Winter is undoubtedly a magical time of the year filled not only with festive cheer but exquisite frosted landscapes as well. While heading to one of the big cities in the USA for a winter break may appeal to many Americans, an increasing number of people are rediscovering the value of a good, old-fashioned road trip.
The humble road trip has, in fact, skyrocketed in popularity so much so that it accounted for 39% of all American vacations in 2016. If you are looking for a unique holiday experience this winter why not go on a road trip to one of the many tremendous National Parks scattered across the country, after you have prepped for your trip of course.
Preparing for your road trip
Before you embark on your road trip it is imperative to make sure that your vehicle is ready for the trek ahead. As you will more than likely be driving in inclement weather it might be a good idea to switch to your snow tires. You should also have your windows, heating system, brakes, and fluids check to ensure that you don’t get stuck by the side of the road in freezing temperatures. Don’t forget to pack warm clothes, a blanket or two in case it gets really cold in the car, a basic first aid kit and, of course, a couple bottles of water and a nice snacks to indulge in along the way to your National Park Destination.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
When you drive the scenic route along Interstate 40 and Route 321 through the Great Smoky Mountains during winter you may very well be fooled into believing that you are in the middle of a European winter. During winter you will find the park a lot less crowded that during the warmer months while still providing you with some of the most breath-taking beautiful views in the entire country. Despite a snowy blanket that is bound to cover the much of the surface area during the coldest parts of the season, you can still enjoy a leisurely stroll through the park. Just be sure to take extra precaution, being careful of slippery surfaces and watching out for falling icicles. While wandering around the park you might be lucky enough to stumble upon a gravity-defying, frozen waterfall straight out of a fairy tale.
Arches National Park
If you want to go on a road trip that leads you to a real-life winter wonderland you need to look no further than the Arches National Park in Utah. During the coldest months of the year, the park is covered in snow, making the well-known sandstone rock formations an even more spectacular sight. As a winter-time visitor, you will find the park a lot quieter, giving you some added privacy. You will also be able to trek around the park with relative ease without the blistering summer sun beating down on you. On a clear night, you will also be able to experience stargazing like never before. The further you head away from the lights of Moab, the better your view will be. Some of the best points for star gazing include The Windows, Garden of Eden Viewpoint, and Panorama Point.
Taking a road trip to one of the USA’s amazing National Parks will undoubtedly turn out to be one of the most memorable vacations of your life. Once you have visited a park during winter chances are you will fall in love with the experience so completely that you will never want to visit at any other time of year as well.