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Which are the best national parks to visit in April? In this guide, we list 14 wonderful parks in the USA. On this list are a few of the most popular parks in the USA, several great spring break destinations, and a few remote, quieter parks to visit.

About this National Park Series

This article is part of a series about the best national parks to visit each month. In this series, every national park is listed at least once and many are listed multiple times. It is a series of 12 articles, one for each month of the year. More popular parks, like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, may show up in as many as four of these articles, but lesser known parks like Gates of the Arctic may only show up once.

These articles take into account weather, crowd levels, the best time to go hiking, special events, road closures, and our personal experiences in the parks. Based on these factors, we picked out what we think are the optimal times to visit each park.

For an overview of the best time to visit each national park, check out our Best National Parks by Season guide. This guide has graphs that list each park and the optimal time to plan your visit. And at the end of this article, we have links to the other articles in our Best National Parks by Month series.

Visiting the National Parks in April

Like March, April is a big month for spring break travel. The warmer weather also draws more crowds, now that much of the country is heating up.

That warmer weather means that a bunch of parks are now warm enough to visit, without facing freezing temperatures and the chance of snow. For the most part, you won’t need a hat and gloves to visit the majority of the national parks on this list, and in some places, shorts or a swimsuit is what you’ll be packing in your luggage.

If you want to visit the national parks with great weather and lower crowds that flood the parks in the summer months, April is a great time to plan your trip.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information we provide for each national park does not include temporary road closures, since these dates are constantly changing. Roads can close in the national parks at any time, so I recommend getting updates on the National Park Service website while planning your trip. 

Best National Parks in April

1. Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park is a highly underrated park in the United States.

The colorful buttes, spires, and pinnacles create one of the most photogenic landscapes in the country (it’s the cover photo for this article). Bison and bighorn sheep roam the largest mixed-grass prairie in the United States. The sunrises and sunsets are magical, the hiking trails are short and sweet, and for those looking for more solitude, you can take your pick from a handful of backcountry experiences.

Why Visit Badlands in April: In April, the weather is getting warmer and this is the last “quiet” month in the park before visitation really picks up. In 2021, 40,000 people visited Badlands in April and this number jumped to 110,000 in May and increased throughout the summer months. So, in April, you can take advantage of good weather and low crowds.
 
Weather: The average high is 62°F (17°C) and the average low is 35°F (2°C). April is the start of the rainy season. March is drier, but with low temperatures and the chance of snow, I think April is a better time to visit.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6 am and sunset is at 7:30 pm.

Saddle Pass Badlands

Saddle Pass | Best National Parks in April

 Badlands Bison

Bison on Sage Creek Rim Road | Best National Parks in April

 

Notch Trail Ladder

Notch Trail | Best National Parks in April

Location: South Dakota

Top Experiences: Drive Badlands Loop Road and visit the overlooks, watch the sunrise and/or the sunset, hike the Notch Trail, hike the Door and Fossil Exhibit Trails, drive Sage Creek Rim Road, visit Roberts Prairie Dog Town, hike the Castle Trail, and count how many bison you can find.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate experience, venture into the backcountry. In Badlands National Park, you are permitted to hike off-trail and the Sage Creek Wilderness and Deer Haven Wilderness are great places to go hiking and spot wildlife.

How Many Days Do You Need? One day in Badlands National Park gives you just enough time to visit the highlights and hike a few short trails. Make sure you catch either sunrise or sunset in the park because these are one of the best times of day to look out across the landscape.

2. Grand Canyon National Park

People from all around the world travel to the Grand Canyon, making it one of the most visited national parks in the USA. It also makes the list of Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For millions of years, the Colorado River has been carving out this massive canyon. Grand Canyon National Park is enormous and with four rims to visit, there are many different ways to visit this park.

In April, the North Rim is not yet open (it typically opens in mid-May). The South Rim is the most spectacular area of the park to visit in April, with sweeping, iconic views of the Grand Canyon and several epic hiking trails to choose from.

