Visiting US National Parks in April
Here’s the list of US National Parks in April where you can enjoy the outdoors with more moderate weather and temperatures.
If you’re looking for US National Park vacation ideas, April is a great time for hiking, biking and taking pictures of beautiful landscape and wildlife!
We collaborated with other travelers who share their experiences visiting various national parks in April to help you make a list of places to add to your bucket list.
With the warmer temperatures, longer days and blooming flowers, there’s no better time to take a trip and get back to nature.
From the majestic mountains of Yellowstone to the stunning beaches of Acadia, there are plenty of incredible sights to see in America’s parks. So grab your hiking boots and camera – it’s time for an adventure!
Use our spring packing list for National Parks to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for the activities you plan to do! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!
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Spring Travel Gear for Visiting National Parks
- Waterproof hiking boots or shoes
- Darn Tough Socks!
- Trekking poles
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece or insulated jacket
- Rain jacket
- WATER – water bottles or hydration backpacks
- FOOD – healthy snacks
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Insect repellant
Visiting US National Parks in April
Check out our guide for finding the best National Parks to visit by month.
During each season and month of the year, national parks will have different activities and services available.
Arches National Park in April
Planning a trip to Arches National Park in April is perfect because the moderate temperatures are “just right”. It’s cool in the morning and evening so you’ll need a jacket, but the daytime weather is the best for exploring the Arches National Park hiking trails!
Arches is a small park and can get very crowded. It’s a popular spring break destination so our best advice is to enter the park early to avoid the lines. The park WILL CLOSE when the lots are full, but will reopen later in the afternoon.
Check out our Arches & Canyonlands Itinerary and Photography Guide to take the best pictures of this amazing landscape!
Where to Stay Near Arches National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park in April
Visiting Bryce Canyon in April is one of our favorite times to go. You’ll be amazed at the colorful hoodoos you’ll see at every viewpoint in the park.
We always recommend you do the Bryce Canyon scenic drive FIRST! Drive all the way to the end of the road at Rainbow Point and work your way back to the Amphitheater. Trust us… this is the best way to experience and photograph the Bryce Canyon views!
The one hike you must do is the Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden Trail. Seeing the hoodoos and windows formations along the trails, and not just from above, is amazing. You just have to experience it to understand.
Keep in mind that Bryce Canyon is close to 9000 feet above sea level. Don’t underestimate your abilities. It may seem easy going down the trails into the canyon, but remember you have to hike those trails back up!
Wear the right hiking shoes, drink lots of water, and don’t forget sun protection.
Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon
- Bryce Canyon Places to Stay
- Bryce Canyon Hotels
- Bryce Canyon National Park Camping
- Bryce Canyon National Park RV Vacation
Canyonlands in April
Spring is one of the more popular times people visit, especially around spring break. When visiting Canyonlands National Park in April we recommend you enter the park before 8 am or later in the afternoon after 3 pm if you’ll be there during a busy time.
If you enjoy outdoor activities, there are plenty of things to see, do and photograph in Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky and Needles Canyonlands in the spring.
Be sure you take a side trip to visit and photograph the views from Dead Horse Point State Park. It’s a short distance from the Island in the Sky entrance and worth the quick side trip.
Stargazing at Canyonlands is a must-do. In April you’ll be able to see the Milky Way in the sky. It’s worth the effort to enjoy the park after dark!
Capitol Reef in April
You’ll love spending time at Capitol Reef National Park in April. The weather in April is perfect and you might see the fruit orchards blooming!
We recommend the scenic drive through the park, and stop at any pullout to get out and take some pictures of the magnificent views!
If you enjoy hiking, you’ll love the Capitol Reef hikes like Cohab Canyon, Hickman Bridge, Capitol Gorge, Chimney Rock, and Cassidy Arch, to name just a few.
Be sure you stop at the Gifford Home for some salsa, ice cream, pie, and cinnamon rolls. You may want to start your day there to make sure you get the goods before they’re sold out.
Be sure to explore the Capitol Reef scenic drive. If you’re up for some dirt road adventure, the Burr Trail/switchbacks along the waterpocket fold is a drive with amazing views. And the Cathedral Valley area is a fun place to explore, but you’ll need a high clearance vehicle for that one!
Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef
- Places to Stay at Capitol Reef National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park Camping
- RV Parks Near Capitol Reef National Park
Grand Canyon in April
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best national parks to visit in the USA, no matter the season. However, April brings pleasant weather and favorable conditions for hiking and other adventure activities at the national park.
April is the time of the year when the weather is dry, and temperatures are perfect for sightseeing – not as hot as summer and not as cold as winter, just perfect.
You can easily go for the longer hikes on the South Rim during April whereas, the North Rim remains closed during April. The North Rim operates from May 15 through October 15.
Nevertheless, the South Rim is the real Grand Canyon, as they say, and has tons of things to see and do. Some of the best things to do at the Grand Canyon South Rim are: taking in the breathtaking views over the canyon from various viewpoints, hiking down the canyon to see it up close, biking the Hermit Road, and walking the South Rim Trail.
The Bright Angel Trail is our favorite hiking trail on the South Rim. It gives you a perfect introduction to the inner canyon. You can choose to do the entire hike or a part of it, depending upon the time on hand.
Also, you can’t miss the Desert View Drive – a 25-mile road journey dotted with beautiful overlooks that allow you to witness some of the best views of the Colorado River.
Please note that Grand Canyon is busy during April as it’s a perfect season, and everyone wants to visit the best natural wonders in the world at the right time. So, we recommend you book the accommodations and tours well in advance.
Tips by Anjali from Travel Melodies
Grand Canyon Lodging & Tours
Grand Teton in April
Planning to visit Grand Teton National Park in April is a fun time to go because there will still be snow covering the mountains, and is a great time to visit a ski resort.
During April there are significantly fewer crowds in the park than in the summer months. It’s a great time to view wildlife, enjoy the outdoors and photograph Grand Teton National Park in a more peaceful setting.
Some parts of the park are still closed in April, but the main road between Jackson and Moran is still open so that you can easily drive and view the gorgeous snow-covered mountains. There are many fun things to do at and around Grand Teton National Park during April. Many people enjoy going on a snowshoe hike, going skiing and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and relaxing and exploring around the cozy town of Jackson Hole.
Grand Teton National Park is a breathtaking National Park and is a great place to visit, especially in April when the crowds haven’t yet started filling up the park. Accommodation is cheaper, there is less traffic, and the mountains are an incredible sight when they are covered in snow!
Tips by Jessica from Unearth the Voyage
Where to Stay Near Grand Teton
- Where to Stay Near Grand Teton National Park
- Grand Teton National Park Lodging
- Glamping Near Grand Teton National Park
Joshua Tree in April
Like much of California Joshua Tree National Park is amazing to visit in April. In spring the park fills up wildflowers. If you visit Joshua Tree NP, before the winter rains, much of the vegetation is dry but after a few months of rains, the desert comes alive in April. The winter cold is behind and the summer heat is yet to arrive. April is a sweet spot with wildflower blooms, crisp and warm weather.
You can stay in Joshua Tree town right at the north east entrance or in Twentynine Palms at the north entrance. Alternatively, take Joshua Tree day-trips from Palm Springs area and use the Cottonwood entrance on the south. Also, there is ample camping and facilities to stay within the park.
The three entrances, each with a visitor center, are connected by Park Boulevard on the north and Pinto Basin Road starting at the south entrance. The main built up attractions are along these roads. You can venture out into the dirt roads for more adventures on four wheel drives.
There is a lot to see in Joshua Tree national park. My top recommendations are – Cholla cactus garden at sunrise and Barker dam at sunset. The glorious lighting will leave you in awe. If can stay into the night, the Milky Way is a spectacular sight. If you have time only for a sampler hike, be sure to take the Hidden valley hike. To take cool rock pictures, you just need to stop at Skull Rock and Jumbo Rock.
Tips and photo by Jyoti from A Story at Every Corner
Joshua Tree Lodging & Tours
- Hotels Near Joshua Tree National Park
- Vacation Rentals Near Joshua Tree National Park
- Joshua Tree NP Tours
Valley Forge in April
One of the best national parks to visit in April is the Valley Forge National Historical Park outside of Philadelphia. The hills of Valley Forge is where the Continental Army spent the harsh winter of 1777. The encampment became the fourth largest city in the United States.
