With winter not too far off here in the Rockies, it's only natural to begin to consider which national park to visit before the spring thaw arrives. Our question to you: Do you focus on snow, or sand, when you think of a winter national park escape?
The benefits of heading to snow country or the beach or desert are many. Heavy snows make for great snowshoeing, cross-country or alpine skiing, and, for some, snowmobiling, in such units of the National Park System as Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, Pictured Rocks, Indiana Dunes, Acadia, Mount Rainier, Olympic, Sequoia, Yosemite, Shenandoah, Great Smoky and on and on.
But heading to warmer climes isn't such a bad idea, either, as my wife and I found out last March with a retreat to Virgin Islands National Park with its palm-tree-lined beaches and great snorkeling. Death Valley National Park is a great winter destination, too, and you actually can enjoy both the snow and the sand by heading up to Telescope Peak one day (although it's no easy task) and into the sand dunes the next.
So, what will it be this winter? Snow, or sand?