When it’s time to start packing for your trip, use our winter packing list for National Parks.
There are many US National Park vacation ideas for winter. Once you pick the destination, you’ll have a better idea of what you’ll need to pack.
The packing list for winter is fairly comprehensive, and you may not need every item depending on your type of travel and the things you will do, so make modifications as needed.
Download the packing list for free below!
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Winter Packing List for National Parks
There’s a variety of US National Parks to visit in the winter and weather, region and elevation are important to consider when packing. Weather can be unpredictable in the winter, so be sure to check the forecast and pack accordingly!
We enjoy traveling during the winter when it’s the off season at many locations. But winter exploration and photography can be a love-hate struggle. You’ll need the right winter clothing so you can still enjoy the outdoors!
If you’ll be traveling by car, check out our winter road trip supplies list so you are prepared for unexpected car troubles or bad weather conditions.
National Park Winter Packing Checklist
Here are the items we consider packing for a winter vacation to US National Parks based on location and expected weather.
National Park Annual Pass
We think the US National Park Pass is a good deal and get one every year (it’s valid for one year from the date of purchase). Check the National Park Service website for the most current pricing information.
If you’re a US citizen these other passes are also available: Senior Pass if you’re over 62, Military Pass, and 4th Grade Pass.
The pass can be shared between two people, and they don’t have to be related. You will need to show photo ID each time you use the pass.
We like to buy our pass through REI – they donate 10% of sale proceeds to the National Park Foundation which is cool! Plus that purchase goes toward our REI annual member dividend. You can also get them at any of these Federal Recreation Areas.
Daypack Items for Outdoor Activities in the Winter
- Water bottles or hydration backpack
- Healthy snacks
- Rechargeable hand warmers or Hot Hands hand and foot warmers
- Flashlight or headlamp
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses – especially in the snow!
- Hand lotion
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Disposable urination device & feminine hygiene products
- Toilet bags
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
Hiking Gear for the Winter
- Insulated boots
- Waterproof hiking shoes
Heavy wool socks – we LOVE Darn Tough Socks
- Traction cleats
- Snowshoes and poles
- What to Bring on a Day Hike
- Hiking Gear and Tips for Kids
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Best Cameras for Hiking
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece or insulated jacket
- Wool, down or heavy-weight insulated jacket
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Insulating hat
- Insulating winter gloves
- Fleece neck gaiter or buff
SHOP FOR US National Park Guides and Maps:
Other Gear to Pack
- Cell phone
- Portable charger
- Blister balm – you won’t need this if you wear Darn Tough socks (just sayin’)
- National Park guide books and maps
→ Download the camera gear checklist!
FREE DOWNLOAD TO PRINT: Printable National Park Winter Packing Checklist