February is one of the best months to tour many national parks in the United States. February means fewer crowds, which allows you quality time to explore the incredible scenery and activities around you. During the month you’ll still find plenty of snow in northern parks while summer ones will be cooler than their summer peaks when humidity can become oppressive.
So, if you’re looking for a chance to be active or you want to know how it feels to sip a lawnmower drink in a hammock by the campfire in February, these 11 national parks are the best for you. You’ll also find some other exciting reasons to visit the parks and what to expect from them in February.
1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
|Animal to See||Hawksbill Sea Turtles|
|Attractions to See||Mauna Loa and Kilauea Volcanoes|
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is an incredible place to visit in February. Temperatures frequently range between 49°F and 72°F. So, you can enjoy camping, hiking, walking through the Thurston Lava Tube, the crater rim drive tour, and undertaking the Chain of Craters driving tour in February.
The park is also home to two famous volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. By watching the stunning caldera views in Hawaii National Park in February, you get to appreciate the ability of these volcanoes to shape and reshape the appearance of our lands.
2. Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
|State||Maine’s Mount Desert Island|
|Animal to See||Raccoon|
|Attractions to See||Cadillac Mountain|
Acadia National Park is very beautiful in February when it’s all blanketed in white. There will also be fewer people during this month. So, you’ll have the sand beach all to yourself and trails to peacefully walk around like Jordan Pond. Temperatures range between 14℉ to 34℉; it’s very cold but with the trade off of being peaceful.
The park is home to Cadillac Mountain, one of the best places to view sunrises in the United States. Acadia also has incredible landscapes marked by rocky beaches and woodlands. Besides, more than 330 species of birds and 40 species of mammals, such as shorebirds, black bears, raccoons, and otters, live in the park.
3. Arches National Park
Arches National Park
|Animal to See||Mountain Lion|
|Attractions to See||Delicate Arch|
Arches National Park is home to many natural sandstone arches. More than 2,000 stones have been documented, including the Delicate Arch, salmon-colored Entrada, and Navajo Sandstone. The park is also well known for its geological formations, such as the plus-pinnacles and the balanced rock.
Enjoy the panoramic views from the Garden of Eden and explore lots of great activities by visiting Arches National Park in February when it’s less crowded.
4. Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park
|Animal to See||West Indian manatee|
|Attractions to See||Boca Chita Key|
Biscayne National Park is one of the best parks in the United States. It has everything – from emerald islands, coral reefs, aquamarine waters, mangrove forests, to historic lighthouses, among many other things. People also tour the park to learn about human history from 10,000 years ago.
February is the best month to visit Biscayne because of the favorable weather and lessened crowds; there are also many water sports activities to explore.
5. Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park
|Animal to See||Kit Fox|
|Attractions to See||Santa Elena Canyon Trail|
Big Bend National Park is among the biggest parks in the U.S. However, it’s among the least-visited parks in Texas since it’s located in a very remote area with some of its protected portions in the Chihuahuan desert.
Big Bend is famous for its cultural history and a combination of wonderful natural resources, such as mountains, waterfalls, and beautiful deserts. There is also much to discover about the nocturnal desert animals at Big Bend. If you’re seeking a truly unique experience, avoid the scorching summers by visiting Big Bend in February.
6. Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
|Animal to See||Mule Deer|
|Attractions to See||Grand Canyon South Rim|
Grand Canyon National Park is among the most visited national parks in the U.S. There’s never a wrong time to tour the Grand Canyon. Still, February is the best month to peacefully watch the stunning sunrise and sunset.
February’s temperature varies greatly, from cool winter weather with clear skies to snowstorms at its highest elevations. So, you should be prepared for any kind of weather at the Grand Canyon. You also need to be flexible when visiting in February because some trails may be closed.
7. Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
|Animal to See||Gopher Snake|
|Attractions to See||Skull Rock|
Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most amazing parks you can visit. It intersects the Colorado and Mojave deserts. It’s an exciting park with desert landscapes and rugged rock formations. It has the coolest temperatures in February, making it possible to hike through Barker and the Hidden Valley.
Joshua Tree National Park is full of fascinating plants and animals. The park is home to over 46 different species of reptiles, including the long-nosed leopard lizard, common chuckwalla, gopher snakes, and many others.
8. Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park
|Animal to See||Bear (season permitting)|
|Attractions to See||Cleetwood Cove Trail|
Crater Lake National Park is another place you can visit in February, but be prepared for the cold! The park is extremely breathtaking, especially its winter playground and deep blue water. One interesting fact about the lake is that it does not receive any water from other natural water sources – only the rain and snow are its main water sources.
Crater Lake National Park is a fantastic place to enjoy winter sports and activities while taking in the park’s volcanic formations.
9. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
|State||California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains|
|Animal to See||Black bear (season permitting)|
|Attractions to See||Glacier Point|
Yosemite National Park is best known for the Bridalveil Fall train and Tunnel View. It’s also famous for its ancient sequoia trees and granite monoliths. February is an ideal month to visit the park if you want to explore Yosemite National Park’s deep valleys peacefully.
Yosemite has a lot to offer in February – from snowboarding and cross-country skiing at Badger Pass Ski Area to hiking at Tuolumne Meadows. February is also a good time to experience the magical view of Yosemite from Tunnel View, Valley View, Tenaya Lake, and Glacier Point.
10. Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park and Preserve
|Animal to See||Grizzly and Black Bears (Season permitting)|
|Attractions to See||Wonder Lake|
Denali National Park & Preserve is among the largest parks and preserves in the United States that encircle the interior wilderness of Alaska. The park is home to more than 137 species of birds, including the golden eagle. Denali also provides a habitat for around 37 species of mammals, such as snowshoe hares, caribou, wolves, grizzly bears, and lynx.
February is the best time to visit Denali National Park and Preserve if you want to explore winter activities. However, you have to be ready for the very cold weather. One interesting way to explore Denali is via train, with the Aurora Winter Train passing through the area and giving stunning views of Alaska’s wilderness bathed in white during the peak of winter.
11. Zion National Park
Zion National Park
|Animal to See||Mountain Lion|
|Attractions to See||Steep Red Cliffs|
There is never a wrong time to visit Zion National Park, though February is the perfect time to explore the park due to fewer crowds. The park is best known for its Expansive Canyon, which provides great hiking and viewing opportunities.
Zion National Park has an incredible reputation because of its stunning towering cliffs, amazing landscapes, and glistening snow that makes the place very photography-friendly. Average highs in February are about 49 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you can brave a little cold you’ll be richly rewarded with expansive vistas in a beautiful winter setting.
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