Best US National Parks to Visit in March
When some parts of the country are still dusted with snow, nature is coming alive in many of our national parks. If you love nature, adventures, and seeing new things, I recommend heading to one of the USA’s best National Parks. The great thing about visiting in March is that the crowds are less, the heat is tolerable, and accommodations are often more affordable.
If you’re planning a fun-filled staycation or a longer getaway this spring, we have some great ideas for you. Whether seeing wildlife, hiking or stargazing is the goal, our list of natural parks covers it all. So, let’s get to the point and give you all the information you need to have a fantastic March at one of these National Parks.
How Many National Parks are There?
As of 2022, there are 63 national parks in operation. New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia is the most recent park to be added to the system. The National Park Service manages 423 areas covering more than 85 million acres beyond just the national parks. There are plenty of places to visit right here in America!
What States Have No National Parks?
The states with no national parks are Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
What State has the Most National Parks?
California has the most national parks, with nine National Parks.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park awaits you if you want to escape from cabin fever. Now that the fierce sea has calmed and the air is generally warm, you’ll have a great time visiting Dry Tortugas. If you’re planning a long spring break getaway, there’s no place better than the Dry Tortugas NP.
Here you’ll see islands, enjoy the deep blue water, and explore exotic marine life like never before. Dry Tortugas National Park comprises seven small islands, so you can imagine the waterfront fun you’ll come across.
Sandy beaches, well-preserved coral reefs, and water sports are all packed together; this national park is truly a treat in early spring. If you love historic architecture, the Jefferson Fort on the Garden Key Island is a sight to see.
You can set up camp right by the water and soak up the early spring breeze. This is also the ideal month to explore marine life and make friends with sea turtles. If you want the perfect weather where you can simply relax after a cold spell, Florida’s climate is perfect.
But be sure to book your March vacation in advance because this time of the year is busy for Dry Tortugas National Park.
Death Valley National Park (2.5 hours from Las Vegas)
If you’re in Vegas, don’t miss the chance to visit the Death Valley National Park; this place is truly magical. Death Valley National Park will keep you awe-struck from scenic drives, vigorous hikes, and stary nights.
California’s weather is pleasant in March, and the tourist season hasn’t hit its peak, so you’ll see the spectacular sights without hoards of people. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection because California is sunny, dry, and hot, especially Death Valley (duh, the name says it all).
You can spend days hiking the Death Valley National Park’s rugged trails and fire up your muscles while you’re at it. Since this park can get unbearably hot in Summers, March is the ideal time to visit it.
You’ll love this National Park’s beautiful drives, artistic viewpoints, and weather that soothes your soul. Dante’s View and Artist’s Drive are two popular viewpoints you cannot miss in Death Valley National Park.
Although the lodging options in Death Valley National Park are scarce and it’s best for a day’s travel, you can always extend your vacation and crash in one of the Inns you’ll find along the way.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a small gem in the Texas hill country that hides diverse landscapes, a rich history, and the world’s most extensive Permian fossil reef.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in the Chihuahuan Desert of southwest Texas and has four of Texas’ tallest peaks. Elevations in the park range from 3,000 to 8,749 feet, with the highest peak at Guadalupe Peak.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of the lesser-visited parks because it’s off the beaten path. If you prefer quieter yet beautiful places, this park is it.
The park offers a variety of activities, including hiking, backpacking, camping, and fishing. The most popular activity in the park is hiking, and there are several trails to choose from.
The Guadalupe peak trail is the highest point in Texas that’ll require some sweat-breaking on your part if you want to climb it. But if you prefer shorter and easier hiking trails, Devil’s Hall Trail and McKittrick Canyon Trail will suit you better.
March weather in Guadalupe Mountains National Park is typically mild, with temperatures ranging from highs of 70 degrees to lows of 30 degrees. The park is busiest in the summer months, so March is a great time to visit if you want to avoid crowds.
