By Rhiannon White
Did you know that after the heat of the year passes, with you snuggled up in your home or classroom and readying yourself for the cold that comes with the green leaves changing colors, the parks that you may have missed out on throughout the summer are actually still open to visitors? And the visit you have next week may be even better than the one you could’ve had in July.
We’ve compiled a list of beautiful parks to visit across the country during the fall and winter months. Including beautiful icy peaks and picturesque fall foliage, we’ve got the top five picked out just for you!
Zion National Park, Utah
Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash
Zion is, of course, beautiful year-round. With its unending rocky recesses and bouts of blue waters, it’s no wonder why this is such a hot spot throughout the summer months! That’s the exact reason why driving out to this spot during the fall and winter is a perfect chance for you to truly experience it! Crowds die down quite a bit during the cooler seasons, and beyond that, Zion makes a perfect winter wonderland with snow decorating its peaks and Whoville-esque icicles spiraling down throughout its vertical rock walls.
Yosemite National Park, California
Photo by Rakshith Hatwar on Unsplash
The towering beauty of Half Dome isn’t just available to you in the scorching heat of the sun! All of fall’s classic colors come out to play from mid-October to late November! Make sure you bundle up in layers though, as the high mountain wind will cut through any sweater that you may have bought to post on Instagram.
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Photo by Stephen Ellis on Unsplash
Take in the deep red maples and flowering dogwoods from the highest spot in Tennessee, Clingmans Dome. If you keep your eyes open, you can even snap a photo in front of the iconic Appalachian Trail sign to commemorate what you’ve just experienced!
Acadia National Park, Maine
Photo by Wei Zeng on Unsplash
The East Coast never lets you down in terms of seasonal beauty, does it? The spectrum of fall tones, the ocean grays that complement the winds just so. Truly, Acadia National Park could not be missed on our list of parks that you simply have to visit during your fall and winter vacations! A word to those who live on the West Coast: Ensure you dress in your warmest layers and bring your wooliest scarves with you to this beautiful site! The other side of the country gets a lot colder than you could possibly imagine!
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia & North Carolina
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
Alright, alright, we know that this one is kind of cheating just a little bit. It's not the kind of national park where you can hike deep into the mysterious woods. But it is a beautiful drive through two states, with many, many places to pull over and take short trails into the forest, away from the cars and roadway. Following a map for this road will illuminate your car with reds, yellows, and deep oranges that will make you crave everything pumpkin spice.