Winters can be harsh, though starkly beautiful at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Temperatures can be well below 0 degrees F by November, and on the winter solstice, Denali receives less than 5 hours of true daylight. Those who venture to the park in winter will find plenty to do – from skiing and winter biking to mushing and snowmobiling. Photo by Katie Thoresen, National Park Service.
A golden sunrise warms the frosty morning at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. With over 40 percent of the park covered by lakes, rivers and streams, Voyageurs is a maze of interconnected waterways. These waters were the transportation corridors for the park’s namesake, the voyageurs, and are the basis for recreation in the park today. Winter visitors can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, sledding and driving on ice roads. Photo by National Park Service.
Take a walk through a winter wonderland at Yellowstone National Park. While it looks a light coating of snow at Tangled Creek, the landscape is covered in hoar frost, which forms when water vapor freezes quickly creating delicate, feather-like crystals. Photo by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.
Located just an hour’s drive from Fairbanks, Alaska, the one-million-acre White Mountains National Recreation Area offers stunning scenery, peaceful solitude, and outstanding opportunities for year-round recreation. Summer visitors to the White Mountains pan for gold, fish, hike and camp under Alaska’s midnight sun. In winter, visitors travel by ski, snowshoe, dog team and snowmobile to enjoy the 12 public-use cabins, 250 miles of groomed trails and the spectacular sight of the Northern Lights dancing overhead. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
The rugged beauty of Badlands National Park in South Dakota is undeniable. From hiking past unique rock formations and fossil beds to watching bison run across the grasslands and the surprise of a swift storm moving in, outdoor adventures abound. Photo by Christina Laws (www.sharetheexperience.org).
First light streaks across the sky, chasing away the stars over Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. The orange dawn quickly reveals the mountains, forests, rivers and lakes scattered across this epic landscape. With beauty like this, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Photo by Kim Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Tennessee protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features, and provides visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities including hunting, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, horseback riding and whitewater paddling. This time of year, you can also enjoy the stunning fall colors. Photo by National Park Service.
The strange rock formations at Joshua Tree National Park in California are the results of magma flows and millions of years of erosion. Many of the unique boulders in the park haven earned names. The large stone pictured here is Heartbreak Rock. Can you guess why? Sunset photo by Hannah Schwalbe, National Park Service.
As evening falls over Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, the sunset sends light streaming over the silhouetted Teton Range. It’s one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see. Until sunrise lights up the mountains the next morning. Photo by Robert Warrington (www.sharetheexperience.org).
About 30 minutes from Palm Springs, California, the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument rises abruptly from the desert floor and reaches an elevation of 10,834 feet. Providing a picturesque backdrop to local communities, visitors can enjoy magnificent palm oases, snow-capped mountains, a national scenic trail and wilderness areas. It’s the perfect place to #OptOutside this weekend! Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands