Wait, you might say. Camping? In winter? That has to be miserable! Not so, dear traveller! It might be on the chilly side, but there are plenty of fantastic year-round camping sites that are especially cool (like you didn’t see that pun coming) during the winter months. Whether you’re pitching a tent or cruising in the RV, we’ve got a list of great winter camping destinations just for you.
U.S. Winter Camping Sites
Obviously, Death Valley can get a little warm in the summer months (so warm, in fact, that some campgrounds are closed due to extreme heat). But the winter months, well — they can be downright pleasant! Temperatures at night will usually only flirt with freezing during winter months. Backpacking and hiking are popular here, and what better time than when the weather is more forgiving? There are also ranger programs, paleontology tours, Scotty’s Castle and the Borax Museum. Winter camping doesn’t have to be cold!
Though wildly popular in the summertime, some would say that Mt. Hood only gets better in the winter. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are big, along with snowmobiling, skating and tubing. With a ton of campsites to choose from and opportunities for cross-country winter sports, Mt. Hood makes a fantastic winter camping spot.
Okay, it gets pretty cold at Cave Lake, but we know you can handle it. You’ll want to when we tell you that from December to February they offer a ton of winter sporting activities: sledding, ice fishing, snow sculpting, outdoor ice skating, and even the White Pine Fire & Ice Show in mid-January. Plenty of fun to be had!
This is a busy, busy place during the summer. Relatively few return for the winter, but they’re missing out. Pictured Rocks offers cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and even ice climbing. This place is a little more rough and tumble (in other words, really, really rustic), but we think it’s worth it. They also have handicapped camping accommodations during the day. If you’re looking for a less primitive experience, there are private campsites in the area that offer hookups — with a reservation.
Yes, they have sand dunes. In fact, they’re the largest in North America. Like a lot of national parks, they peak in the summer and clear out in the winter. What’s neat is that you can ski, hike and sled on the dunes. How cool is that? Visit Piñon Flats Campground during the winter for clear skies and solitude. While the air temperature is chilly (and you do still have to mind blizzard conditions) the dunes can get pretty warm under the constant sunshine. If you get too much sand in your shorts, there are snow-covered mountains begging to be hiked right nearby.
There are plenty of unique opportunities for camping in the winter. You can enjoy discounted camping fees, fewer campers, and a slew of unique wintertime activities to boot — or just better temperatures for your favorite summer spots.
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