Adventure, Travel

Best National Parks to Visit by Month

national park tours by train

Looking to plan a National Park trip but not sure where to start? No worries! You’ve plenty of options for National Parks for each month. You should choose the Parks depending on when you plan to travel; certain Parks may offer unique experiences and natural wonders to explore. Also, there are so many breathtaking views to see.

If you want to enhance your trip with one-of-a-kind experiences, there is no better option than National Parks tours by bus. Try to make your trip as unique as possible by availing of the opportunities.

So, get ready to start on an unforgettable journey through the ever-changing splendor of America’s National Parks.

Which National Parks You Should Visit By Month

Each month throughout the year offers unique opportunities to experience and enjoy the natural beauty of the National Parks. Check out the below list of the best Parks and things to carry during the spring, summer, fall, and winter. Let’s start!

January: Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is one of the favorite Parks for most people. The best time to visit National Parks is January because, as per data, 70.89% of people are excited about the winter season. One of the Park’s most famous things is the Badwater Basin. It is examined as the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level. Visitors can walk along the salt flats and marvel at the otherworldly landscape.

Places to Stay

If you’re planning a visit to Death Valley National Park and wondering where to stay, a few options are available. Park has several campgrounds, including Furnace Creek, Emigrant, and Mesquite Spring, which offer tent and RV camping.

Besides that, there are also a few lodges within the Park, such as the historic Furnace Creek Inn and the more affordable Ranch at Death Valley. Depending on your preferred comfort level and proximity to the park’s attractions, you can choose.

February: Everglades National Park

If you’re fond of seeing unique plants and animals. Everglades is the best option for you. It is the country’s most extensive subtropical wetlands and covers over 1.5 million acres. In February, the weather is dry, less humid, and the temperatures are more comfortable, making it the best time to visit National Park.

Places to Stay

Everglades National Park offers limited options for accommodations within the park itself, such as Long Pine Key Campground, Everglades City, Homestead, Miami or Naples, or Flamingo Campground.

When planning your stay, consider the location that best suits your itinerary and interests within the park. You should book accommodations in advance, especially during peak seasons, which is advisable to ensure availability.

March: Joshua Tree National Park

With its desert landscape with beautiful scenery, rock climbing routes, and hidden oases, Joshua Tree National Park is known as a beautiful place. In addition to hiking and climbing, the park offers stargazing, birdwatching, amazing views, and photography opportunities. If you want fun, choose the best time to visit each National Park.

Places to Stay

Once you decide the National Parks best time to visit now, it’s time to decide the places. There are several options for places to stay near Joshua Tree National Park. You could consider camping within the Park, either in a designated campground or in a backcountry area with a permit.

Alternatively, nearby towns like Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms, and Yucca Valley have hotels, motels, and vacation rentals. Some popular options include the Joshua Tree Inn, Harmony Motel, and Pioneertown Motel.

April: Yellowstone National Park

If you want to plan a holiday with your friends in hot springs, go with Yellowstone National Park! Undoubtedly, it’s a fantastic place known for its bubbling geysers and summers.

On the other hand, visiting in the spring has advantages like fewer crowds, better wildlife sightings, and the chance to witness grizzlies, bison, migrating birds, and playful wolves.

Places to Stay

There are many great places to stay in Yellowstone National Park! Some popular options include the Old Faithful Inn, Lake Yellowstone Hotel, Canyon Lodge, and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Each offers a unique experience and amenities, so it’s worth researching to find the perfect fit for your trip.

May: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If you’re confused about when to visit National Parks, consider the May for Great Smoky Mountains. Do you know it is famous for being the most visited park in the US? This Park is also home to various historic buildings, including old churches, homes, and mills, which offer a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Overall, if you’re looking to experience the beauty and tranquility of nature, choose the Great Smoky Mountains National Park because it’s a must-visit destination for anyone.

Places to Stay

You’ll find many options when searching for fantastic places to live in the Great Smoky Mountains. Some popular options include campgrounds, cabins, lodges, and hotels.

You’ll surely get a variety of accommodations to suit your budget and preferences, whether you’re looking for a rustic camping experience or a luxurious mountain retreat. Some popular places to stay in the Park include Elkmont Campground, LeConte Lodge, and the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.