Rocky Mountain National Park
If you’re not quite ready to bid the cold weather a farewell, make Rocky Mountain National Park your next destination. This is where heaps of snow is still covering the majestic mountains, but you won’t experience the bone-chilling cold.
Since snowfall is minimal during early Spring, Colorado is all set to welcome the visitors. You’ll see some of the brightest days around this time of the year, and there’s still enough snow under your feet.
You’ll love ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, rocking climbing, and nordic skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park because the snow hasn’t melted here.
You’re likely to catch some deer and other animals strolling around, grazing on the Spring foliage. Also, if you’ve been waiting for cold-yet-safe hikes for a few months, March is the ideal time to fulfill that wish.
Sure, some parts of Colorado and Rocky Mountain National park are still inaccessible because of the snowfall; but there’s still plenty to do in the park. You can lodge in the nearest town, head to the Hot Sulpher hot springs 20 miles southwest of the Grand Lake entrance – you’ll never run out of options.
If you’re planning a spring vacation, this national park is an excellent choice because March is off-season, and you can grab some pocket-friendly deals at this time of the year.
While you’re visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, don’t miss our favorite hikes
Sequoia National Park
If you want to see the spring taking over the earlier cold spell, visit Sequoia National Park. Here, the color and wildlife diversity is so beautiful; you’ll want to extend your travels for sure. The Sequoia hikes are this National Park’s specialty, where you walk by these giant trees.
California’s spring sun will shine bright while you explore this national park’s raw beauty and soak its breathtaking views.
You’re likely to catch black bears, coyotes, moose, elk, and deer in the area because they come out to munch on the fresh foliage. Besides the spectacular greenery, this park also has a series of tunnels and caves to make your vacation more exciting.
Bring your camera, warm jacket, and hiking shoes, and choose a scenic point in the Sequoia National Park to have the time of your life. This park is famous for its serene trails and rich flora, but you’ll also love it for the welcoming March weather and viewpoints.
So, if wildlife and nature photography is in the cards, this park will be a treat for your eyes.
Joshua Tree National Park
How about stargazing paired with sweat-breaking day activities? Sounds good? If so, Joshua Tree National Park should be on your March travel itinerary. Since this NP is one of the most popular and crowded parks, visiting it during the off-season is smart.
During the day, you can enjoy rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking to make your March break the best of all.
Joshua Tree is about an hour outside of Palm Springs and is well worth the trip. These wildlands are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, which have been shaped by centuries of wind and rain.
Hidden Valley is a part of the park that contains over 8,000 climbing routes, making Joshua Tree a worldwide famous destination for rock climbers. If you don’t want to climb boulders, the 1-mile Hidden Valley Trail takes you through these magnificent formations.
Once you’re tired from the day’s fun, set your camp under the clear blue sky, and wait for some of the most mesmerizing stars you’ll ever come across.
Saguaro National Park
If Arizona’s arid lands always fascinate you, plan your Spring break in the Saguaro National Park, where Arizona’s beauty is present in its unaltered form. Exploring this area in May-August is challenging and known for its HOT weather, so March is a great time to visit.
You can visit Saguaro NP for a day trip, walk its arid trails, and admire its cacti. Still, if your inner explorer asks you to stay here a bit longer, you can combine the Saguaro trip with your Grand Canyon adventures and spend more time here in Arizona.
Saguaro West has beautiful hiking trails, wildlife, flowers, and campsites, but because this side of the Saguaro Park is usually crowded, you might prefer the calmer end, i.e., Saguaro East.
Remember, Saguaro National Park is all about dryland geographic features, eroded surfaces, and cacti – so come well-prepared because this adventure will include some real hustle.
Arches National Park
If Arches National Park has long been on your bucket list, check it off this March. When the breeze is gentle and fewer tourists disrupt your vacation, your spring break becomes more engaging and relaxing.
The best thing about Arches National Park is the variety of hiking trails you’ll find here. Whether you prefer rough-tough mountain hikes or gentler trails are your thing, this NP won’t fail your expectations.
