10 Beautiful Winter Camping Locations - Panergy
1. WILD RIVER STATE PARK - MINNEAPOLIS/SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA
Located about an hour away from the Twin Cities, Wild River State Park is the perfect winter campground. You can enjoy snowshoe trails, skiing and hiking from a number of campsites spread around the park, and the helpful park staff will gladly direct you to a rental office if you don't have your own snow sports equipment. You can also get a great view of trumpeter swans and other wild snow birds by hiking some of the trails, and the park hosts activity programs year round.
2. FORT MYERS BEACH - SOUTHWESTERN FLORIDA
Most campers think of Florida as a sort of warm-weather oasis during the winter, and they're generally right. There are some great skiing locations up north, but if you're not a huge fan of winter, check out Fort Myers Beach. There are a number of gorgeous, scenic campsites around Florida's south, and Fort Myers effectively summarizes what's great about the state: perfect weather, perfect humidity and perfect views stretching for miles. The Seminole Campground is probably the best spot for seasoned tent campers, as there are plenty of amenities and 129 wooded sites.
3. WHITE RIVER NATIONAL FOREST - NORTHWEST COLORADO
If you're an experienced winter camper, you'll appreciate the snow-capped peaks of Aspen Mountain, the gorgeous slopes of the Snowmass ski area and the other excellent attractions in this National Forest. There's excellent hunting, fishing and skiing over more than 2,285,000 acres of land.
4. MISSISSIPPI PALISADES - SAVANNA, ILLINOIS
Popularly known in Illinois simply as the Palisades, this state park features wooded ravines and a rich American Indian heritage. In January and February, you can watch bald eagles soaring over the Mississippi River or enjoy a hike via the park's 15-mile trail system. There are also several youth camping areas and plenty of room for winter sports like cross-country skiing and sledding.
5. NEW YORK STATE ADIRONDACK PARK - UPSTATE NEW YORK
This is a great area year-round, but New York residents know that the Adirondack's 6.1 million acres are best enjoyed in winter. There's great skiing, historical museums and an impressive variety of wildlife. Check out the Old Forge camping resort for affordable tent camping during the winter season.
6. PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS WILDERNESS STATE PARK - ONTONAGON, MICHIGAN
You might not immediately think of Michigan when you think snow sports, but this state park has ample cross country and downhill skiing and a beautiful range of hills. There's also hiking trails lit with kerosene lamps, and you can stop by one of the public campfires to share your experiences with your fellow campers.The Porcupine Mountains are home to old-growth northern hardwoods, gorgeous geological features and a tremendous variety of wildlife, and the park's well-maintained campsites are certainly worth a visit. The park is home to black bears, lynx and gray wolves, so camp carefully.
7. DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK - CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA
Death Valley is the hottest spot in North America, but it's a land of extremes. In the winter, you can enjoy skiing Death Valley's Telescope Peak, a shimmering mountain that stands at over 11,049 feet high. The peak presents some interesting challenges for hikers, backpackers and skiers, with incredible vertical rise and some truly unique geological formations.If you're not into snow sports, Death Valley offers some of the best traditional camping anywhere, and you?ll avoid some of the crippling heat by planning your visit in January or February.
This 10,000 acre park doesn't get particularly snowy, but you?ll still deal with some weather-related challenges before you throw down your sleeping bag. Check the weather forecast carefully before you head out, especially if you're planning on visiting one of the park's three lakes.If you're ready to brave some chilling winds and occasionally random weather patterns, you'll enjoy an archery range, horse riding trails, hiking trails and more. Natchez Trace is an excellent park for Southern campers and a great place to spend a weekend if you're not too familiar with the winter camping experience.
9. ALAMO LAKE STATE PARK - WESTERN ARIZONA
If you're a fan of wildlife, you might want to make an annual pilgrimage to this relatively small state park. Alamo Lake offers great birdwatching, with egrets, bald eagles and other birds making regular appearances during the winter, and it's one of the best fishing lakes in the state of Arizona.Best of all, Alamo Lake is off the beaten path, so you'll enjoy full night skies and absolute peace during your trip. This park's an incredible find.
10. WESTMORELAND STATE PARK - VIRGINIA
History buffs can visit the birthplace of Robert E. Lee near this state park on the Potomac River. With a short drive, you can even see the birthplace of George Washington, but you don't have to leave the park for a historical experience; Westmoreland is a meditative attraction with gorgeous river views and six miles of hiking trails.\n\nWestmoreland State Park has over 130 sites for tent camping. Look for a site near the Beach Trail for easy access to the cliffs, which feature fossilized whales, sharks and other prehistoric beasts embedded in the walls.\n\nRemember to call ahead for reservations and to make sure that your campsite is open. While these parks are winter-friendly, construction projects, wildfires and other events can lead to temporary closures. As always, pack appropriate gear for the season and know your camp site's rules before you schedule your visit.