Why Visit the Grand Canyon in April: In April, daytime high’s finally climb up into the 60’s, and with a low chance of rain, the weather is very pleasant this time of year. Crowds are high in April, but not quite as big as they get in the summer months, so if you want good weather and lower crowds, April is a good time to visit the Grand Canyon. This is also one of the best times to go hiking in the Grand Canyon, since the days are cool, rainfall is low, and you have over 12 hours of daylight.
 
Weather: The average high is 61°F (16°C) and the average low is 29°F (-2°C). April is one of the driest months of the year to visit the Grand Canyon.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 5:50 am and sunset is at 7 pm.

Grand Canyon in June

View from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon | Best National Parks in April

 

Bright Angel Trail

Bright Angel Trail | Best National Parks in April

Location: Arizona

Top Experiences: Visit the South Rim viewpoints, watch the sunset, hike below the rim on the Bright Angel or South Kaibab Trail, raft the Colorado River, take a flightseeing tour or a ranger-guided tour.

Ultimate Adventure: Hike below the rim of the Grand Canyon. You can either hike a portion of the South Kaibab or Bright Angel trails out-and-back, or combine them into one big loop. Called the rim to river to rim hike, only those who are very fit with lots of hiking experience should attempt it.

How Many Days Do You Need? We recommend spending two to three days on the South Rim, to visit the highlights. Three days gives you enough time to visit the best overlooks on the South Rim, go on a helicopter ride, and spend some time hiking below the rim.

3. Redwood National and State Parks

This complex of parks is comprised of Redwood National Park plus three state parks: Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek. Together, these four parks protect 45% of the remaining coastal redwood old-growth forests.

Some of the trees in these parks are the tallest and the oldest living creatures on Earth.

In this park, you can also go on scenic drives along the coastline, take your pick from a long list of hikes, and go whale watching.

Why Visit Redwood in April: The rainy season is coming to an end, the days are getting warmer, and crowds are relatively low in April. Park visitation picks up in May, as the days get warmer, and then visitation peaks in July. In early April, you can also go whale watching.
 
Weather: In April, the average high temperature is 57°F (14°C) and the average low is 40°F (4°C). Rainfall is moderate for the year, with about 6 inches of rain occurring over 14 days in April. This is the end of the rainy season, which runs from November through early April. 57°F might sound low, but due to the park’s location, in the summer, the average high only gets up to 65°F, so this park has cool weather all year.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:30 am and sunset is at 8 pm.

Redwood Park

Redwood National Park | photo credit: iStockphoto.com/miroslav_1

Location: California

Top Experiences: Hike Tall Trees Grove, hike through Lady Bird Johnson grove, go for a scenic drive on Newton B. Drury Scenic Byway or Bald Hills Road, visit Fern Canyon, hike the Prairie Creek and Foothill Loop, and go whale watching (November, December, March, April).

How Many Days Do You Need? Plan on spending two to three days in the park. With four different parks to visit, you need a minimum of two days to see the highlights. Three days gives you enough time to venture deeper into the park or visit it at a more leisurely pace.

Plan Your Visit

Redwood National Park is one of the last parks on our to-do list. For more information to help you plan your trip, visit the National Park Service website.

4. Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in west Texas, right across the border from New Mexico and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Hiking is the main thing to do here, with trails leading high up into the mountains.

The highest peak in Texas, Guadalupe Peak, is located in this park, and hiking to the top of it is one of the park’s best experiences.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of the least visited parks in the US. In 2021, 243,000 people visited this park all year. For reference, in April of 2021, 420,000 people visited the Grand Canyon (yes, in just one month). So, if you are looking for a hiking destination without massive crowds, put Guadalupe Mountains National Park on your list.

Why Visit Guadalupe Mountains in April: In April, the weather is fantastic. Crowds are also a little bit lower than in March, since Guadalupe Mountains is a popular spring break destination in March for Texans.
 
Weather: The average high is 71°F (22°C) and the average low is 46°F (8°C). This is one of the driest months to visit Guadalupe Mountains.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:30 am and sunset is at 7:30 pm.

