Spring is here and with it, the best time of the year to go on an adventure in the USA! If you’re looking for ideas on the best national parks to visit and mouth-opening vistas are your thing, take a look at this list of the best national parks in the country.
Desert magic, wild mountain trails lined with wildflowers, and some beach pampering are all included!
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse national parks ever with almost a million acres ready for you to explore. Within its borders, you’ll find 70 miles of the beautiful Pacific Coast, glacier-capped mountains, temperate rain forests, and gorgeous alpine lakes.
Be sure to explore all of the different ecosystems the park has to offer. A three-mile hike in Hurricane Hill at Hurricane Ridge will take you to an amazing spot with awesome panoramic views that include Victoria, BC, Mt. Baker, and the Olympic Range. Explore the rugged Pacific Coast and stop at Cape Flattery, the northwestern-most point in the contiguous United States. Revel in Shi Shi Beach, a sandy beach that stretches for miles and is full of tide pools, driftwood, and sea stacks.
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park, as its name suggests, is home to most of the world’s Sequoia trees. Sequoias are the biggest trees on earth, so seeing them is a truly unique and breathtaking experience.
Big trees and hikes are abundant. The largest trees have their own names – the biggest of them all in this land of giants is the General Sherman Tree. The Room Tree is hollow inside and so big that you can walk inside.
Congress Trail is an easy 2-mile loop that passes the third and fourth biggest trees in the park, as well as a couple of “small” groves of trees. Another great hike there leads to Moro Rock, an enormous granite dome. Climbing to the top-up 350 steps is worth the astounding views over the hills and San Joaquin Valley below.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park can get very crowded in the summer and be very cold in winter. Spring is just perfect - warm during the day on the south rim, a bit chilly at night, and not too hot at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon.
Plenty of vantage points can be found on the South rim, where incredible canyon views can be enjoyed. A park shuttle along the rim to the west to Hermit’s Rest is very worthwhile, as is a drive along the Desert View road to the east to Desert View Watchtower. There are multiple viewpoints of the canyon in both directions, but keep in mind that the canyon’s South rim is open year-round, but the North rim, higher in altitude, gets snowed in during winter and doesn’t usually open until mid-May. If you plan on staying to get up for sunrise or be there at sunset, highly recommended, wear layers, as spring mornings and evenings can be chilly.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is Utah’s best national park. It offers gorgeous scenery mixed with mind-bending arches, amazing hikes, and mind-blowing red rock structures. The best time to visit is during Spring, as it is right in the middle of the desert and the weather can get extreme during Summer and Winter. Spring is perfect as the days are warm and the nights are cool and the few blooms inside the park can be seen during this time.
Although the landmark at Arches National Park is amazing arches, mild hikes work great to make for a spectacular adventure. Take the Devils Garden Trail, through Park Avenue, the Courthouse Towers, the Petrified Dunes, and up to the base of Balance Rock to experience the natural wonders inside the park.