Outdoors enthusiasts know that hiking isn’t just a summertime activity but rather something you can do throughout all seasons, given the right gear and conditions. That includes picturesque winter hikes on some of the most beautiful trails in America. Here are five you simply must visit.
1. A Dreamy Hiking Spot: Watchman Trail, Zion National Park, Utah
There’s something otherworldly about Zion National Park in Utah. With its Mars-like landscape and the welcoming dry heat in winter, it’s the perfect place for hiking lovers to hit the Watchman Trail. It’s a three-mile round-trip that doesn’t require pro-level skills, and it’s rather easy to complete. You’ll pass by prickly pear cacti and loads and loads of sandstone with breathtaking views everywhere you look.
2. Breathe in the Clear Colorado Air at Jud Wiebe Trail
Tucked away in the mountains above Telluride, Colorado, hiking the Jud Wiebe Trail is like going inside a postcard. It’s beautiful, green, and thanks to the area’s 300 days of sunshine, the trail is pretty much dry all year-round. Be sure to check the forecast before you head there and pack up a pair of microspikes if there’s snow.
3. Experience the Picturesque Cumberland Trail, Tennessee
When completed, the Cumberland Trail will be 282 miles long, connecting Tennessee from north to south. If you want to avoid crowds, you might want to plan your hiking trip there for winter. For a wondrous nine-and-a-half-mile walk, head to the Possum Creek section, where you will pass through waterfalls and narrow paths that seem to be full of natural beauty and enchantment.
4. A Must-Try Hike at Cape Falcon Trail, Oregon
The notorious Cape Falcon Trail in Oswald West State Park, Oregon, is approximately five miles long, and you might even catch a glimpse of gray whales midway through the hikes. The 100-foot outcropping that’s the focal point of the hike will offer you a lovely view over the wintery waters in front. To increase your chances of spotting a whale, be sure to visit in December or January.
5. Go to Gorham Mountain Trail, Maine, for a Memorable Winter Hike
Maine isn’t just lobster rolls, golden summers, and double-scoop cones. It’s also a magnificent place to visit in winter, with Acadia National Park offering a number of amazing trails. The Gorham Mountain Trail will take you just three and a half miles to complete, and be sure to pack a pair of cross-country skis or snowshoes.