Salt Basin Dunes

Salt Basin Dunes | Best National Parks in April

 

Guadalupe Peak

Guadalupe Peak | Best National Parks in April

Location: Texas

Top Experiences: Hike to the top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. Visit the Salt Basin Dunes, hike to Devil’s Hall, visit El Capitan Lookout, hike the McKittrick Canyon Trail or the Permian Reef Trail, and visit Dog Canyon.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, go on a multi-day backpacking trip through the park.

How Much Time Do You Need? One day is all you need to hike one trail and visit the highlights of the park. For those who love hiking and for those who like the idea of venturing off the beaten path, a total of 3 days gives you plenty of time to hike a few trails, visit Dog Canyon, and explore the Salt Basin Dunes.

US National Parks Guide

5. Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is located in southwestern Texas. It bumps up against Mexico and the Rio Grande forms the border between Mexico and Big Bend National Park. Big Bend gets its name from the prominent bend in the Rio Grande on this border.

This national park protects the largest area of the Chihuahuan Desert in the USA as well as the Chisos Mountains. Big Bend is a top hiking destination in the US, with trails leading high into these mountains and into canyons along the Rio Grande.

Why Visit Big Bend in April: In April, crowds are diminishing (March tends to be the busiest month of the year to visit Big Bend) and the weather is warm and sunny. However, if you are here during a heat wave, temperatures can get up into the 90’s, even reaching 100 degrees, so early April is the better time of the month to visit in order to avoid these hotter temperatures. By May, this park really begins to heat up.
 
Weather: The average high is 82°F (28°C) and the average low is 54°F (12°C). Rainfall is very low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 7:30 am and sunset is at 8:20 pm.

Big Bend South Rim Trail

South Rim Trail | Best National Parks in April

 

Santa Elena Canyon

Santa Elena Canyon | Best National Parks in April

Location: Texas

Top Experiences: Hike the Lost Mine Trail, go star gazing, hike Santa Elena Canyon, go for a drive on Maxwell Scenic Drive, visit Boquillas del Carmen, hike to Balanced Rock, and hike to Emory Peak, the highest peak in the Chisos Mountains.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure in Big Bend, go on a half-day to multi-day canoeing trip on the Rio Grande.

How Much Time Do You Need? Plan on spending at least two to three days here. Because of its large size and remote location, it takes a while to get here, and you need a few days to explore it, so 3 days is the perfect amount of time, in my opinion.

6. Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is the hottest, driest, and lowest place in the United States. It may sound like a barren landscape, but in the spring months, something magical happens here. If conditions are just right in the fall and winter months, millions of wildflowers carpet the ground in Death Valley National Park.

Called the super bloom, this is a rare occurrence and not something to expect every year. The most recent super bloom was in 2016 and before that, it occurred in 2005 and 1998.

In order for the super bloom to occur, there has to be just the right balance between winter and spring rains, warm weather, and an absence of windy days.

The National Park Service monitors all three of these conditions and makes a prediction before the spring season, so if this sounds like something you would like to see, you can get updates here.

Why Visit Death Valley in April: To see the superbloom.
 
Weather: The average high is 101°F (38°C) and the average low is 65°F (18°C). Rainfall is extremely low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:15 am and sunset is at 7:22 pm.

Super Bloom

photo credit: shutterstock.com/Sean Lema

Location: California

Top Experiences: Visit Zabriskie Point, drive Artist’s Drive, visit Badwater Basin, enjoy the view from Dante’s View, visit Ubehebe Crater, hike to Telescope Peak, slide down the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and view the night sky.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, drive out to Racetrack Playa to see the sailing stones.

Death Valley Itinerary: Ideally, plan on spending at least two days in Death Valley. With this time, you can visit the highlights and drive out to Racetrack Playa. But if you have less time, Death Valley makes a great day trip from Las Vegas.

7. Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park is named for Haleakala, the massive volcano that forms the eastern part of Maui.

