Spring is the best time to visit most national parks in the United States. While winter brings the coolest temperatures and fewer crowds, spring offers you a chance to enjoy more uninterrupted sights at more comfortable temperatures. This is also the time when most wildflowers are blooming and wildlife is emerging from their dens.
So, if you’re a spring traveler and looking for the best national parks to visit, you should consider April for a better experience. Whether you are a fan of hiking, wildlife, nature walks, kayaking, canoeing, camping, family picnics, taking a walk in the forest, or bird viewing, April has got you covered.
Unlike during the summer, temperatures in April are pleasant. Most parks are located in arid areas, and you wouldn’t want to burn in the summer heat. Therefore, if you want to see the rivers and streams comfortably, have a clear view of the waterfalls, or watch the stars at night in the desert, there are different options to choose from in this article.
Let’s explore the 10 best national parks you can visit in April.
1. Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park
|Animal to See||Elk|
|Attraction to See||Sol Duc Falls and Hot springs|
The Olympic National Park is among the most amazing parks to visit in Spring. If you want to go hiking in a wide range of places, you can because the temperature ranges from 56.8°F to 37.2°F. This means that you can go hiking in rainforests like Hoh Rainforest, Quinault Rainforest, and beaches like Kalaloch and Rialto Beach without having to deal with frigid weather.
The park is home to wild animals and birds such as elk and the bald eagle. Olympic National Park is among the best US national parks to visit if you’re into wildlife. In the northern part of the park lies a beautiful and glacially carved lake known as Lake Crescent, where one can kayak or paddle a boat.
2. Redwood National Park
Redwood National Park
|Animal to See||Pacific Giant Salamanders|
|Attraction to See||Fern Canyon|
Redwood National Park is best known for being home to the tallest trees worldwide: old-growth coastal redwood trees, and giant sequoia trees. By walking along the Stout Memorial Grove Trail, you’ll get a better view of the 300-foot tall trees.
There are a lot of activities to explore at Redwood in April, including enjoying the prairies, scenic drives, and hiking along the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail and Fern Canyon Loop Trail. Besides, it’s not crowded in April, which means you can tour the Klamath River Overlook, where the river meets the Pacific.
3. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park
|Animal to See||Bison|
|Attraction to See||Grand Geyser|
Visiting Yellowstone National Park in April is a wise decision if you’re looking to experience the beginning of spring in the park. Temperatures range from 19℉ to 46℉. So, you should be prepared for the extreme cold if you’re planning to hike into the Grand Canyon.
During scenic drives, you might come across grizzly bears, herds of bison, and moose grazing on young leaves. Visiting the park in April means getting the best views of Grand Geyser, Old Faithful Geyser, and Grand Prismatic Spring.
4. Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park
|Animal to See||Black Bears|
|Attraction to See||Dark Hollow Falls|
Shenandoah National Park is best known for its beautiful natural surroundings, waterfalls, and stunning hiking trails. Temperatures are very favorable in April, especially during the day. Some of the things you can do at Shenandoah are skyline driving, camping, mountain climbing, hiking, cycling, and looking at wildlife.
April weather brings out well-blossomed wildflowers, making the park a magnificent place for nature walks and photography. Shenandoah National Park is home to stunning waterfalls such as Dark Hollow Falls, White Oak Canyon Falls, and South River Falls.
5. Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
|Animal to See||Desert Bighorn sheep|
|Attraction to See||Waterpocket Fold|
Capitol Reef National Park is another beautiful park to visit in April as the weather is friendly at the time. The temperatures are pleasant for hiking, camping, scenic drives, watching the sunset, photography, picnics, and stargazing.
You can hike along the Grand Wash Trail, Hickman Bridge, and Capitol George Wash Trail as you explore the adverse desert plains full of beautiful red sandstone cliffs and white domes.
6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
|Animal to See||White-tailed Deer|
|Attraction to See||Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies|
Spring is a good time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wildlife is in abundance during April. Therefore, you’ll have a chance to see salamanders, white-tailed deer, coyotes, elk, black bears, woodchucks, raccoons, and bobcats from Cades Cove and Cataloochee.
In addition, the Great Smoky Mountains is among the best places to go for scenic drives, hiking, camping, picnics, backpacking, and cycling. Going up high, the vistas will give you absolute satisfaction with the park’s forest view.
7. Zion National Park
Zion National Park
|Animal to See||Cougars|
|Attraction to See||Canyon’s Steep Red Cliffs|
Zion National Park is an incredible place to be in April. It’s home to beautiful canyons formed over the years by powerful weather events. With temperatures ranging between 43℉ and 73℉, one can comfortably climb the rocks with short walls like Moonlight Buttress, Prodigal Son, and Ashtar Command.
April is also the perfect time to enjoy various activities such as canyoning, biking, hiking, riverside walks, horseback riding, and stargazing at Zion. You will get to experience the thrilling and beautiful scenery of the cream, red, and pink rocks of Zion Canyons together with the beautiful Virgin River, and melting snow in the valley.
8. Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
|Animal to See||Bison|
|Attraction to See||Grand Canyon|
There is no better time to experience the Grand Canyon National Park than in April. Visit the park in April if you want to experience a peaceful hike down the Plateau Point Trail, a thrilling challenge with spectacular views of the inner canyon.
Temperatures are favorable in April, giving visitors quality time to view wildlife and birds. In all, about 48 species of reptiles, including Sonoran desert tortoise, desert spiny lizard, and Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake, live in the park.
April also offers you an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sunrise from the South Rim of the Canyon and the sunset from Yavapai Point. You should only be aware that the inside of the Grand Canyon is warmer as compared to South Rim.
9. Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park
|Animal to See||American Alligator|
|Attraction to See||Shark valley|
Everglades National Park is among the greatest national parks to visit in April due to its diverse ecosystem. With temperatures ranging from highs of 83℉ to lows of up to 73℉, one can participate in any activity, including camping, hiking, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, and even boat riding.
Everglades also provide you with unique wildlife opportunities. The park is home to different species of animals like American alligators, American crocodiles, manatees, bald eagle, Florida panthers. You’ll get the best views of these animals while hiking along the Anhinga Trail, Gumbo Limbo Trail, and Pineland.
10. Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park
|Animal to See||Pronghorn|
|Attraction to See||Star Sand Dune|
The Great Sand Dunes National Park is famous for its biggest sand dunes, such as the Star Dune. April is the best month to visit the park due to the pleasant temperatures in addition to fewer crowds and lots of available accommodation.
Experience a thrilling moment by standing on top of the tallest dune in North America and getting the most beautiful view of the park’s dune formations in April. You will also be able to enjoy scenic drives through the canyon towards the Sangre de Cristo mountains or Medano Pass Primitive Road past the point of no return.
You might come across wildlife like pronghorns, elk, and even a far off black bear while hiking through the forests or when walking along alpine lakes like Medano Lake. After a long day of enjoying the park, one may sleep in the sand and enjoy stargazing throughout the night.
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