When at Arches National park, you can’t miss the Arches Scenic Drive, which is a road that connects all of the popular stops within the park. If you prefer relaxing excursions and want to be out in nature for some red rock eye candy, this area is a good option for your March travel plans.
The spring weather in Utah is mild during the day and gets pretty cool in the evening, making the perfect combination for campers and hikers. If you don’t want to camp in the Arches National Park, you’ll find plenty of lodging options in Moab, where you can crash after a tiring hike in the Arches.
When visiting Arches here’s 7 do not miss hikes that everyone should do
Here’s our guide to hiking the infamous Delicate Arch Hike
Everglades National Park
If you’re in Miami, treat yourself to a day in Everglades National Park and feel its raw beauty up close and personal. When Miami’s main attractions and waterfronts get crowded, you can take a quick detour and explore Everglades NP.
Here, you’ll experience calm water, a gentle breeze, diverse wildlife, and mesmerizing viewpoints. This park’s mangroves, marshes, swamps, alligators, crocodiles, and slow-moving water are a treat for those who love nature.
The peak tourist time in Everglades NP ranges from December through April, and you can expect a good bit of tourists here in March. Some mentionable activities in Everglades National Park include hiking the Anhinga trail for Alligator sightings, taking an airboat tour, canoeing, kayaking, and birdwatching.
This wetland is different from most national parks because here, life moves slowly, and the activities are often limited to observing the wildlife.
So, if you’re in Florida, plan a day tour to Everglades Park and pair it with other national parks like Biscayne and Dry Tortugas NP to experience this region’s natural beauty.
Visit Grand Canyon in March
The Grand Canyon is always a popular tourist destination, but it is stunning in March. The weather is mild, and the park is less crowded than in summer.
March is also a great time to see the Grand Canyon in bloom. The park is home to more than 1,500 species of plants, including cacti, yucca, and Joshua trees. Many of these plants bloom in March, including the pink and white blooms of the cottonwood tree.
There are lots of things to do at the Grand Canyon, including hiking, biking, and rafting. You can also visit one of the many restaurants or lodges in the park. If you’re looking for a long day hike, the Rim Trail is a great option. The trail is about 13 miles long and offers beautiful canyon views. If you’re looking for a short day hike, check out something like Shoshone point.
If you’re visiting the Grand Canyon in March, be sure to check out some of the special events that are happening. The Grand Canyon Music and Art Festival is a three-day event that features live music and art exhibits.
The Grand Canyon Star Party is an annual event that celebrates astronomy and stargazing. And the Grand Canyon Half Marathon is a race that takes place in the park every March.
Visit Zion National Park in March
Zion National Park is a beautiful park located in southwestern Utah. The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is in the spring when the weather is mild, and the park is not as crowded.
March weather in Zion National Park is typically mild, with temperatures ranging from highs of 60 degrees to lows of 30 degrees. In March, the park is a beautiful sight with wildflowers blooming and the leaves starting to turn green.
Zion National Park is home to some of the most impressive geological formations in the country, including Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles long and 3,000 feet deep. The park also has excellent hiking trails, camping areas, and a Visitor Center.
If you’re looking for a challenge, check out The Narrows, which is a 16-mile hike that wanders through a narrow canyon. The hike can be challenging at times, but the scenery is well worth it.
If you’re looking to knock out the “Mighty 5” Utah National Parks. Here’s our guide for everything you need to know to Utah’s National Parks
Big Bend National Park
March is a peak tourist season in Big Bend National Park, with the weather being fantastic before the scorching summer days set in. Big Bend is located on the Mexican border in southwest Texas.
The park is huge, and many of the roads are unpaved, so you’ll want to plan ahead by bringing your food and water if you plan on staying for multiple days. The nearest towns are Terlingua and Lajita. There is a gas station and a super small grocery inside the park, but bringing your own provisions will guarantee you have everything you need during your visit.
