The national parks in the United States are frequently mentioned in the stories of crazy family vacations. These stories often revolve around bugs, crowds, and the occasional wildfire sighting; in other words, they don't sound like the sort of trips you would want to repeat. Regardless, the national parks are some of the best places that Americans can go to reliably experience true wilderness. To avoid the crowds and (most of) the bugs—and to increase your chances of seeing some stunning creatures—consider a winter visit.
I know you’re thinking that a trip to a forbidding snowy wasteland doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, but if you want to experience the true solitude of the parks then you can’t beat the (relatively) tourist-free frozen months. The parks have options for everyone in the whole family and if you’re not excited about the prospect of snow-camping—a sometimes-valid emotion—there are lodges within the parks featuring all of the amenities you could possibly want.
Use this guide to plan your escape from those winter blues. You might not be in the Caribbean, but you’ll still see plenty of sun.