There are two parts to this national park: the summit and the Kīpahulu District. These two areas look dramatically different from one another.

The summit of Haleakala is the place to watch the sun rise over the clouds, gaze into the Haleakala crater, and for those who are more adventurous, hike into the crater. From the Sliding Sands Trail, it looks like you are walking on Mars.

The Kīpahulu District is located on the Road to Hana. It is here that you can hike through a bamboo forest to a waterfall and see the lush rainforests on this part of Maui.

Why Visit Haleakala in March: The weather is fantastic and April is one of the quietest months of the year to visit Haleakala National Park. Hawaii makes a great spring break destination.
 
Weather: The temperature can vary dramatically between the Haleakala summit and the towns and beaches on Maui. At the summit, the average high temperature is 61°F (16°C) and the average low is 44°F (7°C). In Kahului, the average high is 84°F (29°C) and the average low is 66°F (19°C). That’s a big difference! April is one of the driest months of the year, with the “dry season” running from April through September.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6 am and sunset is at 6:45 pm.

Hiking in Haleakala

On the Sliding Sands and Halemau’u Loop | Best National Parks in April

 

‘Ohe’o Gulch | Best National Parks in April

Location: Hawaii

Top Experiences: Watch the sunrise above the clouds, visit the viewpoints on the Haleakala summit, hike the Pīpīwai Trail, visit the Seven Sacred Pools of ‘Ohe’o, and go stargazing.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, hike the Sliding Sands and Halemau’u Trail Loop. This trail takes you into the Haleakala Crater and at times it looks like you are hiking on the surface of Mars.

How Much Time Do You Need? If you want to visit both the Haleakala summit and the Kīpahulu District, you will need two full days in Haleakala National Park.

8. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

How awesome would it be to see a volcano in action, as molten lava oozes up from the Earth’s crust, forming brand new land?

If this sounds like something you would like to see, put Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on your list.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kīlauea. If you get lucky with your timing, you can catch Kīlauea in action. In fact, Kīlauea is actively erupting right now.

Why Visit Hawai’i Volcanoes in April: This is one of the few national parks where visitation remains at a relatively constant level all year. However, April is one of the quieter months (the summer and December and January tend to be slightly busier). Hawaii makes a great spring break destination and you can combine this park with Haleakala.
 
Weather: In April, the average high is 68°F (20°C) and the average low is 52°F (11°C). This park typically gets a lot of rainfall all year round (parts of the park are a rainforest) and April tends to be one of the wetter months, getting 9 inches of rain. For reference, the wettest months are November, December, and March (averaging 11 inches of rain) and the driest months are May through September (averaging 6 inches of rain).
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6 am and sunset is at 6:40 pm.

Lava Flow

photo credit: shutterstock.com/Willyam Bradberry

 

Chain of Craters Road | Best National Parks in April

Chain of Craters Road | Best National Parks in April

Location: Hawaii

Top Experiences: See the lava flow, drive Crater Rim Drive and visit the viewpoints, hike the Kīlauea Iki Trail, drive Chain of Craters Road, hike out to the Pu’uloa Petroglyphs, and walk through the Thurston Lava Tube.

Ultimate Adventure: Take a helicopter ride over the Kīlauea Caldera to see the lava (if it is flowing).

How Much Time Do You Need? To visit the main sights around the Kīlauea Caldera, one day is all you need. There are two less visited areas of the park, the Kahuku Unit and Mauna Loa, and if you plan to visit these, add on another day or two to your visit.

9. Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park is both the largest and the least visited national park in Utah. We also think that it is one of the most underrated US national parks.

This enormous national park preserves the canyons, buttes, mesas, and arches that have been carved out by the Colorado and Green Rivers.

Enjoy the overlooks at Island in the Sky, go hiking in The Needles, drive the White Rim Road, and photograph Mesa Arch at sunrise. The list of things to do here is long and wonderful, whether you prefer to visit the overlooks, hike a trail or two, or venture into the backcountry.