June: Grand Teton National Park

One of the most popular attractions in Grand Teton National Park is the Teton Range, a majestic mountain range that stretches for 40 miles. Visitors can hike on the trails that wind through the mountains and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Don’t you think June is the best time to visit National Parks? Because Grand Teton National Park is a spectacular destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, or a history buff, you’re sure to find something to love in this stunning Park.

Places to Stay

Affordable hotels in and near the Park, such as the Courtyard Pigeon Forge and Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg. The Courtyard Pigeon Forge offers spacious rooms, a pool, and a lazy river for $166 per night or 60,000 Bonvoy points. The Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg, located close to the Park, starts at $209 or 50,000 Honors points.

July: Olympic National Park

As you’re looking for the best time to visit National Park, Olympic Park is a beautiful but least explored region in the U.S. It has stunning coastlines, icy peaks, and lush green rainforests. The best time to visit is during the summer when the weather is pleasant, with temperatures below 80 degrees and less rain.

Although July is a popular time to visit, hikers have an advantage with plenty of trails to explore. A can’t-miss activity here is the drive up to Hurricane Ridge, where you can admire breathtaking mountain vistas.

Places to Stay

For convenient access to Olympic National Park’s stunning coast and forests, you can stay at Kalaloch Lodge in Forks, with rates starting at $205 per night. Another option is the historic Lake Quinault Lodge, located on the Park’s southwest side, offering rustic rooms for $145 per night.

If you prefer an affordable choice near the Park, the Super 8 by Wyndham Port Angeles is a no-frills option starting at 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points or $111 per night.

August: Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park in Montana is known for its stunning glaciers, clear lakes, dense forests, and diverse wildlife like grizzlies, black bears, moose, elk, deer, and gray wolves.
For first-time visitors, summer is the best time to visit.

August, in particular, is the best National Parks to visit by month because it offers excellent weather, access to popular Park experiences, and long daylight hours for exploration. It’s an ideal time for hiking the Park’s extensive 700 miles of trails, enjoying rafting on Class II and III rapids and fly-fishing at the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

Places to Stay

Luxury hotels near Glacier National Park include The Firebrand Hotel in Whitefish, with rates starting at $549 per night. Marriott cardholders can use their annual 35,000-point certificate for the TownePlace Suites Whitefish Kalispell or the SpringHill Suites Kalispell.

Kalispell also has three Hilton properties, and Whitefish has a Hampton Inn. Standard room rates range from $105 per night or 50,000 to 60,000 points per night.

September: Rocky Mountain National Park

People consider the Rocky Mountain National Park the third-most-visited National Park, attracting over 4.43 million visitors in 2021. While you can visit year-round, September is enchanting due to the fall foliage.

At lower elevations, you’ll witness the vibrant colors of aspens in shades of orange, red, and yellow, along with beautiful wildflowers on the southern slopes.

Places to Stay

After deciding the best time to visit each National Park, let’s come to the place’s suggestions. In Estes Park, you can stay at the Ridgeline Hotel-Estes Park, Ascend Hotel Collection, with rates ranging from 12,000 to 25,000 Choice Privileges points or $150 per night. The iconic Stanley Hotel, known for inspiring “The Shining,” starts at $319 per night.

Inside the Park, camping is a great option. Campsites cost approximately $30 per night, but planning and making reservations early is significant, as they fill up quickly when booking opens six months in advance.

October: Zion National Park

As everyone like to visit the trendy destination, Zion Park, is one of them. It is known for its breathtaking landscapes, thrilling walking and cycling trails, diverse wildlife, charming gateway town, and a wide selection of hotels.

The Park offers incredible views and opportunities for exploration. You’ll encounter winding canyons, majestic sandstone cliffs, slot canyons, and vibrant evergreen forests. The Park also boasts colorful wildflowers and enchanting hanging gardens resembling storybook scenes.

Places to Stay

Located just 1 mile from the Park’s entrance, the SpringHill Suites Springdale Zion National Park is a good hotel option. The spacious and well-equipped suites offer comfort, and visitors can take advantage of a complimentary breakfast buffet and an outdoor pool with stunning views of Zion National Park.

If you’re a member of the Marriott Bonvoy program, you can book a standard room with 40,000 to 60,000 Bonvoy points or use a 50,000-point Marriott certificate for a discounted stay.

November: Big Bend National Park

This evergreen Big Bend National Park in Texas offers visitors various outdoor activities. Visitors can also explore the Park’s diverse wildlife, including desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, and black bears. With over 800,000 acres to explore.

