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6 Incredible American Winter Road Trips You Must Experience

December 09, 2021

6 best winter road trips in the USA

Photo by Michele Orallo on Unsplash

Winter is here! So warm up your car and hit the road.

If you're looking for a winter adventure that doesn't require much time or money, then exploring the back roads of America is just what you need. Winter is the perfect time to go on a drive around the country since most people prefer to stay home and avoid the roads. Meaning you have the road to yourself, with lots of fresh air, powdered snow, stunning landscape and I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Related: 7 Best Winter Hiking Trail In The US

These 6 American Winter Road Trips are not only scenic but they're also full of family friendly activities too! Whether you are driving through Yellowstone National Park, or exploring the Skyline Drive in Virginia, these winter road trips are sure to please any traveler looking for something new and different. Read on to find out what makes these journeys so special.

Here are some of the most incredible American winter road trips you must experience this year.

#1 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

best winter road trips usa

Photo by Robert Merrill on Unsplash

The usual summer traffic jams in the famous Yellowstone National Park dwindles during the winter season, leaving you with a quiet, peaceful, and gorgeous park to spot wolves while enjoying your road trip. The park itself, though perfect in every other season, turns into a paradise for adventure seekers in winter.

In addition to taking a 52-mile drive on the Grand Loop Road admiring the scenery surrounding you, you can also engage in a lot of fun winter activities such as taking a sleigh ride, trekking across the many cross-country trails, winter camping, snowmobiling, going on a nighttime tour, and most importantly, enjoy peace and quiet.

#2 Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee & North Carolina

best winter road trips usa

Photo by Nick Pryde on Unsplash

If you have visited the Great Smoky Mountains during summer, autumn, or spring, you would notice that the this park would be swarming with tourists and locals alike during those times. But the story is different come winter time, enjoying much clearer views of the wonderful landscape, with not so many visitors to disturb your peace fewer visitors crowding the place.

Starting mid-November and ending in February, winters in the park are usually moderate, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the scenery, and also the snow as the elevation increases. Once you reach the Smoky Mountains, you will have a lot of winter activities to participate in, from winter hiking in the park and visiting the waterfalls, to taking a winter driving tour and enjoying a gourmet meal.

#3 Skyline Drive, Virginia

best winter road trips usa

Photo by René DeAnda on Unsplash

Known as one of the best winter road trips in the US, the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park, is one place where you can experience winter’s solitude like never before. As you drive through the route, you will most likely come across various woodland animals, such as turkeys, deer, and squirrels. Extending to 105 miles, the Skyline Drive is sure to make you breathless with its bucolic views of the crystallized waterfalls and snow-covered valleys. There are also several picnic areas around the park where you can enjoy a nice and quiet picnic with your group, taking pleasure in the fantastic views.

#4 Big Bend National Park, Texas

best winter road trips usa

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

Though winters are usually mild in the Big Bend National Park in Texas, there are also times, though rare, when there is the gift of snowfall. If you are lucky, you could visit the Big Bend during one such snowfalls and experience the unique beauty of the park at its best. This is one of the best places in the country where you can explore some of the most striking landscapes. As the temperature remains mild and pleasant, you will get plenty of opportunities to stop and click some beautiful pictures, or take part in great hikes. The limestone cliffs and other beautiful geological formations are sure to give you one of the best scenic drive experiences of your life.

#5 Yosemite National Park, California

best winter road trips usa

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Ask anyone who has visited the Yosemite National Park in winter and they wouldn’t hesitate in letting you know that it would be the best place to spend your winter break in. Accessible by car all year around, except for a few areas that are closed in winter, the stunning beauty of the park will make your winter road trip totally worth it. It would be fair to say that once you drive through the place during winter, you will spend the rest of the year wanting to experience it once again. With an infinite array of outdoor activities, such as skiing, ice skating, snowboarding, snow tubing, cross-country skiing, and more, you will have the best time at the park.

#6 Glacier National Park, Montana

best winter road trips usa

Photo by JD Andrews on Unsplash

The Glacier National Park located in the Rocky Mountains of Montana is a display of mesmerizing beauty with its valleys and peaks extending to the Canadian border. If your scene of winter road trip is driving through plowed roads, with snow everywhere around you, witnessing majestic peaks and valleys, then your trip this year should be to Glacier National Park. Once you are at the park, you can take guided snowshoe walks, go skiing, or engage in other winter activities, including camping.


Now that winter is here, all you need to do is choose a route that sounds most appealing to you and pack your car to enjoy the most incredible American winter road trip.

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