The hot summer months are coming to an end and winter is fast approaching. Dust off your snow boots and dig out your warmest winter jacket as you start mulling over your next frosty wonderland vacation. There is no better escape than finding the perfect place in nature to experience the beauty of winter. The national parks are always a great option for a vacation destination, and you are able to visit protected land and incredible wildlife. There are plenty of options out there to choose from and we are here to help you with our top spots to visit this winter!
Family Fun in Yosemite National Park
As the first snowfall sticks to the ground come mid-November, the outdoor activities shift from summer and fall to all things winter! From the white-topped mountains to the frozen lakes below, the winter activities are unending. There is something for everyone, from the tranquility of snowshoeing or just enjoying the quiet nature to the fun-filled days skiing down the mountain. Below are a couple of favorite family-friendly activities.
- Skiing in Badger Pass
Whether you are an experienced skier or a first-timer ready to learn, Badger Pass has all the classes and passes for every level. You can backcountry, cross-country, and downhill ski in the area as well as snowboard. If you aren’t interested in any of those activities, there is also snowshoeing and even snow tubing!
- Ice Skating in Curry Village Ice Rink
Spend the day creating special memories with the family at the Curry Village Ice Skating Rink. Not only is it the quintessential winter activity, you simply can not beat the breathtaking backdrop of the mountains all around you. Teaching the kids to ice skate will be a core memory for the whole family. Don’t forget to finish the day off with some hot chocolate!
Where to Stay: Curry Village
What better way to experience all the fun activities than staying overnight in the heart of it all. Curry Village offers many different types of accommodations and amenities. Choose between heated canvas tents, cozy cabins, or standard rooms as a homebase to explore all that Curry Village and Yosemite has to offer.
How to Get There: Yosemite National Park
The initial fun part about Yosemite is getting there! You have the option to travel by car, bus, train, or plane giving you the option to make the journey there as adventurous as you want. The closest airport to fly into would be the Fresno/Yosemite International Airport which is about an hour and a half away from the entrance to the park, but you can find very detailed options on our website here.
Winter Adventures in Lake Tahoe
If you are getting a friend group together for a winter getaway or planning the next family vacation during winter break in the school year, Lake Tahoe will not disappoint. You can partake in a more adventure-packed vacation with snowmobiling and tubing excursions or relax by the fire and cozy up and enjoy the peace and quiet surrounded by nature. With the frozen shoreline, snowy mountain peaks, and hot springs in the area you will have no trouble filling your days in and around Zephyr Cove, especially with the two activities below to take advantage of all the snowfall.
- Snowmobiling with Lake Tahoe Adventures
There is no better way to explore the area with incredible views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range than snowmobiling through the snowy meadows up into the mountains. Lake Tahoe Adventures has tours for all levels from beginner to intermediate to advanced, so you can be sure to join one that is fun and safe for you! The rides usually last about 2 hours and are always led by professional snowmobile guides who know the trails, off-trails, and backcountry areas.
- Tubing down Adventure Mountain
A true playground in nature for children AND adults! Adventure Mountain has groomed runs for everyone as well as a “mini tubers” section with safe mini-runs for the little ones. All you need is some winter clothing and the park will provide the rest. They have designated tubing areas with tubes ready for you and the family to use, as well as helmets to rent as needed. Memories will be made and endless smiles will be had at the highest tubing spot in the Tahoe Basin.
Where to Stay: Zephyr Cove Resort
Zephyr Cove Resort is truly the destination with everything you want and need. You can choose to stay in a cabin or the campgrounds, you will be surrounded by dining areas, gift shops, the Zephyr Cove beach and marina, and all the winter rentals you need for an amazing trip with the family.
How to Get There: Lake Tahoe
The easiest way to get into Lake Tahoe if you are not driving is by flying into the Reno/Lake Tahoe International Airport. There are useful packing and traveling tips on the Zephyr Cove page here, as well as guidance on the easiest ways to get around Lake Tahoe here. The park has local transit, airport shuttle service, bikes, and cars to help you explore the area to the fullest!
Snowmobiling in Togwotee
Neighboring the Bridger-Teton Forest and the Grand Teton National Park, Togwotee receives over 500 inches of perfect snowfall every year helping to keep its spot as the World’s Premier Snowmobiling Resort. With over 600 miles of snowmobile trails for all levels, you will not be bored during your stay. As well as the trail riding, there is also off-trail riding for those wanting more of an adventure with backcountry tours offered. The season begins towards the beginning of December but will vary with snow permitting.
Where to Stay: Togwotee Mountain Lodge
Located near Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Togwotee Mountain Lodge is the perfect place to stay and enjoy the beautiful Wyoming National Parks in the winter on your trip. Stay in a suite, cabin, or lodge room and fill your days with endless outdoor activities, a hearty meal from Grizzly Grill, and relaxing nights with a cocktail or some hot cocoa.
Snow Coach Tours in Yellowstone
With so much to do and see in Yellowstone, it’s hard to pick just a few. Scenic Safaris Snow Coach Tour makes it super easy and safe to explore the park in the winter, so you can sit back and relax while in the hands of a professional! The Yellowstone Old Faithful Snow Coach Tour is a fan favorite. It is a 12-hour excursion that will take you from your lodging through the park to Old Faithful. The tour will make many stops along the way to make sure you see all the incredible landmarks and attractions.
How to Get There: Togwotee and Yellowstone
There are a few transportation options you can take to get to both of these parks. If you are making a road trip out of it, the options are endless and you can really create whatever route you would like, depending on what stops you want to make along the way. If you go by plane, the easiest airport to fly into is Jackson Hole Airport, just 15 minutes outside of Jackson, Wyoming. This airport is the perfect hub to fly into and either rent a car or hire a van for the drive to the Togwotee Lodge. You can find all the information you need for transportation options here. From Togwotee Mountain Lodge to Yellowstone National Park, it is about an hour’s drive, so it is very doable and fun to make a road trip out of it with the whole family!
Plan Your Winter Trip Today!
These are great destinations for everyone! Make sure to plan ahead and reserve your accommodations as spots can fill up quickly for the holidays.