Five Western National Parks To Camp at This Winter

Looking to travel this winter? Want to find some sun and warmth? Want to camp among wild cactus, vibrant red rock canyons and windswept sand dunes? Good, I was hoping you would say yes. Because these five National Parks have just what you’re looking for.

Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Big Bend, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef.

Each of these National Parks are wildly unique from their grand landscapes, diverse wildlife, distinct geology, and rich history. They are also made for the sun worshiper and what better time for some camping in the sun, than in the winter when you need it most.

And don’t stress. Just because you might not own all the gear you need for an epic camping trip; you can easily make it happen by renting from TruNW Exchange. Have premium and comfortable camping gear shipped right to your door to make this camping trip stress free and one you’ll never forget!

So, grab a map, make a playlist and let’s hit the road and visit these five sun loving National Parks. 

Death Valley National Park might sound like a scary place to visit, but honestly it should be on the top of your list, especially in the winter and here’s why.

Death Valley NP is full of awesome extremes and exploration. From peaks reaching over 11,000 feet to Badwater Basin that sits 282 feet below sea level. From insanely hot temps in the summer to pleasant 70 degree temps in the winter. 

Explore the Park’s numerous winding slot canyons, rocks that slowly and mysteriously drift across the desert floor, vibrant multi-colored painted hills, and panoramic views of desert valleys, sand dunes and towering mountain ranges.

Death Valley has 12 campgrounds to choose from. Some are high up in the mountains, where most are sprinkled throughout the desert floor and easily accessible in winter. Almost all are first-come, first-served, so get there early to grab a spot. And once you’ve set up camp, go check out the rich scenery, great hiking and a treat yourself to a delicious date shake.

Joshua Tree National Park is next on our list. Famous for its rugged rock formations and the extraordinary gnarly prickly tree that the park’s named after. This is the perfect desert landscape for star gazing, hiking, sun and of course camping during winter months. 

Joshua Tree NP has several different ecosystems and a rich desert landscape that can seem otherworldly. It’s a dry place that gets lots of sun and temperatures can reach up into the 70’s during winter making it perfect for exploring and hiking its many trails.  

There are nine campgrounds within the park and all of them have incredible views. Whether you’re tucked in among giant boulders or out in the wide-open Mojave Desert, each campground is unique with inspiring views. Most campgrounds here are first-come, first-served and weekends can get busy, so plan ahead and get there early. 

Big Bend National Park, like most things in Texas, it’s big. It’s is home to big views, big canyons and big solitude. And it’s a big must in the winter. 

The Rio Grande River carves its way through the park creating massive limestone cliff walls and oases along its banks. The Chisos Mountains are found towering around the park. And there’s miles of wide open, tranquil cactus filled desert. All of these diverse landscapes can be accessed by hiking. And if you love to hike, then Big Bend is for you! 

There are three campgrounds in big Bend National Park and all of them will delight you with stunning views. Typically, these are reservable in the winter, but check first before you go. 

Canyonlands National Park is home to a dramatic ancient desert landscape that is easy to get around in during winter months by driving or hiking, and I recommend both.   

Canyonlands NP is full of red rock mesas, spires, arches and canyons that will keep you exploring and wondering what’s around the next corner. You’ll also find the Colorado River snaking its way through the park. There are miles of scenic drives, but be aware, most of these will require a high clearance or a 4x4 vehicle. Otherwise, see them by foot. With loads of hiking trails that take you deep into the park to discover slot canyons, arches, and far out vistas, you’ll never get bored.

There are two campgrounds within this park. Yes, there are fewer campgrounds so make sure that you get there early to find a sight at these first-come, first served campgrounds, even during winter. After camp is set up be sure to go explore the awe-inspiring backcountry of Canyonlands National Park. 

Capitol Reef National Park, like Canyonlands, is home to dramatic cliffs, arches and canyons. So why come here? Because it generally sees fewer visitors and is home to some truly awesome geology and landscapes only found at Capitol Reef.

The 100-mile long Waterpocket Fold is a geologic monocline, in easy terms, a wrinkle on the earth’s crust. Because of the crazy and unique geology, Capitol Reef NP makes you feel like you’re on another planet. So, whether by car, hiking trails or from camp, be sure and explore this other-worldly National Park.

With only one developed campground within the park, get there early. Once you’re set up, go take a hike and explore. Capitol Reef sees a lot of sun in the winter, but it’s at a high elevation so check weather and snow conditions before you go. 

These are wild and diverse lands, and they are so worth visiting this winter. So rent your gear from TruNorthwest Exchange, make your playlist, plan your route and hit the road for an epic journey through one or all of these five unforgettable National Parks. You’ll find inspiration, memories, and maybe even a suntan.