December 20, 2023 3 min read

A Guide to Some of the Top Spots for Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing in the U.S.

Winter enthusiasts can find joy in exploring the outdoors during this season. Surprisingly, even die-hard summer fans may discover a newfound appreciation for nature's beauty when blanketed in snow. Hiking and snowshoeing are great ways to do so, and the United States has some of the best spots for these activities. Proper preparation is critical to making the most of your winter adventure. In this blog, we will explore some of the best places for winter hiking and snowshoeing, as well as essential tips for staying warm and safe.


Top 5 Winter Destinations with Best Trails

1. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 


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Why it's a Must-Visit: Picture a winter wonderland, but with elk! It's a snow lover's paradise, from alpine lakes to mountain peaks.


Top Trail: The Emerald Lake Trail is a crowd-pleaser, offering breathtaking views with moderate difficulty.


Preparation Tip: Colorado's high altitude isn't to be underestimated. Acclimate yourself and stay hydrated. Need a water bottle or want a new one? McGovern Outdoor has you covered. Click on the link to find your favorite water bottle. McGovern Outdoor Water Bottles


2. Yosemite National Park, California

Why it's a Must-Visit: Winter in Yosemite means fewer crowds and a snow-covered Half Dome. Don't forget to check out the chapel. Nestled amid towering pine trees and framed by rugged peaks, the chapel at Yosemite offers a picture-perfect scene straight out of a Holiday card when covered in snow. A walk around this snowy sanctuary is like stepping into a holiday trance. It's simply magical. 


Top Trail: Badger Pass to Dewey Point is a 7-mile round trip ideal for snowshoeing.


Preparation Tip: California's sun can still be intense, even in winter. Don't forget sunscreen and sunglasses!


3. Rememberional Park, Montana


Why it's a Must-Visit: It's the land of rugged beauty and quiet solitude, with trails that make you feel like a real-life explorer.


Top Trail: The Avalanche Lake Trail is manageable and offers excellent views of frozen waterfalls.


Preparation Tip: Always carry an avalanche beacon and take the time to learn how it works. Safety first!


4. Acadia National Park, Maine


Why it's a Must-Visit: Imagine coastal views with an icy twist—Maine's Acadia Park offers just that!


Top Trail: Jordan Pond Path is relatively flat but has the best lake and mountain views.


Preparation Tip: Coastal weather is fickle; wear layers and pack windbreakers and a Sweater Bana to keep your neck and face warm. 


5. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington


Why it's a Must-Visit: If you're a fan of the Cascade Range, this is your winter playground.


Top Trail: The Paradise Snowshoe Loop is beginner-friendly and offers phenomenal views of Rainier.


Preparation Tip: In the PNW, waterproofing everything is a rule of thumb. Keep those socks dry!


Gear Up: Preparation Checklist

Clothing Essentials:


  1. Base Layers: Opt for moisture-wicking materials like merino wool.

  2. Mid-Layers: A good fleece jacket goes a long way.

  3. Outer Layer: Invest in a quality, waterproof, breathable shell.

  4. Ensure that every part of your body is adequately covered to ward off frostbite during winter activities.


Gear Must-Haves:


  1. Snowshoes: Aim for a model that fits your activity level and terrain.

  2. Poles: Not just for style points—they're vital for balance.

  3. Gaiters: Keep that snow out of your boots, trust me.

  4. GPS Satellite Communicator: A GPS communicator ensures you can send distress signals, share your location, and even communicate with emergency services, making it an invaluable lifeline when navigating the unpredictable winter wilderness.

  5. Wireless battery charger for your phone: Cold temperatures can rapidly drain your phone's battery, leaving you without a vital tool for navigation, communication, or emergency assistance. This is a must-have!


Health & Safety:


  1. First-Aid Kit: With extras like blister treatment and antiseptic wipes.

  2. Food and Hydration: High-calorie snacks and plenty of water.

      3. Navigation: GPS is essential, but always carry a map and compass as          backup.




So there you have it, my frosty friends—a guide to some of the U.S.'s most awe-inspiring winter trails, complete with prep tips to ensure you're surviving and thriving! Whether you're a seasoned trailblazer or a newbie strapping on snowshoes for the first time, there's a winter wonderland out there just for you. Layer up, pack smart, and prepare to make this winter the most adventurous one yet!


Until next time, keep those feet warm and your spirits high, and enjoy the Places You Love in every season!  

—McGovern Outdoor

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