From Alaska to Maine, the United States National Parks Service provides protection for epic vistas, pristine valleys, and soaring peaks for our enjoyment. Read below about snowshoeing in three of the nearly 400 National Parks; Denali National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, and Great Sand Dunes National Park.
DENALI NATIONAL PARK
Covering over 6 million acres in Alaska’s interior, Denali National Park includes various landscapes including forest, taiga, and tundra. In the park’s center, Mt. McKinley towers above, reaching over 20,000 feet in elevation.
During the winter the National Park provides free use of snowshoes. Visitors frequently snowshoe a trail to Mt. Healy, or take a trail to Horseshoe Lake. Another favorite is the McKinley Station Trail, which takes park visitors across the Hines Creek and to a suspension bridge over Riley Creek.
At its lowest, the temperatures can reach -40F to -50F, but the average December temperature is around 7 degrees F, Jan is 3 degrees F, and Feb is 7.6 degrees. One park ranger mentioned, “We really like it when its above zero!”
For more information about snowshoeing in Denali National Park, please visit their website linked HERE.
MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
Located in Tubbs’ backyard, and known to natives as “Tahoma,” Mt. Rainier is a part of Pacific Northwest culture. The park that surrounds the volcano offers perspectives of the glaciers hanging on to the granite, and waterfalls flowing from snowmelt. Beyond the landscape, the wildlife is a sight to be seen—black bears, mountain goats, marmots, and pikas roam the meadows.
During the winter, Ranger lead snowshoe tours help new snowshoers feel more comfortable in the wilderness. In the summer, snow sticks around the higher elevations that are accessible to visitors until nearly September. This provides opportunities to snowshoe in shorts and tshirts, and LOTS of sunscreen!
Two Tubbs Ambassadors recently spent time at Mt. Rainier, with great success.
Family Ambassador John S., doesn’t let snowshoeing season stop until all of the snow is gone. He proved this by heading up in elevation, with his three kids in tow. Read More >
Backcountry Ambassador Tim T., flew from Minnesota to successfully summit the 14,411 ft. peak. He shares his determination and experience on our blog. Read More >
GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
Containing the tallest dune in North America, Great Sand Dunes National Park is located in Southern Colorado and covers almost 85,000 acres. Considered a “high desert,” temperatures reach 100°F in the summer, and dip below 0°F in the winter. Dig just a few feet down, even at the top of the dunes, and you’ll find wet sand!
Snowshoeing on the snow-covered dunes in the winter provides sweeping views of the mountains in the distance, but our Ambassador Kathy decided to take her family to the dunes this spring, for an attempt at “sandshoeing.” Read about their fun HERE.