Why Visit Canyonlands in April: The weather is great for hiking and exploring and crowds levels are increasing, but not yet near their peak for the year.
 
Weather: The average high is 62°F (17°C) and the average low is 40°F (5°C). Rainfall is very low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:40 am and sunset is at 8 pm.

Shafer Canyon Overlook

Shafer Canyon Overlook | Best National Parks in April

 The Needles Canyonlands | Best National Parks in April

The Needles | Best National Parks in April

 

White Rim Road | Best National Parks in April

White Rim Road | Best National Parks in April

Location: Utah

Top Experiences: Visit the overlooks on Island in the Sky, watch the sunrise at Mesa Arch, go hiking in The Needles, drive Shafer Canyon Road, hike below the rim of the Island in the Sky mesa, explore The Maze.

Ultimate Adventure: Drive or mountain bike the White Rim Road. This is a 100-mile unpaved road that makes a loop around the Island in the Sky mesa. It takes 2 to 3 days to do this drive. It can be done in the winter, but snow can close Shafer Canyon Road and cold temperatures will make camping uncomfortable for some people.

How Much Time Do You Need? Ideally, you need at least two full days in Canyonlands National Park. Spend one day in Island in the Sky and one day in the Needles. But even more time is better if you want to venture deeper into the park.

10. Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is small and easy to visit. With just one day, you can hike through a garden of hoodoos, take in the view from multiple viewpoints, and thoroughly explore the park.

What’s a Hoodoo? “Hoodoo” can also be defined as a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin. Geologically, hoodoos are found all around the world, but they occur in the most abundance in Bryce Canyon. Here, hoodoos are the main ingredient of this unique landscape. The thousands of hoodoos in Bryce are what attracts so many visitors every year.

Why Visit Bryce Canyon in April: April is the end of the shoulder season in Bryce Canyon, when the weather is cool and park visitation is still relatively low for the year. Go now, because in May, this park really begins to get busy.
 
Weather: In April, the average temperature is 54°F (12°C) and the average low is 29°F (-2°C). There is a small chance of snow in April.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:50 am and sunset is at 8 pm.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park | Best National Parks in April

 

Queens Garden Trail | Best National Parks in April

Queens Garden Trail

Location: Utah

Top Experiences: Some of the best viewpoints are right along the rim, which are easily accessible by car or the shuttle: Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point, and Bryce Point. Hike the Queens Garden and Navajo Loop, a 3-mile hike past some of the best scenery in the park. Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Point are also nice viewpoints.

Ultimate Adventure: Hike the Fairyland Loop Trail, an 8-mile strenuous hike.

How Much Time Do You Need? One day is all you need to see the views from the rim and hike one to two trails in the park.

11. Capitol Reef National Park

With beautiful scenic drives, thrilling hikes, historical sites, backcountry roads, slot canyons, and unique desert landscapes, Capitol Reef National Park is an unexpectedly amazing national park to visit.

If you love the idea of leaving the crowds behind and exploring a vast, remote area, you have several options. Cathedral Valley, with its sandstone monoliths and sweeping desert vistas, is a beautiful, unique way to spend one day in Capitol Reef. Or you can Loop the Fold, another remote driving day along the waterpocket fold.

There are also slot canyons to explore, low-traffic hiking trails in remote areas of the park, and some of the most dramatic landscapes in Utah, which you can see right from your car.

Why Visit Capitol Reef in April: Because the weather is pretty close to perfect. In April, Capitol Reef gets an uptick in visitation, but it’s not quite as busy as it will be in May and June.
 
Weather: The average high is 65°F (18°C) and the average low is 39°F (4°C). Rainfall is very low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:50 am and sunset is at 8 pm.

