When the weather gets warm, it’s time to explore! In this post, I’m sharing 14 great national parks to visit in the spring.
Springtime is almost hereeeee!!!! Is anyone else as excited as I am for longer days and warmer weather?! This time of year is the PERFECT time to do some exploring. And what better place to explore than our national parks? My husband and I are passionate about exploring all our national parks over our lifetime and we’re always thinking of when the best times to visit the parks will be. Especially after Joshua Tree and the Grand Canyon in the middle of a heatwave… oops.
With 63 national parks, it can be hard to determine where to start. Let me help! Here are a few national parks that you should visit in spring!
This list definitely isn’t all-inclusive. In general, many of the parks in the southwest US are great in spring and those in, say, Alaska aren’t quite ready for tourists yet. This list is just to inspire you to get out there and enjoy our beautiful country!
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Spring is the perfect time to visit Death Valley. With temperatures in the 80s and 90s during the day, you’ve got much more tolerable weather now than in the Summer. In the summer, temps can soar to over 110 degrees during the day! But spring isn’t just a good time to avoid scorching heat. You’ll also see beautiful wildflowers blooming. Time it right and you’ll even see a “superbloom”–the perfect desert conditions form an otherworldly like display of flowers in the Spring.
Located in the center of South Carolina, Congaree National Park has amazing history and wildlife. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy this less-popular park. Walk the boardwalk trail to see fresh blooms and the bright leaves bringing trees back to life. Head over to the lake and you might just see an alligator! Spring will bring pleasant temperatures and less humidity than in the summer.
You may also like…The ultimate guide to Congaree National Park
Shenandoah is absolutely gorgeous in the Spring. The weather is crisp and humidity low. Trees and wildflowers are in full bloom. It’s the perfect time for a hike!
Spring break anyone?! Dry Tortugas National Park is located essentially in the ocean off the coast of Florida. A collection of 7 coral islands, you have to travel by boat or seaplane. It’s perfect for snorkeling and enjoying the warm spring weather Florida has to offer.
Head to Texas and enjoy over 150 miles of desert and the Chisos mountains. Perfect for hikers, head here in early Spring to enjoy some wonderful weather in the desert.
I always thought it was odd that Gateway Arch is a National Park, but what better time to enjoy it than springtime? Everything is more beautiful in the Spring, including St. Louis! Ride a tram to the top and do cartwheels on the lawn. The plus side to this park is you can visit and explore the city in a weekend!
Another park that is best suited to Winter and Spring, the desert of Joshua Tree shows off in the Spring. The weather is more mild than in the summer and you’ll see beautiful flowers blooming.
You may also like…The Best Hikes In Joshua Tree National Park
Spring brings the shoulder season at Mammoth Cave National Park, meaning it’s the perfect time for you to visit! Enjoy temperatures in the 60s-70s and see wildlife and wildflowers coming out. Book a cave tour (in advance) and explore this unique park!
Located in Nevada, Great Basin has a variety of landscapes to enjoy. And like many of the parks on this list, Great Basin National Park is located in the desert and best enjoyed before the sweltering temperatures of the summer. Enjoy hiking, stargazing, and take a scenic drive to explore this park.
What better way to enjoy spring weather than soaking in hot springs at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas? While you can’t soak outdoors, there are a couple different bathhouses you can enjoy. There are a few places, though, that you can touch and even drink the water!
Great Sand Dunes
Head over to Colorado to enjoy some of the country’s biggest sand dunes this spring! You can climb or sled or even try your hand at sandboarding. It’s best to visit this park before the sand gets too hot in the summer.
Another great spring break destination, Virgin Islands National Park boasts beautiful weather and beautiful beaches that you can enjoy! Head over to Maho Bay to snorkel with the sea turtles. Just remember it could be a bit crowded because of spring break. We headed here the first week of March and it wasn’t too bad yet!
Pinnacles National Park is one of the less popular (but still amazing) national parks in California. Made from volcanoes thousands of years ago, this is the perfect area to hike and climb!
A park on everyone’s bucket list, springtime is a wonderful time to visit Zion National Park. Before the scorching heat reaches Utah and makes hiking during the day dangerous, enjoy long leisurely hikes in beautiful weather.
This is definitely a short list and there are plenty of other places to explore, but hopefully this inspires you to book a trip this spring to enjoy our national parks! Also, in April there is a week where entry to national parks is free. So make sure you mark your calendars!
What are your favorite national parks to visit in the spring?