Five National Parks to Visit in Spring

For many, spring transitional period represents stale snow, mud, and freezing rain. Though the weather may be gray and uninspiring, this shouldn’t mean outdoor enthusiasts need to hole up at home. There are national parks across the country that are at their peak right now so go ahead, explore these gems while the time is right!

Virgin Islands National Park Saint John, US Virgin Islands

Is there really a better month to escape somewhere tropical? One thing that makes March so spectacular in the Virgin Islands is the fact that the park has nearly half the number of visitors than April’s peak. Over 800 species of plants and 50 species of tropical birds inhabit this island of lush subtropical forest and pristine white sand beaches. There are endless opportunities to explore coral reefs, historical ruins and miles of varied hiking trails.

Virgin Islands National Park

Virgin Islands National Park

Big Bend National Park Southern Texas

With temperatures in that high 70s to low 80s range of perfection this is a great time to visit Big Bend, a park where scorching weather can hinder summertime recreation. March is such a great time to visit that it’s the park’s most popular month, so make sure to plan your trip ahead. Sometimes described as one of the last wild corners of the country, this diverse park offers the mighty Rio Grande River, spectacular canyons, open desert and rugged mountain terrain.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park North Carolina, Tennessee

Spring in the southern Appalachian Mountains comes early. Great Smoky Mountains boasts the greatest variety of flowering plants of any North American national park. March offers the beginning of the blossoming and some reprise from the crowds- this park takes the honor of being the most popular in the country, with summer visitation topping over one million visitors a month. Great Smoky Mountains is known for its immense number of waterfalls, scenic winding drives, and abundance of wildlife.

Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Joshua Tree National Park Southeastern California

This desert park located is also famous for its annual display of wildflowers. The blooms begin to emerge in February, making March the perfect month for taking in the show. Visitors will be rewarded with arid sunny skies and mild temperatures in the 70s. The month also marks the peak for birding in the park, with over 250 species recorded across Joshua Tree.

Zion National Park Southern Utah

Zion National Park boasts dramatic cliffs, massive canyons and plenty of backcountry trails. Though breathtaking, the problem is that Zion is often mobbed to the point that it defeats the purpose of a National Park. Use March as an opportunity to visit this remarkable place as the month strikes a rare balance of both manageable crowds and manageable daytime temperatures.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park