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park | Best National Parks in April

 Fruita Capitol Reef National Park | Best National Parks in April

Fruita | Best National Parks in April

 

Cassidy Arch

Cassidy Arch

Location: Utah

Top Experiences: Drive the 16-mile round-trip drive along Scenic Drive, drive Capitol Gorge Road, hike to Hickman Bridge, and watch the sunset from Sunset Point, hike to Cassidy Arch, and Loop the Fold.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, drive the Cathedral Valley Loop. This rugged, remote district of Capitol Reef National Park is one of the best backcountry experiences in the national parks if you like exploring by 4WD.

How Much Time Do You Need? Plan on spending two to three days in Capitol Reef. This gives you enough time to explore and hike the trails in the core of the park (along Scenic Drive and Highway 24) and venture into the backcountry, either in Cathedral Valley or by looping the fold.

12. Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park protects the mountains on the eastern end of Salinas Valley. These mountains are the remnants of an extinct volcano. The rocky pinnacles are a popular rock climbing destination and wildflowers in the spring draw the biggest crowds of the year. This park is also one of the few locations where you can spot the California condor in the wild.

Why Visit Pinnacles in April: April is the best month to visit Pinnacles to see the wildflowers in bloom. Plus, the weather is fabulous.
 
Weather: In April, the average high is 72°F (22°C) and the average low is 39°F (4°C). Rainfall is low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:30 am and sunset is at 7:40 pm.

Bear Gulch Reservoir | Best National Parks in April

photo credit: iStockphoto.com/MWP

Location: California

Top Experiences: See the wildflowers in the spring, hike the High Peaks Loop, hike the Bear Gulch Cave Trail, explore the Balconies cave, spot California condors, enjoy the view from Condor Gulch Overlook, and go rock climbing.

How Much Time Do You Need? Pinnacles National Park can be visited in one busy day but for the best experience, spend two days here, which gives you enough time to visit both sections of the park.

Plan Your Visit

This is one of the last parks on our to-do list. For more information to help you plan your trip, visit the National Park Service website. 

13. Dry Tortugas National Park

The Dry Tortugas are the last group of islands of the Florida Keys, sitting 70 miles west of Key West. Most of the park is water, but it is also home to coral reefs, bird nesting grounds, and historic Fort Jefferson.

Most people visit this national park as a day trip, getting here either by ferry or seaplane. Once here, tour Fort Jefferson and walk the old fort walls, go snorkeling or swimming, and take a stroll on an empty beach. With more time, you can go camping and kayak out to Loggerhead Key.

This is one of the least visited of the US National Parks (in 2021 it was the 9th least visited national park).

Why Visit Dry Tortugas in April: April tends to get the fewest visitors than any other month of the year. The weather is warm, hurricane season is still a few months away, and a Key West + Dry Tortugas trip is a great spring break destination.
 
Weather: The average high is 83°F (28°C) and the average low is 71°F (22°C). Rainfall is average for the year, with just under 3 inches of rain for the month occurring over 4 days.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 7:10 am and sunset is at 7:50 pm.

Dry Tortugas National Park Guide

Dry Tortugas National Park | Best National Parks in April

 

Fort Jefferson Photo | Best National Parks in April

Fort Jefferson | Best National Parks in April

Top Experiences: Explore Fort Jefferson, go snorkeling or swimming, and take a stroll on Bush Key.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, visit Loggerhead Key. To get here, you will kayak 3 miles one-way from Garden Key. In order to do this, you will need to spend two days at the park, camping overnight on Garden Key.

How Much Time Do You Need? A half to a full day is all you need to visit Dry Tortugas National Park. It’s possible to take an early flight from Key West, spend the morning at Dry Tortugas National Park, and be back in Key West for a late lunch.

14. Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park is small and easy to visit. This park is named for the petrified wood that dates back millions of years, to a time when this land was lush and fertile.

But there is more to this park than looking at chunks of crystallized wood. The Painted Desert and the Blue Forest, with their colorful, zebra-striped hills, are a beautiful sight to see, and they are very similar to Badlands National Park, mentioned earlier. There are also a few great trails to hike which are perfect for all ages and ability levels.

Petrified Forest is another park that can go on the “underrated national parks list.”

