Best Spots for Your Winter Camping Adventure
Whichever adventure you're looking for, there are plenty of winter camping spots available, sometimes even at a cheaper price since it's the offseason. Here are some destinations to consider this season.
Broome Hut, Berthoud Pass and Winter Park, Colorado1 of 9
Heading to the Broome Hut—a mile climb with an 800-foot ascent—is an adventure in itself, but once you reach the hut, you'll find spectacular views of the continental divide and a cozy space to warm up. If you're visiting in the middle of winter, strong backcountry skills are required, but you'll be guaranteed fresh, untracked powder.
San Juan National Forest, Colorado2 of 9
With all the snow in the San Juan National Forest, you don't have to hike far to find a supreme camping spot with stellar views. Whether you're on Molas Pass or Wolf Creek Pass, camping will be cold, but fun. You'll be near three top ski areas—Purgatory, Silverton and Wolf Creek Ski Area. You'll also be near the Pagosa Hot Springs, a perfect place to visit after a long day of hiking or skiing.
Zion National Park, Utah3 of 9
For a milder winter-camping experience, plan a trip to the desert in Zion National Park. This park sits at a relatively low elevation, so the weather isn't too cold. Snow is a rarity, making hiking and biking possible year-round. Top hiking trails include Grotto Trail, Chinle trail and Pa'rus Trail. If you want some snowfall, head up to some of the backcountry trails, where snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are often available.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Bayfield, Wisconsin4 of 9
Hiking near the Apostle Islands in summer is fun, but what about the winter? Two words: ice caves. Hike, snowshoe or ski on the ice of Lake Superior to get to the caves—West Channel leads to Basswood, Hermit or Oak Islands. Always check with the visitor center before heading onto the ice. For camping, Oak Islands is a popular site, just don't forget a reservation.
Peninsula Way, Park Moabi Regional Park, Needles, California5 of 9
Another top desert location for winter camping is at the Moabi Regional Park, which sits along the Colorado River. Don't be put off by the pirate-themed RV resort—you do have to make reservations there, but head past the RVs and set up at Peninsula Way. These sites are secluded, and each has a bit of a beachfront view along the river. Bring your boat and go in the off-season to avoid the crowds at the resort and marina.
False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia6 of 9
If you're looking for true solitude, this state park may be your best bet. There are no motor vehicles allowed, only hiking, biking and boating. Plus, the park is only accessible from the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. To get to the campsites, you have trek by foot or bike to the sites (about six to nine miles, depending on the site location) during daylight hours. Camping here takes a lot of preparation since you'll have to pack everything in and out, but the solitude is well worth it.
Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon7 of 9
If you want to get out during the winter months, but need a little more comfort, this park is a great option. Bullards Beach offers plenty of campsites, as well as 13 yurts. The family-oriented park has plenty to do, including boating, fishing, horseback riding trails, mountain biking, light-house exploring, and plenty of hiking and beach trekking. Although this park is great in the summer, camping in the winter allows you to avoid big crowds.
Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine, Florida8 of 9
If you're looking to ride some waves this winter, this state park has some of the best surf spots around. Other popular activities include windsurfing, hiking the dunes, biking, bird watching, dolphin and whale watching, and fishing. You can also rent canoes, kayaks, sailboards and paddle boards. There are 139 campsites in the hammock forest, which protects the area from nasty sea breezes, and the 4-mile beach is walking distance away. A great place for families, the park has electricity and water, plus a Bedtime Story Camper Lending Library at the ranger station.