back to articles | January 31, 2023 | Greg Thibodeau

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

Driving Through These National Parks Feels Like a Winter Wonderland

Get out of the house and make the most of the season with a winter drive. The right landscape makes it easy to appreciate the beauty of the sparkling snow and the tranquility of winter.


For the outdoorsy type winter is an opportunity for seasonal sports and activities. The cooler temperatures are good for hiking if you dress appropriately and the bare trees and freshly fallen snow make it ideal for observing wildlife. Many national parks transform into a winter wonderland and provide organized recreational activities year round.

Those who love winter await the snow with anticipation but for others it is a time to stay indoors. Get out of the house and make the most of the season with a winter drive. The right landscape makes it easy to appreciate the beauty of the sparkling snow and the tranquility of winter.

Stay cozy in the vehicle and enjoy the view or make stops along the way and take part in some winter activities at these fabulous national parks.

Acadia National Park, Maine

This winter drive is perfect for those who don’t shy away from solitude. You won’t find crowds at Acadia National Park in the winter months but you will find plenty of natural beauty. Snow capped evergreens and waves crashing against the ice glazed rocky shores are just a few sights to feast your eyes on.

Even though the park doesn’t see many visitors in the winter, outdoor activities are plentiful. Hit the trails on skis, snowshoes, or snowmobiles. Enjoy the sights on a scenic drive or try your hand at ice fishing or dog sledding.

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

California may not be synonymous with a winter wonderland but the northern parts of the state do get substantial snowfall. Lassen Volcanic National Park enjoys snow cover for more than six months of the year from October through May. Here winter gives lakes an icy sparkle, blankets volcanoes with snow, and makes the steam vents even more spectacular.

Lassen National Park has one of the longest winter sports seasons in the country. There are plenty of activities for those who wish to brave the snow such as sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, and winter camping. You would not be disappointed on this winter drive.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

From November to March you can count on a blanket of snow softening the rugged beauty of Grand Teton National Park. The jagged mountain peaks and sprawling valleys create postcard worthy views on a winter drive. This park is home to many animal species making it a great place to view wildlife.

Grand Teton is a refuge for sports enthusiasts. The winter trails lend themselves well to a multitude of activities. The winter can be bitterly cold however so come prepared if you plan to get out of the car and go for a hands-on experience.

Arches National Park, Utah

You’re not likely to get buried under feet of snow on this winter drive but it does snow enough to transform the landscape into a winter wonderland. The red arches and geological formations are simply striking with a backdrop of blue sky and a carpet of white snow. If there is substantial snowfall some roads and trails may be closed so plan your trip accordingly.

Denali National Park, Alaska

Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America and Denali National Park is the wilderness encompassing it. This national park is six million acres of iconic Alaska with rugged mountains, dramatic landscapes, and wildlife. This winter drive is packed with sensational views and there are plenty of things to do along the way.

Snow is often seen from August to October making it a long season to enjoy this gem. The park features a winter visitor center which is open daily. Rangers offer snowshoe hikes and there is dog sledding, skiing, and winter camping. Denali National Park is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights so be sure to make time for some after dark skywatching.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Without rain and snow Crater Lake would not exist. With no connection to a water supply it depends on precipitation to replenish what water is lost. It’s a good thing that Crater Lake gets no fewer than 43 feet of snowfall each year due to its high altitude and close proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

Not all roads are open year round but there are plenty of routes that are accessible in the winter. The views of this iconic lake are incredible and winter only adds to its beauty. You’ll fall in love with this winter drive.

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

You will find the striking beauty of red rocks, blue skies, and white snow on this winter drive but the best view at Bryce Canyon National Park is straight up. With high elevation and the cold, dry air of winter this is one of the best places for stargazing. Schedule your drive on a clear winter night and look to the skies for an out of this world experience.

There are some incredible programs offered during the winter at Bryce Canyon National Park. Astronomy programs are available for those who want to delve deep into the night sky. There is also snowshoeing during full moons when the snow twinkles in the night.

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

The high elevation of Mount Rainier gives it a dusting of snow year round. As early as October, snow begins to descend on the meadows turning the landscape into a winter wonderland at the foot of a volcano. The area of the park known as Paradise receives an average of 54 feet of snow annually and set the record in the 1970s with 93.5 feet of snowfall.

Along with ample snow one of the more prominent features of Mount Rainier are the ever shifting glaciers near the peak. Aside from mountain climbing and viewing glaciers Mount Rainier National Park offers sledding, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and winter camping. Or stay toasty in the car as you enjoy your winter drive.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

If you’re looking for a winter drive to take your breath away then Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park is the roadtrip for you. Forests laden with snow, frozen wetlands, icy waterfalls, serene valleys, and snow capped rocky peaks await you on this trip.This drive is packed with winter views.

Shenandoah National Park is a great place for animal lovers and those hoping to see some wildlife. Black bears, White-tailed deer, foxes and bobcats can frequently be spotted here. This park is home to countless species of birds including turkeys, nuthatches, and chickadees.

Winter drives can be beautiful in the right setting but the roads can be slippery. Stay safe on the roads this winter with the right vehicle. Check out how myAutoloan can help you enjoy this season to the fullest.