Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beautiful Winter Treescapes and Scenic Drives

Sure, the holidays are over, but why end the winter fun now? It’s still January, and there are plenty of wonderful winter destinations that make for an exciting family adventure. Scenic drives are one of the most popular cold-weather activities because of the fact that the grandeur of the outdoors may be enjoyed from the warm comfort of a vehicle. The only thing more fascinating than lush greenery is miles and miles of snow topped trees, a commodity which none of the following destinations are lacking!

Zion Park Scenic Byway – Utah

This byway consists of the main highway through the famous Zion National Park. Many people consider Utah to be a place full of jutting canyons and desert landscapes, but the upper elevations actually get more than one hundred inches of snow per year! Besides the breathtaking winter photography opportunities provided by trees that keep their leaves year-round, the park is a haven for wildlife like eagles and majestic elk.

Payette River Scenic Byway – Idaho

Payette River Scenic Byway takes winter sightseers on an icy and exciting drive along the river from Boise to McCall. Those who would like to take their adventures to the next level will find hundreds of miles of snowmobile and ski trails. Beginning in sage-covered foothills of Boise, visitors will be treated to sights of pines, tamaracks, aspen trees, and wild birds as the road gains more than 2,000 feet of elevation before reaching the cozy town of McCall. 

General’s Highway – California

Although Sequoia and King’s Canyon national parks see most of their 1.5 million visitors in the summer and spring, the winter remains one of the most intriguing times to capture the beauty of General Sherman, the world’s largest tree, in all the glory of quiet and gentle snow. The other giant sequoias are just as magnificent and humbling to behold. It is simply unfair to categorize California as a summer destination when there is so much to check out in the cooler months as well.

Always call ahead of time to make sure that no fallen trees or icy conditions will delay your trip through any of these spectacular scenic drives. Take the same safety cautions you would when driving in any other inclement conditions. Many parks will suggest bringing traction devices, flashlights, blankets, and other emergency provisions. Remember- the best way to get the most out of a scenic byway or treescape adventure is to prepare for it!

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