Hiking is a year-round activity in the West, and some places are at their quiet, uncrowded best in winter.

Snow-covered Grand Canyon view from the Rim Trail on a winter hike
Courtesy of REI Adventures

Winter drives away everything that could be unpleasant about hiking and amplifies the good. Gone are the bugs and the crowds; in are the magical snow-covered panoramas, ultra-starry skies (less moisture equals clear nights), and crisp air. Sure, you may have to battle frigid temps, but as long as you’re properly outfitted—with plenty of layers, boots with good traction, and other gear—the heart-pounding trek will take care of the rest. Whether you want to go somewhere secluded, hit up a popular hiking trail or national park on its off-season, celebrate a holiday outdoors, or simply revel in the rugged beauty of the West, these winter hikes are your golden ticket to adventure while everyone else is cooped up inside. 

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