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Top U.S. National Parks for RV Winter Travel


There’s nothing quite like spending a winter day outside in the midst of stunning natural scenery. There is no need to stay cooped up inside all winter when you own an RV. We’ve put together a list of some of our winter favorite national parks, each with its own unique charm. Some of these parks are better in the winter than in any other season. So pack up your RV and get ready to see some amazing landscapes! Read on if you’re looking for an RV road trip idea that will take you to some of America’s most beautiful national parks.

Guest Post by TheAdventureDetour

Best National Park to RV to in Winter

Why Winter Is A Great Time To Take A Trip To A National Park

Winter is an excellent time for RV camping in national parks. With fewer crowds, campers can enjoy the peace and beauty of the outdoors without feeling overwhelmed by other visitors. Hiking trails and park facilities are no longer crammed with people, and you can truly experience the tranquility of nature in the national parks. There just isn’t any other season like it.

The winter months are also a great opportunity to experience the landscape in a different way. Seeing a national park with a dusting of snow is incredibly beautiful and majestic. The parks that get snow are postcard perfect with this winter change in the landscape. 

Your trip may even be cheaper when you visit in the winter. Some campsites offer discounts during the winter off-season, saving you money on your lodging. Plus, it’s generally much easier to get camping reservations, especially in cold-weather parks. 

Best National Park to RV to in Winter Death Valley

Beat The Winter Blues

I don’t know about you but when we lived in the cold Midwest after the holiday fun was over in December, January began to feel a bit cold and depressing. With the short days and gloomy weather in many parts of the country, it’s very easy to stay shut up inside. Hitting the road can be a great way to break up the season and see a new place. Getting active out in nature really is good for the soul in any season.

Our Favorite Winter Parks

So now that you may be ready to ditch the winter slump and hop in your RV for a national parks trip, which one should you visit? Well, that depends on what you are looking for. Would you like to beat the cold and visit a park that is warm in the winter? Or are you looking for beautiful snow-covered mountains and a quiet uncrowded winter scene? Here are a few options for both scenarios.

Best National Park to RV to in Winter Yosemite National Park

Scenic Cold Weather Winter National Parks

These parks have snow at higher elevations for the incredible scenery but are warmer with snow that doesn’t usually stick around long in the lower elevations. You can skip the peak season crowds and experience the parks with most things still open.

Yosemite National Park, California 

It’s no secret that Yosemite is one of the most spectacular national parks in the United States, and it’s definitely worth a visit this winter if you can manage it. With expansive views of granite peaks, sequoia groves, and the Merced River, you’ll find plenty to explore on your RV trip here. Being able to experience this park without the crowds is a peaceful one-of-a-kind experience.

Yosemite Valley stays warmer than the rest of the park, while the mountains are blanketed in beautiful snow as a backdrop. The road is open to Hetch Hetchy and to the ski area on the way up to Glacier Point. Note that Glacier Point and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias are closed in winter. Skiing, winter hiking, and snowshoeing are popular park activities in winter.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the many RV camping options available within the park, even in winter. Note that chains may sometimes be required in the park, and you must have them with you and know how to use them on your RV and vehicles.

Best National Parks to RV to in Winter Great Smoky Mountain National Park

 Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina 

This stunning mountain range is home to some of the oldest mountains in the world and offers an abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities as well as picturesque hiking trails. The park is especially beautiful in winter when the snow-covered mountains create a breathtaking backdrop for your RV camping trip.

There is RV camping available throughout the winter at Smokemont and Cades Cove Campgrounds. There are plenty of other activities to enjoy as well, such as cross-country skiing and sledding. You can spend hours exploring the trails, watching wildlife, and enjoying nature’s beauty at its best in this majestic national park. 

Many people envision loads of snow in the Great Smoky Mountains, but many winter days are a mild 50 degrees. It does snow but very little in the lower elevations. November and December average less than one inch of snow, while January and February average 2-3 inches per month. It does snow more at the higher elevations making a gorgeous backdrop. Roads and facilities can be closed due to weather, so it is always helpful to check park conditions before your visit.

Best National Parks to RV to in Winter Arches National Park

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park in Utah is a great winter park, as the dry desert air often keeps the temperatures fairly mild, and snow often doesn’t stick around long. This can be the perfect place for a unique winter getaway, surrounded by stunning natural wonders such as enormous sandstone arches and amazing rock formations. 

