Winter Packing List For National Parks

When it’s time to start packing for your trip, use our winter packing list for National Parks. There are a variety of US National Parks to visit in the winter, and each one requires different clothing and gear.

Winter weather around the US can be unpredictable and temperatures can vary greatly throughout the day. It’s important to pack layers so you can adjust accordingly. We recommend packing at least one base layer, a mid-layer, and an outer layer.

Winter packing list for National Parks

In addition to layers, you also need to consider footwear, accessories, skincare products, and gear for hiking or other outdoor activities.

This 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 a free copy of the fall National Park packing checklist below!

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Winter Packing List for National Parks

There are a variety of US National Parks to visit in the winter – 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 passes
National Park Passes

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).

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 has one signature line for a single passholder. The pass covers the passholder and all occupants in a personal vehicle. Or it can cover the passholder and up to three additional adults. The passholder will need to show photo ID each time the pass is used.

Adults are ages 16 and over. Children ages 15 or under are admitted free. Check the National Park Service website for the most current pricing information.

Winter clothing exploring Arches National Park

Daypack Items for National Park Outdoor Activities in the Winter

A daypack helps you carry everything you need from snacks, water, first-aid kit, to your camera for capturing amazing winter landscapes.

Let’s dive into what makes a good daypack for outdoor activities in the winter.

Hiking Gear for National Parks in the Winter

When it comes to planning your winter hiking trip, having the right gear can make all the difference. With cold temperatures and unpredictable weather, your equipment needs to not only support your adventure but also handle the elements.

winter hiking gear

Clothing for National Parks in the Winter

Wicking is something you’ll want for all clothing that touches skin because it pulls moisture (sweat) away from you and moves it to the fabric’s outer surface, where it can dry quickly.

This type of clothing lets you break a sweat without feeling clammy or chilled. In the fall, it’s all about the LAYERS when doing outdoor activities.

Yellowstone Winter Tour
Winter photography at Yellowstone

Camera Equipment For Winter Travel to National Parks

Winter travel brings a wonderful opportunity to capture tranquil scenes of snow-covered landscapes you’ll see at US National Parks.

The right camera accessories can make all the difference to enhance the quality of your captures and make your photographic journey more enjoyable.

Rain or snow is a possibility in the winter depending on the location of the park in the US. Be sure your camera bag has a weatherproof cover and carry a cleaning kit, microfiber cloths, and a rain sleeve for your camera!

Camera Gear at B&H Photo

camera accessories

Other Gear for Visiting US National Parks in the Winter

Download and print the WINTER NATIONAL PARK PACKING LIST to use over and over! Simply click the graphic below to get your free copy!

winter national park packing list optin

National Park Winter Vacation Ideas


national park guides and maps

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