The U.S. National Parks are filled with natural beauty and adventure, offering something for everyone any time of the year, from winter to summer, spring to fall. Visiting these parks can be an enjoyable experience complete with majestic landscapes to diverse wildlife. Whether you prefer hiking through the towering trees of Yosemite, exploring the geothermal wonders of Yellowstone, or marveling at the rugged cliffs of the Grand Canyon, you’ll find amazing things to do in nature. Many parks offer a variety of activities such as guided tours, camping, and educational programs, ensuring that visitors of all ages can find something exciting to do. With well-maintained facilities and comprehensive visitor centers providing maps and information, planning your trip is easy and convenient. Regardless of the season, the breathtaking scenery and countless recreational opportunities ensure that you’ll always have a great time in America’s National Parks.

Yet, there are some parks that are just /that park/ and are really at their best of the best during a specific time of year. Keep reading to see which National Parks we think you really must see during the spring.

Rainbow Falls in Great Smoky National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tennessee and North Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must-see during the spring, offering a spectacular array of natural wonders that truly come to life during this season. One of the park’s most enchanting features is its vibrant display of wildflowers in bloom, with over 1,500 species carpeting the forest floors and meadows in a riot of colors. From the delicate white trilliums to the striking pink lady’s slippers, the park becomes a botanical paradise that attracts nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. Spring also brings milder weather, making it perfect for hiking, with trails like the Appalachian Trail and Clingmans Dome offering breathtaking vistas. Additionally, the park’s diverse wildlife, including black bears and white-tailed deer, are more active in the springtime, providing ample opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.

Great Sand Dunes National Park


Great Sand Dunes National Park offers distinctive and awe-inspiring landscapes which are coupled with ideal weather conditions during the spring months. In the spring, the park’s temperatures are mild, creating a comfortable environment for exploring the vast dunes without the intense heat of summer or cold of winter. This season also brings Medano Creek to life, flowing at the base of the dunes and creating a temporary, refreshing oasis perfect for wading and playing. The park’s unique combination of sand dunes, wetlands, and alpine forests is particularly striking in the spring light, offering excellent opportunities for photography and nature walks. Spring is also a great time for stargazing in the park’s dark skies, as the clear, cool nights provide perfect conditions for viewing constellations and meteor showers.

Super bloom wildflowers in Joshua Tree National Park, California in spring

Joshua Tree National Park


Joshua Tree National Park is an incredible destination in the spring. Springtime in Joshua Tree means the park’s namesake trees, with their distinctive, twisted branches, are at their most striking against the clear, blue skies. This season also brings a remarkable display of wildflowers, including blooms that are unique to the Mojave Desert, such as the vibrant Mojave aster and the delicate Joshua tree blossoms themselves. The moderate temperatures make it an ideal time for rock climbing on the park’s iconic granite formations, and for hiking trails like Hidden Valley and Barker Dam, where the desert’s flora and fauna are in full display. Additionally, spring is prime time for birdwatching, as migratory birds pass through the park, adding to its biodiversity. The combination of unique desert flora, comfortable weather, and diverse recreational opportunities makes Joshua Tree National Park a must-visit springtime destination.

A bison calf and two adults in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park

Wyoming and Montana

If you’re an animal lover, Yellowstone National Park is a must-visit in the springtime. As the snow melts and the landscape awakens, visitors can witness young bison, elk, and bear cubs emerging and exploring their new world, offering a rare wildlife viewing experience. Spring is also when the park’s famous geysers and hot springs are set against lush, green backgrounds, enhancing their vibrant colors and making them even more captivating. The milder weather allows for pleasant hikes and fewer crowds compared to the summer months, providing a more serene and intimate experience with nature. Additionally, the rivers and waterfalls are at their most powerful due to the melting snow, creating breathtaking scenes and ideal conditions for photography.

Super bloom of wild flowers in spring at Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park


Death Valley National Park is a remarkable destination in the spring, offering a truly unique desert landscape that comes to life with vibrant blooms. In some years, visitors are treated to a spectacular “super bloom,” where a rare combination of rain and temperature conditions causes millions of wildflowers to blanket the valley in a stunning display of color. Even in non-super bloom years, the park still boasts an impressive variety of wildflowers, such as desert gold, evening primrose, and phacelia, that dot the arid terrain with splashes of yellow, purple, and white.

See the National Park Service bloom tracker for Death Valley here.

The moderate spring temperatures provide a comfortable climate for exploring the park’s otherworldly features, including the salt flats of Badwater Basin, the colorful Artist’s Palette, and the towering sand dunes. Spring is also the perfect time to explore Death Valley’s historic sites, such as the ghost town of Rhyolite and the Harmony Borax Works, where you can experience the fascinating history of this unique and rugged region.

More National Parks guides

Looking for more guides to the US National Parks? Well you’re in luck. We’ve got guides for Summer, Fall, and Winter, too! Plus find info on the best ways to see the parks and the best hiking trails too. Simply click any of these links or head to our blog homepage and search for them yourself!