Why Visit Petrified Forest in April: With highs near 70°F, this is one of the best months to visit Petrified Forest, with regards to weather. It also makes a great addition to an Arizona or American Southwest road trip, if you also plan to visit places like Monument Valley, Sedona, or Page, Arizona.
 
Weather: The average high is 68°F (20°C) and the average low is 35°F (2°C). Rainfall is very low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 5:45 am and sunset is at 6:50 pm.

Petrified Forest National Park Itinerary

Petrified Forest National Park | Best National Parks in April

 

Best Petrified Forest Hike | Best National Parks in April

View on the Blue Forest Trail

Location: Arizona

Top Experiences: View the Painted Desert from the overlooks, see the petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock, see the Teepees on Petrified Forest Road, walk the Blue Mesa Trail, and see the petrified wood at Crystal Forest and along the Giant Logs Trail.

Ultimate Adventure: The Blue Forest hike is our favorite experience in Petrified Forest National Park. This 3-mile trail takes you through the badlands, one of the most beautiful parts of the park.

How Much Time Do You Need? One day is plenty of time to drive through the park, visit the overlooks, and hike a few short trails.

Bonus! 3 More National Parks to Visit in April

Arches National Park

Arches National Park is a great place to visit in April. The weather is perfect but higher crowd levels kept if off of the list above. However, if you are planning a visit to Canyonlands or the other national parks in Utah, it’s worth including Arches on your list, just get an early start and be prepared for busy parking lots and hiking trails.

Channel Islands National Park

In April, the weather is cool and rainfall is low, so weather wise, this is a nice time to visit the park. April is a good time for birding, since spring is the bird nesting season. Wildflowers can also be seen throughout the park and in April, you have the chance to see humpback whales and blue whales. If you want to visit the Channel Islands for watersports (snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking) the best time for this is the summer months.

Congaree National Park

In April, the weather is just about perfect…daily highs of 75°F and one of the driest months of the year. However, those mosquitoes are starting to arrive and by the end of the month, the mosquito meter at Congaree with be ticking up to the mild to moderate levels.

April Road Trip Idea

With 10 days, go on a road trip through three of the national parks in Utah, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Arches National Park.

This itinerary is perfect if you are looking for adventure, solitude, and unforgettable experiences. You’ll tour the highlights of Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks. But you also have enough time to journey into the backcountry, where the real adventures await.

On this itinerary, you can also visit several state parks and national monuments in Utah, which are just as great as the national parks. On this list are Goblin Valley, Little Wild Horse Canyon, and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park


If you have any questions about the best national parks to visit in April, or if you want to share your favorite national parks to visit this month, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information about the US National Parks:

NATIONAL PARKS: In our Guide to the US National Parks, get the full list of national parks with important travel planning information, such as things to do in the parks and sample itineraries.

NATIONAL PARK ITINERARIES: For ideas on how to plan a national parks road trip, visit our National Parks Itinerary page. This has lots of road trip ideas and sample itineraries for many of the US national parks.

BEST US NATIONAL PARKS: Looking for your next big adventure? Read our post Best National Parks in the USA, where we narrow down the long list into 15 must-see parks.

MORE GREAT HIKES IN THE NATIONAL PARKS: From hikes to the tallest peaks to beautiful coast trails, read our Guide to the Best Day Hikes in the US National Parks. If you prefer to keep your hikes short and sweet, read our guide to the Best Short Hikes in the National Parks.

Best National Parks to Visit by Month:

JANUARY: Best National Parks to Visit in January
FEBRUARY: Best National Parks to Visit in February
MARCH:  Best National Parks to Visit in March
MAY: Best National Parks to Visit in May
JUNE: Best National Parks to Visit in June
JULY: Best National Parks to Visit in July
AUGUST: Best National Parks to Visit in August
SEPTEMBER: Best National Parks to Visit in September
OCTOBER: Best National Parks to Visit in October
NOVEMBER: Best National Parks to Visit in November
DECEMBER: Best National Parks to Visit in December

 

Best US National Parks April

 

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