tree is the ideal location for those looking for the winter camping experience in milder climates. While it’s still cold at night, there’s plenty of sun in the daytime to warm the temperature up a bit for a few hours. Plus, seeing a stretch of cacti covered in white snow is a rare sight in Cali! Here’s a quick rundown by the National Park Service on camping options at Joshua Tree and the reservation process.

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Photo by Joe

2. Yosemite National Park 

Even if you’ve already made a trip out there before, it’s worth making another to see it in the wintertime. With the ground covered in snow, there’s a different feel to the trees and wildlife that stand out against a soft white backdrop. Even during harsh weather where other locations are closing their trails, Yosemite offers many alternative activities and open trails accessible by foot.

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Photo by Kathy_Rockwell

During wintertime, the North Rim is closed, and sometimes, weather conditions may interfere with a clear view of the canyon. So why is this still on our list? Because it’s not peak visitor season, you may strike a deal to stay in some of the most popular cabins for bargain prices. And if you’re lucky, the fog may lift, revealing a sight you’ll never see during a summer trip- the Grand Canyon, dressed in white. You’ll have to bundle up and check weather and road conditions, but seeing the Grand Canyon sprinkled with snow is definitely worth it.

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Photo by Grand Canyon National Park

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Photo by Grand Canyon National Park

Denali is known for its 6 million acres of land and snowy mountains. For those looking for a more adventurous camping experience, Denali may be just the place.

During winter, one of their main campsites remains open. It’s not for the faint of heart since weather can drop to extremely low temperatures, and there is no running water or electricity.

For those trekking through the snow, wilderness camping in the park is free with a backcountry permit, available at the visitor’s center15880687630_9966790cb9_z.jpg

Photo by Malcolm Manners 

5. Glacier National Park 

Lodging is not available during winter, however Glacier National Park does offer backcountry permits so you can set up your tent and camp during wintertime hikes. The views are spectacular and there are even organized snowshoe walks for those wanting to travel in groups.

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Photo by Andrew E. Larsen