Visiting US National Parks in February

Visiting US National Parks in February is really a special treat. You should definitely consider planning a US National Park winter vacation.

For most of the parks it will be no surprise to find cold temperatures while visiting, but with the right prep work and gear, it will be a truly amazing experience that you will never forget.

The scenery at the national parks is absolutely breathtaking, especially with the snow all around you in some of the parks.

If you’re looking for winter vacation ideas, here’s our list of the best National Parks to visit in February. 

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→ Winter Clothing Guide

→ Winter Packing List for US National Parks

1. US National Parks Pass

You can order passes online or get them at any of these Federal Recreation Areas. BUY THE PASS AT REI and they will donate 10% of sales to the National Park Foundation.

2.  Hiking Gear

3. Clothing – Layers

4. Daypack

5. Other

Best US National Parks in February

Arches National Park in February

Arches National Park in February is a terrific time to enjoy this red rock wonderland.

We love Arches National Park in the winter because we can explore the park without the crowds. 

Dave photographing Turret Arch at Arches National Park.

When visiting you will want to drive the 18-mile scenic route to explore the park. This is especially perfect on those cooler days. 

In February, you can take advantage of some epic Arches National Park Photography spots as well as the hiking trails in Arches (be sure you wear traction devices on some of the trails in February).

The weather at Arches in February usually means highs in the upper 40s and lows in the mid 20s. You might experience rain or snow so be prepared with winter clothing and dress in layers!

Visit the Arches NPS website for current conditions.

Where to Stay Near Arches:

Arches National Park camping can only be done at the one small campground.

There are no hotels in Arches so most people stay in the nearby town of Moab. You’ll find restaurants and places to shop which adds to the appeal to find accommodations in Moab.

There are all types of lodging in and near Moab from budget-friendly hotels to higher-prices resorts. You’ll also find vacation rentals, a hostel, campgrounds and RV parks

READ OUR FULL GUIDE: Places to stay near Arches National Park in Moab

  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab – we enjoyed our stay and highly recommend this hotel due to its location close to Arches.
  • Purple Sage – our all-time favorite place to stay in Moab – walking distance to shopping, full kitchen, and only 8 units so you don’t feel lost in a large hotel. 
  • Red Cliffs Lodge – rooms up to 6 people – located 17 miles from Moab, this lodge is known for its beautiful location, winery and activities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
  • Vacation Rentals – we really like rentals with a kitchen, washer and dryer and amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.
  • Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!

Biscayne National Park in February

If you looking for a National Park to visit in February that is warmer, then look to Biscayne National Park in Florida.

With sunshine year round it makes for a great place to visit in the winter to get away from cold and snow. The average temperature in February is 66 degrees making it a nice winter getaway! 

With it being warm and sunny you can expect it to be more crowded than the other parks this time of year. 

There are fun things to do at Biscayne like fishing, boating, diving, and snorkeling. Not only that, you can kayak and hike and see some amazing wildlife. 

Be sure to stop by the visitor center for an educational experience the whole family will love. There you will find a touch table for the kids. You can also talk to the park ranger and see what he suggests is great to do while visiting.

Biscayne really is a great February spot to visit because the humidity levels are low and the temperatures are pleasant.

You’ll want to use our National Park Summer Packing List when visiting Biscayne National Park in February.

Where to Stay Near Biscayne NP

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Bryce Canyon National Park in February

Bryce Canyon in February is so fun! The scenery is absolutely incredible so be sure to know all the best Bryce Canyon Photo Spots.

If you choose to visit Bryce Canyon during President’s Day weekend you can observe the Winter Festival at the Park. 

Bryce Canyon sign and entrance gate with snow

One of our favorite things to do at Bryce Canyon in February is to take advantage of the winter hiking trails. If you do visit after a big snowfall, you will need to wear snowshoes and have ice traction devices

There is also a ranger led snowshoe program available in February which is a fully guided tour around full moon. 

Don’t forget about the awesome cross country skiing, winter backpacking, sledding, and winter sky gazing at the park in February. 

Pack winter clothing and dress in layers!

Where to Stay near Bryce Canyon:

Yosemite National Park in February

Yosemite in February means fewer crowds so that you have even more time to soak up the beauty that is all around you. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, especially with the new fallen snow. 

Horsetail Falls, one of the lesser known waterfalls throughout the rest of the year, becomes the star of the show during February. If the sun hits this waterfall just right the light appears as a stream of fire, which is truly remarkable. 

There are many roads that close at Yosemite in February so you will want to check the Yosemite NPS website for road closures and current conditions prior to visiting. 

While visiting, there are several things to do, such as cross country skiing, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, and snowshoeing.

Of course, we can’t forget about lots of the lower level hikes that are perfect to do this time of year. 

Pack your camera gear and winter clothing and dress in layers!

Yosemite National Park Lodging & Tours

Yellowstone National Park in February

If you want a unique experience you should add a trip to Yellowstone in the Winter to your bucket list!

It’s an awesome to enjoy the serenity of the park, see steaming geyser basins, and watch wildlife.

The only way to get around in Yellowstone in February is with skis, snowshoes, snowcoaches, and snowmobiles. Vehicles are only allowed to drive the road from Mammoth to the northeast entrance through Lamar Valley.

If you want to visit Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and other parts of the park in February, we recommend a guided snowmobile or snowcoach

There is nothing like the seeing Yellowstone National Park in the winter. It’s a stark contrast to visiting the park during the other seasons. 

Use our Yellowstone winter packing list to be prepared with winter clothing that’s best for outdoor travel. You won’t regret planning a trip to Yellowstone in the winter. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! 

Places to stay in West Yellowstone that we recommend:

Places to stay in Gardiner that we recommend:

Places to stay in Cooke City or Silver Gate that we recommend:

Zion National Park in February

Planning to visit Zion National Park is always a good idea no matter what time of year it is.

Zion National Park in February is colder and wetter than the rest of the year. Temperatures can range from highs of 50-60°F during the day to lows well below freezing at night.

But February is also the least crowded time to visit the park which makes it easy to explore at your own pace. President’s weekend does get a bit more busy if you can avoid that time.

We would rather brave the cold and stormy weather than fight the crowds and navigate the shuttle busses during the summer!  

Many of the Zion hikes remain open throughout February, so you definitely want to take advantage of these while there are not many people visiting the park.  

The great thing about visiting Zion in February is that you can drive through Zion Canyon in your car. Exploring the scenic roads of Zion Canyon, Highway 9 and Kolob Terrace are perfect for those really cool days or when it is raining. 

Where to Stay Near Zion

You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion. Here are a few of our favorite places to stay close to Zion:

  • Holiday Inn Express – our favorite place to stay with an outdoor pool and amenities you’d find in a high end hotel
  • Zion Lodge – we haven’t had a chance to stay here yet, but you can’t go wrong staying right IN the park!
  • Under Canvas Zion – if you want to experience a less crowded part of Zion, this is the place! It’s in the Kolob section of the park.
  • Vacation Rentals in Springdale – you’ll want to stay in Springdale so you’re close to the park entrance and can walk to shopping and restaurants. 
  • Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!


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