But the harsh winter saw thousands die. General George Washington used the encampment to better his troops. Procedures were put in place to transform the ragtag troops into a professional, fighting force who would eventually win independence for the American colonies.
Nearly 250 years later, the 3,500 acre Valley Forge park is an important destination for families teaching their children about American history. It is also an important area for recreation for the millions of people who live in the Tri-State Region. People come here to go hiking, running, cycling and even horseback riding.
April is the perfect time to visit Valley Forge. This is when the park emerges from winter and the wild flowers start to bloom. In April, the annual 5-mile run of the park’s Encampment Tour is a popular activity with locals and visitors. This is also the busiest time of year for school groups and the park hosts an annual Junior Ranger Day at the end of April.
Tips and photo by Lance and Laura from A Guide to Philly
Lodging Near Valley Forge
Yosemite National Park in April
Yosemite National Park is one of the best US National Parks to visit in April. With spring in full swing, there’s plenty to see and do now that the winter months have passed.
One of the best things to do in Yosemite in April is to enjoy the park without the usual crowds and traffic. Spring is a peaceful time in the park and you’ll often find yourself alone at even the most popular attractions. Take your time and appreciate the serenity and natural beauty of the park during this time of year, few others get to see Yosemite this way.
Those willing to get an early start to their day can enjoy a walk along the valley floor at sunrise. This is often the best time to spot wildlife in the park, especially deer who can often be found in the meadows in the early morning. If you’re lucky, you might spot a black bear as well. In April they have just come out of hibernation and are looking for food.
April is also one of the best times to visit Yosemite if you love waterfalls. The spring snowmelt from the Sierras will be fueling the falls making them absolutely massive. Get up close if you can, it’s an experience you won’t forget.
April is also an excellent time for hiking in Yosemite. Since the park has so few visitors this time of year, you’ll often have the trails to yourself. Try Mirror Lake Trail for an easy hike, or the Mist Trail for a strenuous one.
Weather in Yosemite in April will be moderate with highs in the 60s. Expect occasional rain and even light snowfall. Dress in layers and you’ll be ready for anything.
Tips and photo by Eden from Rock a Little Travel
Yosemite National Park Travel Tips
- Hotels Near Yosemite National Park
- Vacation Rentals Near Yosemite National Park
- Tours Near Yosemite National Park
Zion National Park in April
Zion National Park is one of the most visited national parks in America. We recommend visiting Zion National Park in April because the weather can’t be beat.
The daytime temperatures are perfect for hiking. Better yet, visiting Zion in April helps you avoid the peak crowds that flock to the park in the summer.
The best Zion National Park hikes in the spring are Observation Point and Angel’s Landing. Both trails are strenuous but reward you with epic views of Zion Canyon.
Angel’s Landing navigates 1,000-foot drop-offs with chains bolted into the rock wall, the perfect hike for adventure-seekers. Observation Point stands another 1,000 feet above Angel’s Landing. As the name implies, the viewpoint is one of the best places in the park to observe the expansive Zion Canyon.
But any Zion travel guide will tell you there is more than just stunning hikes at the park. Don’t miss the scenic drive along Zion-Mt. Carmel Scenic Highway and sunset at Canyon Junction Bridge.
Tips and photo by Julia from Well Planned Journey
Where to Stay Near Zion
- Places to stay at to Zion National Park
- Camping in Zion National Park
- RV parks near Zion National Park
Hello Dave and Jamie! I loved your post and as a veteran RVer who lived for just under four years in two RV’s full-time before buying this house, your post is a welcome respite from my weary work at school! No, I love my job but I AM READY for a travel vacation!! When we were full-timers, I wrote my blog French Ethereal and photographed for it all within our first small camper and then our Heartland Charles Landmark 365. The latter was a wonderful place to enjoy each campground we stayed and lived at.
Anyway, I am happy to feature your post at this week’s Share Your Style #338 for you. Since then, I dragged (literally) my husband to the Grand Canyon two summers ago after his father’s funeral in California as we traveled back to Texas, and he loved it — as I knew he would. 🙂
Have a great week and welcome to the FE family! See you for Share Your Style on Wednesdays,
Wow, you’ve got quite the story with RV life, travel and photography! We look forward to seeing all the fun things you share each Wednesday!