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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WHAT TO PACK FOR A NATIONAL PARK TRIP IN THE WINTER
1. US National Parks Pass
2. Hiking Gear
- Waterproof hiking boots or shoes – Merrell Moab are our FAVORITE!
- Insulated boots
- Heavy wool socks – we LOVE Darn Tough Socks!
- Walking stick or trekking poles
3. Clothing – Layers
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece or insulated jacket
- Wool, down or heavy-weight insulated jacket
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Insulating hat
- Insulating winter gloves
- Fleece neck gaiter or buff
- WATER – water bottles or hydration backpack
- FOOD – healthy snacks
- Flashlight or headlamp
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Hand lotion
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
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.
When visiting you will want to drive the 18-mile scenic route to explore the park. This is especially perfect on those cooler days.
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.
- Arches National Park Travel Guide
- Arches & Canyonlands 3 Day Itinerary
- Arches in the Fall
- Arches in the Winter
- Arches National Park Hiking Trails
- Arches Packing List
- Where to Stay in Moab Near Arches
- Tours Near Moab, Utah
Where to Stay Near Arches:
- 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. → Book the Purple Sage via Airbnb
- 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!
- Condos south of town – we really like the King size bed in the master, washer and dryer in the unit and a swimming pool/hot tub (just a 5 minute drive south of Moab).
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
Bryce Canyon National Park in February
If you choose to visit Bryce Canyon during President’s Day weekend you can observe the Winter Festival at the Park.
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!
- Bryce Canyon Travel Guide
- Bryce Canyon Photo Spots
- Bryce Canyon in the Fall
- Bryce Canyon in the Winter
- Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden Trail at Bryce Canyon
- Bryce Canyon Tours
Where to Stay near Bryce Canyon:
- Ruby’s Inn Vacation Rentals – we LOVE having a kitchen to cook our meals!
- Best Western Ruby’s Inn – easy access right outside the park
- Best Western Plus – also right outside the park
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.
Yosemite National Park Lodging & Tours
- Hotels Near Yosemite National Park
- Vacation Rentals Near Yosemite National Park
- Tours Near Yosemite National Park
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!
- Yellowstone Vacation Planner + 4 Day Itinerary
- How to Plan the Perfect Yellowstone Vacation
- Yellowstone in the Winter
- Visit Yellowstone in the Fall
- Yellowstone Waterfalls
- Yellowstone Tours
Places to stay in West Yellowstone that we recommend:
Places to stay in Gardiner that we recommend:
Yellowstone Gateway Inn, Gardiner – full kitchen and comfy bed, one of our favorite places to stay!
Park Hotel Yellowstone, Gardiner – charming place to stay and loved by guests!
Absaroka Lodge, Gardiner – beautiful location with river views!
Places to stay in Cooke City or Silver Gate that we recommend:
Sunny Log Home on the Creek, Silver Gate (VRBO) – the most AMAZING location with an awesome fireplace and comfy bed!
Mountain View Cabin, Cooke City – great views and we enjoyed having a washer and dryer!
High Country Motel and Cabins – local owners who love what they do, and make you feel so welcome!
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.
- Zion National Park Travel Guide
- Zion Hiking Trails
- Zion National Park in the Summer
- Zion National Park in the Fall
- Zion National Park in the Winter
- Zion National Park Tours
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.
- Airbnb 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.
Winter Vacation Ideas
- List of Winter Vacation Ideas
- List of US National Parks in the Winter
- Visiting US National Parks in December
- Visiting US National Parks in January
- Visiting US National Parks in February
- National Park Packing Lists for Winter
- Winter Clothing Guide for Outdoor Travel