The best time to visit is winter when the weather is milder, allowing for activities like four-wheel driving and stargazing. Alongside outdoor adventures, you can explore intriguing off-the-beaten-path attractions such as abandoned mines, ghost towns, remnants of a historical hot spring resort from the early 20th century, and mysterious graves.

Places to Stay

Inside Big Bend National Park, book well in advance at Chisos Mountains Lodge, the only traditional lodging option available. Rooms start at $217 per night and typically include two beds.

The lodge also features a restaurant and convenience store, the only one within a 50-mile radius of the Park. Alternatively, you can reserve a campsite for $16 per night. Winter temperatures rarely go below the 40s, making camp in an RV or tent comfortable.

December: Yosemite National Park

As one of the country’s most renowned Parks, Yosemite has captivated visitors since it became a National Park in 1880. What sets Yosemite apart is the accessibility of its iconic attractions, which are open and accessible almost all year round.

Even if you haven’t been there, you’re likely familiar with the names of Yosemite’s famous landmarks. You can experience the granite monoliths of Half Dome and El Capitan, admire the 650-foot Bridalveil waterfall, and hike to witness North America’s tallest waterfall, Yosemite Falls.

Places to Stay

You have two hotel options in Yosemite Valley: The Ahwahnee and Yosemite Valley Lodge. The Ahwahnee is the more luxurious choice, with room rates starting at $500 per night. On the other hand, Yosemite Valley Lodge is known for its convenient location near Yosemite Falls and offers more affordable, basic rooms starting at $450 per night.

Precautions for Visiting the National Parks

When visiting national Parks, taking precautions for your safety and preservation is crucial. Here are some general precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Plan and research: Before your visit, research the Park’s rules, regulations, and any potential hazards. Plan activities, trails, and campsites to ensure a smooth and safe experience.
  2. Stay on designated paths: Stick to marked trails and paths to protect the Park’s delicate ecosystems and avoid getting lost. Venturing off-trail can cause environmental damage and increase the risk of accidents.
  3. Be prepared and pack essentials: Carry essential items such as water, food, appropriate clothing, sunscreen, insect repellent, a map, and a first aid kit. Pack according to the specific needs of the Park and the activities you plan to engage in.
  4. Respect wildlife: Maintain a safe distance from wildlife and never approach, feed, or disturb them. Admire animals from afar and use binoculars or zoom lenses for a closer look. Follow any guidelines or instructions provided by Park officials.
  5. Practice fire safety: Use designated fire pits or grills for cooking and campfires if allowed. Follow fire safety guidelines, extinguish fires completely, and never leave them unattended. Be aware of any fire restrictions or bans in the Park.
  6. Leave no trace: Dispose of the trash correctly. and carry out what you bring in. Minimize your impact by leaving natural and cultural features undisturbed. Respect the Park’s beauty and leave it as you found it.
  7. Be mindful of weather conditions: Check weather forecasts before your visit and be prepared for changes in weather. Pack appropriate clothing and gear to protect yourself from extreme temperatures, rain, wind, or other weather-related conditions.
  8. Inform others of your plans: Tell someone about your itinerary, including where you’re going and when you expect to return. This ensures that someone knows your plans and can alert authorities if needed.

Things To Carry For National Parks

When planning a visit to a Park, it’s essential to pack the right things to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. With some preparation, you can make your trip to the Nationa Parks safe and enjoyable. Here are some suggestions for things to carry with you:

  • Umbrella
  • Insect Repellent
  • Credit/debit Cards and Cash
  • A backpack
  • Sun Protection
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Comfortable Clothing
  • Plenty of Water
  • Hat
  • Comfortable Hiking Shoes
  • Map or GPS Device
  • Snacks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Warm Clothes
  • Effective Rain Gear
  • Tent
  • Warm Sleeping Bag

Final Words

The National Parks best time to visit depends on the weather, accessibility, and personal interests. However, if you’re planning to visit a Park only once, it’s significant to choose a time when you can experience its most iconic attractions all at once. Seeing seasonal events like blooming wildflowers or mesmerizing fireflies can make your visit even more memorable.

If you plan the National Park tours by train accurately, it will be the best trip ever! These Parks profoundly impact visitors, regardless of the time of year they visit.

So, whenever you get a chance to visit the National Parks, firstly think about which month will suit your requirements.

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