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Best National Parks to Visit for Spring Break

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This list of the best national parks to visit for Spring Break includes the parks with the most stunning spring landscapes. It also includes parks with lots of history, science, and culture to discover.

best national parks to visit for Spring Break

There are many benefits to visiting a national park during spring break. Because there are national parks located all over the United States, these parks are easily accessible and affordable. The national parks on this list look absolutely stunning in the springtime. And when you visit you can learn more about the history, science, and culture within each park. National Parks are an awe-inspiring natural treasure. Avoid a week of Spring Break inactivity and too many electronics, and open the door to natural curiosity by visiting a national park instead! 

1. Zion National Park, Utah

Spring in Zion National Park. Virgin River. Utah, United States.
Source: DepositPhotos

Get ready for bright, colorful wildflowers when visiting Zion National Park during spring break. As water levels rise throughout the season, spring-only waterfalls appear that visitors can spot while they hike. Spring break at Zion National Park is a great time to view wildlife, rock climb, and enjoy backcountry roads. A few special parts of this national park include the expansive canyon, the spectacular hiking opportunities, and the Virgin River. Zion National Park becomes a vision during spring! The weather can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and wear proper footwear when you visit. 

2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

South Kaibab trail path into the Grand Canyon. Scenic spring landscape.
Source: DepositPhotos

Cast your eyes on an incredible wonder when you visit Grand Canyon National Park during spring break. The Grand Canyon is massive, measuring approximately one mile deep and eighteen miles wide. The park is filled with layers upon layers of fascinating geological history in the form of bright red rock. The Grand Canyon is a breathtaking sight to see. There are unique ways to experience each rim of the canyon, so your trip can be as adventurous as you want. Visiting Grand Canyon National Park during spring break is an excellent idea. The cooler temperatures draw fewer crowds and might even make the hikes easier!

3. Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Sunset in Saguaro National Park with Saguaros in the foreground. Arizona. USA
Source: DepositPhotos

Saguaro National Park comprises 92,000 acres in Arizona. The park features tall, towering saguaros—some of which live longer than 200 years! Saguaro National Park is a fantastic park to visit during spring break. There are many scenic drives, walks, and hikes to enjoy throughout the park. If you visit during spring break, you’ll get to see the blooming flowers and plants that take over for such a short time. 

4. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

view of field in front of great sand dunes national park at sunset
Source: DepositPhotos

Great Sand Dunes National Park is a park of wonder. It’s a great park to visit during spring break as it’s full of spectacular sights, diverse terrain, and interesting history. This national park is home to the tallest sand dunes in the world—some reaching as high as 750 feet! Great Sand Dunes National Park has a beautiful desert-like landscape with the terrain reaching as far as one can see. 

5. Yosemite National Park, California

view of lake in sunshine with a bit of leftover snow in surrounding trees and mountains in Yosemite national park
Source: DepositPhotos

Yosemite National Park can be found in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains. This park is best known for its astounding waterfalls that are particularly alive during the spring season. Yosemite National Park has deep valleys, lush trees, and exceptionally tall cliffs. The crowds are typically smaller during spring, the weather is cooler, and the park is beautiful to explore. A few things to try are hiking up to Wapama Falls, cycling through Yosemite Valley, and hiking to Vernal Falls. Visiting Yosemite National Park is a beautiful way to spend spring break!

6. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

view of lake in front of snowy mountains in glacier bay national park
Source: DepositPhotos

Spawning across 3.3 million acres, Glacier Bay National Park is a fantastic park to visit during spring break. It’s gigantic, giving visitors plenty of areas to explore. Glacier Bay National Park is most often explored by cruise ships. However, visitors do enjoy other activities such as various boat tours, kayaking, canoeing, and exploring and enjoying the wildlife. Visitors might catch a peek of humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, and much more—this park has a lot of wildlife! Glacier Bay National Park is nearly 27% covered by glaciers and contains a fascinating and intriguing history. 

7. Joshua Tree National Park, California

View of Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia) bent to the ground from Quail Spring trail in Joshua Tree National Park. California. USA
Source: DepositPhotos

Joshua Tree National Park is a desert beauty. During the spring, visitors are treated to an abundance of blooming wildflowers, giving the park a colorful makeover. The park is filled with massive rock formations and unique Joshua trees. Visiting during spring break is a particularly great idea because of the smaller crowds, less intense heat, and gorgeous colors.

8. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina & Tennessee

Beautiful sunset view of the great Smokey Mountains national park
Source: DepositPhotos

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a fantastic park to visit for spring break. The area has plenty of accommodations, dining, and beautiful landscapes. Many waterfalls come alive during the spring season and peak through the various formations—many of which can only be spotted during this season! Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a lot of wildlife, wildflowers, and recreation options. Great Smoky Mountains National Park definitely has whatever kind of activity you enjoy!

9. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Sandstone slickrock scenery along the Hickman Bridge trail in Captiol Reef National Park on a cloudy spring day
Source: DepositPhotos

Cliffs, canyons, and towering red stone formations are what fill Capitol Reef National Park. This park is best known for the Waterpocket Fold, which is a wrinkle in the earth. Capitol Reef National Park is a very educational place, providing rich geological history and fascinating stories about the first inhabitants. The views are absolutely spectacular with the bright blue sky in deep contrast to the velvety thick green riverbanks and the red sandstone cliffs. Capitol Reef National Park is a wonderful place to experiment with photography, hike, and explore the hundreds of miles of trails. 

10. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Blossoming trees and green hills in spring season in Shenandoah national park
Source: DepositPhotos

Shenandoah National Park encompasses rocky cliffs, fields of wildflowers, and spectacular landscapes. The beautiful park was the first national park in Virginia and is best known for its famous Skyline Drive. There are plenty of walking and hiking trails with various viewpoints throughout the park. This national park has several campgrounds and lodging options. 

11. Big Bend National Park, Texas

Blooming ocotillo plants in desert floor at the base of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park
Source: DepositPhotos

Big Bend National Park can be found in southwest Texas. Visitors can enjoy exploring different terrain and seeing incredible sights. This national park is blooming with beautiful wildflowers and bright plants during the spring season. It’s a great park to explore on foot to best see its unique views and wildlife. 

12. Arches National Park, Utah

view of multiple red sandstone arches in arches national park
Source: DepositPhotos

Arches National Park is a beautiful park to visit for spring break. There are more than 2,000 towering sandstone arches made with spectacular contrasting colors and providing impressive views. This national park lies next to the Colorado River, giving visitors great photo opportunities with beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Enjoy camping, hiking, and fantastic stargazing when you visit during spring break!

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