Must-see National Parks

Best National Parks To Visit

Must-see National Parks

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion is a great park to visit in April because you will still get to see the snow on the highest peaks but can enjoy the warmth down in the canyon. The weather is perfect for hiking and any other adventure you want to partake in. 

Zion means sanctuary in ancient Hebrew. The park gets its name from its first settlers, Anglo-European settlers who arrived in the area in the 1800s. It is home to one of the largest freestanding arches in the world, the Kolob Arch. It is special from the other national parks because it was home to an ancient civilization, the Anasazi. There are traces of their lives from the sandstone villages they made to the network of roads and rock art throughout the park. 

Wildflowers bloom in April which creates a site like no other. The waterfalls and streams are freshly fed with all the melting snow so they are roaring. Last but not least you can see a lot of baby animals! Zion National Park is a very popular destination for canyoneering. 

Worldwide Local Tip: Make sure to pack a lot of layers when you are going to a canyon. The weather can be cool in the early mornings and once the sunsets but it will be nice and toasty during the day. In case of showers be sure to pack a light rain jacket. Most importantly you will want to wear hiking boots or shoes with good grip. 

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park is unique in its way to experience all four seasons. The most popular time to visit the park is during foliage season and in summer but spring is actually a great time to visit especially because it’s not as busy. In spring you can see all the wildflowers come to life and the trees are in full bloom. The waterfalls are newly fed by the melting snow so they are very powerful. Shenandoah is a big national park, spanning over 100 miles, so make sure to be aware of the weather conditions in the area you are visiting. Spring showers are also common so be sure to pack waterproof gear. One of the most popular ways of seeing the park is by driving the 105-mile long Skyline Drive. Although be warned the roads are very windy and they can get very narrow at parts so make sure your vehicle isn’t too big for the ride. 

There are many lodging options in the park and some that are even on the water. If you are more adventurous you can always camp at the park. Make sure to bring layers and warm clothes for the night as it can still get pretty chilly. 

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Spring is by far the best time of the year to visit the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon became a national park in 1919. The weather is dry and temperatures are pleasant so it’s the best time to go hiking and explore the depths of the canyon. Grand Canyon is obviously an extremely popular destination, it is actually the 2nd most visited national park in the USA. It gets an estimated 5.9 million visitors annually. so it can get crowded during spring break so try to avoid those dates if you can. Be sure to book your accommodations in advance as it gets book very fast. 

There are secret caves in the canyon, it is estimated that there are more than 1000 hidden caves, only 335 have been recorded to this day. Out of the 335 only 1 cave, the Cave of the Domes on Horseshoe Mesa is open. The Grand Canyon was carved over 6 million years ago. You cannot take rocks or anything from the Grand Canyon National Park. 

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

This national park doesn’t get as much attention as the others but it’s a local favorite. The national park is a river valley located between Akron and Cleveland. There is a train from both cities that can take you to the valley. Cuyahoga Valley became a national park in 2000. “Cuyahoga” is the Native American word for “crooked” river, the river is 85 miles long and it feeds into Lake Erie. Is a great time to see the Cuyahoga River and the wildflowers that bloom all around it. It’s a great time to go hiking and explore the national park. One of the most loved places is Brandywine Falls and Beaver Mash. Try to avoid weekends and school holidays as the park gets too crowded. 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina, and Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountains are on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. It is the most visited national park in the USA. The park and the waterfalls are at their best in April. The park attracts visitors year-round and it’s actually one of the most popular national parks. The park was established in 1934. The park gets its name from the blue-colored mist that hangs above the peak of the mountains. The park is home to a big chunk, 110 km, of the Appalachian Trail. The park is home to a large diversity of wildlife and wildflowers. Some of the most popular residents of the park are white-tailed deer, turkeys, and black bears! The Great Smoky Mountains range is also known for its wildflower diversity. It is believed that there are more than 1,500 kinds of flowers. 

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is most popular for its impressive underground caves. The park became a national park in 1930. There are so far 117 caves known in the park but more are constantly being discovered. “The Big Room” is the largest accessible cave in North America. You can watch bats in the caves. There are at least 17 species of bats found in Carlsbad Caverns park, you can see the bats leaving the caves at night. If you’d prefer to stay overground there are plenty of hiking trails and ranger-led tours. The caves stay the same temperature, 56F year-round with high humidity. The outside temperature is perfect in April as they are not too hot yet.