Some people look forward to winter all year. But some don’t and if you’re one of those, you’re probably already thinking of sunny skies and warm weather. In either case, winter is an underrated time of year for deserts, beaches, and more. With this in mind, we put together Moterra’s finest snowbird minds to bring you our favorite escapes from winter. So rent one of our luxury Sprinter vans out of San Francisco or Las Vegas for blue skies all year round.
Winter Van Adventures
While you might be able to talk us into it, we’d generally prefer not to rent out our vans where there’s snow on the ground. Winter means sub-zero nighttime temperatures, dangerous roads, and complicated overnight parking rules, so we’d rather steer you to warmer climes.
Fortunately for the winter traveler, colder months are often the best times to visit some of the West’s best spots. Compared to summer’s oppressive heat, winter temperatures in the deserts of California and Nevada are often ideal for outdoors activities. As a matter of fact, winter nights are actually better for stargazers too, with earlier sunsets and spectacular arrays of constellations and planets on display. Finally, most National Parks and popular spots are at their emptiest January-March. So, if you’re looking to ditch the snow and the crowds, keep reading. Here are our favorite vanlife winter escapes:
Death Valley National Park
Although infamous for its scorching summer temperatures, Death Valley becomes a veritable paradise in the winter. Only the coldest days dip below freezing. Otherwise, it’s a winter of sunny days and perfect hiking temperatures. Visit in the depths of winter to have the place all to yourself – the park’s visitation rates are lowest in January and February. Or you could wait it out until early spring. After all, balmier temperatures and wildflower blooms start in March. No matter when you go, make sure you come prepared with a desert-ready luxury Sprinter van. After all, our Las Vegas location is just 2 hours away.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree has been a special and even sacred place for thousands of years. From the early Pinto culture to today’s climbers and outdoors enthusiasts, people seem to love Joshua Tree. But it’s no surprise. This magical place is home to a surprising abundance of edible and helpful plants. Add incredible scenery, hiking trails, and some of the world’s most climbable rock and you’ve got a wilderness paradise. The park gets crowded in the summer, not to mention hot. Conversely, winter sees the parks fewest visits and though the temperatures do drop, they rarely ever dip below freezing. World class climbing, hiking, camping, and stargazing await you just 3.5 hours away from our Las Vegas location.
Having read this far, you might be wondering when we’re going to get to some real warm weather. Well, you’re in luck. We probably don’t have to sell you on the sunny beaches of the Golden State. Still, it bears mentioning that winter is when those famous beaches, boardwalks, and sunsets are at their least crowded. Surfers will know that winter often brings the best swells. Hikers, bikers, and runners will appreciate perfect outdoor temperatures – not cold but also not too hot. All in all, winter might just be the best time of year to experience California in its best light.
Although we don’t yet have a location in Southern California, we’ve been sending vans down the West Coast for years. So if your idea of a winter escape requires a beach, we have options. Our San Francisco location is less than 3 hours from Big Sur and 6 from Santa Barbara. From there you can take your adventure east and end it at our Las Vegas Location for a truly classic road trip. We’ve even been known to pick the vans up in LA, if you ask nicely.
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