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-  A stunning national park in white  (© Stephen Matera/Tandem Stills + Motion)

Most of us visit our national parks when the weather is warm and comfortable. But winter’s snowy landscapes and cold solitude can lend a striking beauty to the scenery and wildlife of many public lands. For example, winter is a great time to enjoy recreational snow activities at Mount Rainier National Park in North America’s Washington state, pictured here peeking through the clouds at sunrise. An added winter bonus is that visitors can experience public treasures like Mount Rainier without the crowds. Other parks also have distinct charms when the snow falls. Check out dramatic steaming geyser action in the brisk winter air at Yellowstone. Easily spot herds of elk and other wildlife in the snow blanket of the Grand Tetons. Or walk among the snow-capped hoodoos (towering red-rock spires) of Bryce Canyon. You may decide wintertime is the right time to visit your national parks.