This park offers excellent hiking trails that take you around some of the most famous sites, including Balanced Rock and Delicate Arch. The park is especially beautiful if you get to visit the red rock formations highlighted with a dusting of snow. With fewer crowds, you have more opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy the park in peace. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some wild animals like bighorn sheep or jackrabbits along your travels! 

It’s also worth noting that Arches has a dark sky park designation, meaning that the night skies here are some of the clearest and darkest in the nation. This makes it an ideal destination for stargazing. Be sure to bring your telescope or binoculars to get a better look at all those stars twinkling overhead! 

Devil’s Garden Campground is open in winter and is first-come, first served for RVs and campers. The scenery of this campground is incredible, with the red rock backdrops. It’s a great time to visit Arches National Park.

Best National Parks to RV to in Winter Joshua Tree National Park

Mild Weather Winter Parks

What if you want to avoid snow completely and seek a national park visit that is a warm weather getaway? Sometimes the best way to beat the winter blues is to soak up some warm sun. National Parks with great winter weather are often in their peak season. So although the weather is perfect, you won’t always be able to skip the crowds like in the cold weather parks. Check out these mild parks in the winter.

Joshua Tree National Park, California

This desert park is about two hours east of Los Angeles and offers an incredible winter experience. It’s much warmer than Yosemite but still has a stunning backdrop of beautiful rock formations, cacti, wildflowers, and Joshua trees. There’s plenty to explore here, with hikes through the desert wilderness and plenty of camping and RVing opportunities.

Winter is a great time to visit Joshua Tree as the temperatures are mild and comfortable for outdoor activities. The summer heat makes it tough to enjoy this desert park, but the winter weather is just right. You can still enjoy activities like wildlife viewing, hiking, rock climbing, and stargazing without worrying about snow or cold weather. With no park entrance reservations needed, you can drive into the park any day of the year. 

RV camping is available at White Tank, Hidden Valley, and Belle campgrounds. It is helpful to make reservations as far in advance as possible. You can reserve six months in advance of your visit.

Best National Parks to RV to in Winter Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park, Florida

Everglades National Park in Florida is the perfect winter park for those looking to escape the cold weather and enjoy some warmer temperatures. This park offers an incredible array of activities year-round, but especially during the winter months when it’s at its best. 

The Everglades are home to a wide variety of wildlife, such as alligators, panthers, manatees, and countless species of birds that make this area their home. There are plenty of trails for visitors to explore which lead you through its diverse ecosystems full of lush vegetation and wild creatures. You can even take an airboat tour or rent a canoe or kayak to get up close to nature while exploring the waterways. The tram tour is also a very popular way to see the park.

Check out the RV camping in the Flamingo and Long Pine Key Campgrounds. Make sure to reserve in advance, as winter is the peak season for the Everglades. Camping is much more comfortable with the reduced humidity and bugs of the winter season.

Best National Parks to RV to in Winter

Death Valley National Park, California/Nevada

Death Valley National Park offers plenty to do and see during the winter months, making it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the cold weather. With its mild temperatures, amazing scenery, and a myriad of activities, Death Valley National Park is one of the best winter parks to visit! 

The vast landscape of Death Valley is full of unique geological formations and fascinating wildlife. Visitors can participate in activities such as hiking, biking, stargazing, and wildlife viewing. The winter weather is just right for outdoor adventures. This desert park can be dangerously hot the rest of the year, but winter weather is perfect for exploring. 

RV camping at the Furnace Creek Campground is available year-round, but reservations are highly recommended during the winter peak season. This campground is also a great spot to take in incredible views of the surrounding mountains. 

Taking a national park RV trip in winter can be a great way to beat the cold weather blues and get some much-needed sunshine. Whether you like exploring snowy trailheads or soaking up the sun on mild days, there’s a park perfect for you. So grab your gear and head out into nature this winter season! 

Looking for an RV perfect for your national park adventures? La Mesa has the selection with all the features you are looking for. Check them out today! 

Scott, his wife Van, and their 12-year-old daughter Sissy have traveled full-time in their RV for 7 years. They have worked and homeschooled on the road through 42 states so far. They blog about RVing tips, travel destinations, and the full-time RV lifestyle on their blog, They are also RV content creators @theadventuredetour on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. They love connecting with RVers so be sure to reach out to them and say hi!