Winter Weather Resolutions

Hollis HughesNPF Blog
Person is skiing through large boulders of limestone with sun shine directly at her
Yellowstone National Park - NPS Photo / Neal Herbert

The start of the new year brings the promise of new habits, better self-care, and healthier behaviors. As we begin 2021, you may be planning to exercise more, start meditating, appreciate the little joys around you every day, or simply trying to be more present. What better place to do that than in a national park?

Our partner L.L.Bean knows all about the restorative power of nature and its benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing. Think you can only recreate in parks in the summer? Think again! There’s snow much fun to be had in parks, and you may discover a whole new experience when you visit national parks in an area that experiences a traditional cold winter. Ready to get started? Check out our recommendations below and get one step closer to achieving your resolutions. 

Hiking — Not Just for Fair Weather Fans  

man and woman walking through a snowy forest

Mount Healy Trail in Denali National Park

NPS Photo / Emily Mesner

Love to hit the trails, feel the wind on your face, have your legs burn with each step of the climb, and watch for wildlife? Then great news — you’ll also love hiking in the winter! The National Park System boasts more than 21,000 combined miles of trails, so there are plenty of options to stretch your legs. Even your favorite tried and true local trail will look and feel different in the winter — new landscape, special animal activity, and maybe even less trail traffic for a quieter experience. The key to hiking in the winter is layering. After all, there’s no bad weather, you just need to plan ahead and wear the right gear. Make sure you’ve got the right apparel to keep you warm and ventilated.

Snow Much Fun

March Snows on Longs Peak

Snowy Longs Peak above the Mills Lake area of Rocky Mountain National Park

NPS Photo / John Marino

No matter your age, hearing the crunch of your foot stepping on to fresh snow is bound to bring a smile to your face. This powdery confection is only available for a limited time each year, so why not make the most of it and get outside to play? Channel your inner child and build a snowman, have a snowball fight, make snow angels, or just take in the wintry wonderland while sipping a thermos of cocoa. A few parks are known for their fluffy flakes — try Acadia National ParkIndiana Dunes National ParkRocky Mountain National ParkMississippi National River & Recreation Area, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.  

Get Mobile 

Snow-covered road through the woods

Miners Castle Road in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

NPS Photo

Want to go far, quickly, in the cold? Snowmobiling provides you with the speed but keeps you fully in nature. Take your snowmobile on a special trail to access areas of a national park you wouldn’t get to see otherwise. It also allows you to hop on and off to explore the sights and sounds of nature away from the busy main areas of the park. Ready to ride? Many parks allow for snowmobile recreation. Try visiting Yellowstone National ParkVoyageurs National Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters National MonumentCedar Breaks National Monument, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

It’s All Downhill From Here 

A skiier skiing down a snow-covered slope with the main park road to the right and Mount Diller and Pilot Pinnacle in the background to the left.

A skiier in Lassen Volcanic National Park

NPS Photo

Want to get your blood pumping and take in the quiet beauty of nature? Clip on your skis and hit the slopes at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Great Basin National ParkOlympic National Park, or Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, which offer downhill skiing. Whiz by snow covered forests and powdery playgrounds, where you can clear your mind and focus on your breathing and the sights and smells around you.

A Picture of Health and Happiness 

Man taking a picture of a couple with a red umbrella walking on a snow-covered trail

Photography along the National Mall and Memorial Parks

NPS Photo / Victoria Stauffenberg

You don’t need snow to have fun and get outside during the winter in your local park. Spending time in nature can be as easy as grabbing your phone or camera and heading to your nearby national park to capture the scenery. Does the winter light make the landscape come alive in a new way? Are the bare branches against a bluebird sky stirring a feeling inside you? Take pictures of your surroundings and practice different photography angles and techniques. Winter is a great time to learn a new skill and national parks are your perfect subject — always changing, never the same scene twice.

Ready to bundle up and have some fun? Start at to get outfitted for all your outdoor adventures. Tell us all about your favorite winter outdoor activities and favorite way to achieve your resolutions in nature in the comments, and share your pictures with us using the hashtags #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque on social media.

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