MOOSE, Wyo. — With winter in full swing, the National Park Service (NPS) is reminding park users of some general safety tips before they head out on a hiking endeavor this season.

“Hiking in winter can be a beautiful thing, there’s nothing like the hush that falls while snow blankets a forest,” said NPS. “But remember when you head outdoors you leave behind the established comforts of home: food and water; shelter from the sun, wind and weather; and easy access to emergency services.”

Keep the following tips in mind before heading out in winter weather conditions:

  • Snowshoes and traction devices are recommended on ice and snow.
  • In winter, some trails are not marked or maintained. Route-finding skills are important, don’t rely on others’ tracks which can lead you astray.
  • Know your route. Snow-covered landscapes look very different than in summer. Snow can be deep once you are off-trail.
  • Keep off the ice. Streams and lakes can have thin ice and be very dangerous.
  • Be avalanche aware. Check with your park for the latest safety information and avalanche forecast.
  • Always be willing to turn around. Weather and trails conditions can change quickly as snow falls and melts.
  • Watch for wildlife. Always keep your distance and practice safe wildlife viewing practices.