There are several hiking trails in the park, and you can even boat on the Rio Grande if you’re looking for some water time. If you’re looking to take a good drive through the park, you can hop on a paved road and head towards the Chisos Mountains.
If you camp in the Chisos Lodge or stay inside the park, you’ll be awed by the breathtaking galaxy of stars as this is dark sky territory.
Visit Pinnacles National Park in March
Consider visiting Pinnacles National Park in March if you’re looking for a more peaceful and scenic getaway. This park is located in the California Central Coast and is known for its fantastic rock formations and caves.
March is a great time to visit Pinnacles National Park because the weather is mild and there are fewer visitors. The park sees an influx of visitors in the summer months, so if you’re looking for a more peaceful visit, March is the time to go.
The park offers plenty of hiking trails and opportunities for camping and rock climbing. Pinnacles are known for having some fantastic wildlife sightings, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled as you explore the park.
Virgin Islands National Park in March
Virgin Islands National Park is a beautiful park located on the island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. The park is known for its beaches, which are some of the most beautiful in the world. The weather in March is perfect for enjoying all that the park has to offer, with temperatures averaging in the mid-80s.
March is a great time to visit the park because there are few crowds and the island’s lush vegetation is in full bloom. The park offers plenty of activities, such as hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking. Several beautiful beaches are located within the park that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.
So, if you’re looking for a beautiful and peaceful getaway in the Caribbean, consider visiting Virgin Islands National Park in March. You won’t be disappointed!
Petrified Forest National Park in March
Petrified Forest National Park is a beautiful place to visit in March; it’s located in northeastern Arizona and is known for its fossils, petrified wood, and archaeological sites.
In March, the average high temperature in the park is 71 degrees, and the average low is 43 degrees. This makes for comfortable hiking and exploring conditions. The park is also stunning in March as the cacti, and other plants begin to bloom.
Be sure to visit the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest while you’re there. These areas are both beautiful and exciting to see.
Biscayne National Park in March
Biscayne National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Florida. The park consists of four islands and the mainland, with over 95% of the park’s 172,000 acres underwater. Biscayne National Park offers visitors the chance to explore an array of marine life and habitats.
The best time to visit Biscayne National Park is in March when the weather is warm and less crowded. The park offers a variety of activities, including kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, and diving.
The weather in march averages in the high 70s and lows in the mid-’50s. So make sure to bring sunscreen, water, and a hat!
Another great activity to do in Biscayne National Park is fishing. The park offers some of the best saltwater fishing in Florida. There are plenty of species to catch, including tarpon, barracuda, and snapper.
Make sure to visit Biscayne National Park in March for a warm and enjoyable trip!
Great Basin National Park in March
The Great Basin National Park is a stunning park located in Nevada. The park is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States, including Lehman Caves and Wheeler Peak.
March weather in the Great Basin National Park is perfect for outdoor activities, with temperatures averaging highs of 61 degrees and lows of 27 degrees.
Great Basin National Park really comes to life at night; you’ll see some of the best skies in the United States.
As of spring 2016, Great Basin has been designated a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association! On a clear, moonless night in Great Basin National Park, you’ll see thousands of stars, several planets, star clusters, meteors, the Andromeda Galaxy, and the Milky with the naked eye.
In addition to stargazing, you can take an astronomical tour. Ranger-led astronomy programs are free for everybody but reserve your spot in advance.
Great Basin National Park truly is one of the best places to visit in Nevada and should be on everyone’s itinerary!
Get Out and Explore
March is doubtlessly a pleasant month to travel and explore the world, especially if you want to discover some of the best National Parks. This is when the weather is mild and nature is reviving after a winter-long break.
If you want to tick some places off your travel itinerary and unwind in nature’s lap, visit any of the National Parks we have listed above. These places (well most) have warm and comfortable weather in March; you don’t have to stress about rain, storms, or cold winds this time of the year.
So, make reservations in advance, don’t overpack, and head on to explore some incredible places this March.