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. 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.

If you’re looking for US National Parks to visit in the spring, April is a great time for hiking, biking and taking pictures of beautiful landscape and wildlife! With the warmer temperatures, longer days and blooming flowers, there’s no better time to take a trip and get back to nature.

Travel Tips for US National Parks in April

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!

We have been visiting US National Parks for over 15 years and feel April is one the best month to visit National Parks. It’s a terrific time to explore hiking trails, photograph spectacular vistas and experience wildlife-viewing opportunities at the National Parks in the US.

Our number one tip is to be prepared for the weather and temperatures for the park you’ll visit. 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!

Spring National Park Packing List
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What to Pack for a Spring National Park Vacation

spring hiking gear

Visiting US National Parks in April

Springtime at most US National Parks means the weather is usually mild, not too hot or too cold, perfect for exploring trails and watching wildlife waking up after winter.

We collaborated with other National Park lovers to create this list of parks to visit in April. They share their experiences to help you make a list of places to add to your bucket list.

Here are some resources to help you plan your next US National Park vacation! Remember there are 8 US National Parks that require reservations so always check the website for the parks you want to visit to get the most updated information.

If you’ll be visiting US National Parks with kids, here are some activities to get the family excited before, during and after the trip:

Take a look at this list of National Parks in the US and what it’s like to visit some of the best parks in April!

Landscape Arch in the spring
Landscape Arch at Arches National Park

Arches National Park in April

You must have an Arches timed entry reservation to enter the park from April 1 to October 31. You can enter Arches National Park before 7am and after 4pm without an advance reservation.

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 outdoor activities.

There are a variety of things to do at Arches National Park in April like hiking, biking, rock climbing, photography, and scenic drives!

There are easy, moderate, and strenuous Arches National Park spring hikes. To avoid the crowds, we recommend you hit the trails in the morning, or later in the afternoon.

Sunrise and sunset are particularly enchanting times to photograph Arches when the red rock formations are illuminated in a warm, golden light. Sunrise at Arches National Park is the best time to take pictures without people climbing on the rocks at Balanced Rock, Turret Arch, North Window, or Double Arch! (Photo & Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Arches National Park Lodging & Tours

Bryce Canyon foreground midground background
Thor’s Hammer at Bryce Canyon 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. (Photo & Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Bryce Canyon Lodging & Tours

Milky Way over Mesa Arch
Milky Way over Mesa Arch

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 do at Canyonlands National Park in April: hiking, biking, scenic drives, and photography. 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! 

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. (Photo & Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Canyonlands Lodging & Tours

orchards at capitol reef
Orchards at Capitol Reef

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! (Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Capitol Reef Lodging & Tours

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon

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. (Recommended by Anjali, Travel Melodies)

Grand Canyon Lodging & Tours

Grand Teton Mountains with snow
Grand Teton mountains

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! (Recommended by Jessica, Unearth the Voyage)

Where to Stay Near Grand Teton

Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree 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. (Photo and Recommendation by Jyoti, A Story at Every Corner)

Joshua Tree National Park Lodging & Tours

Valley Forge
Valley Forge

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. (Photo and Recommendation by Lance and Laura, A Guide to Philly)

Lodging Near Valley Forge

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park

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. (Photo and Recommendation by Eden, Rock a Little Travel)

Yosemite National Park Lodging and Tours

view of Zion National Park
View of Zion 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. (Photo and Recommendation by Julia, Well Planned Journey)

Zion National Park Lodging & Tours


national park guides and maps

National Park Planner

Check out the National Park Planner that includes blank packing list, daily itinerary, expense log, and photo spots pages to help you organize your vacation! Simply click on the image below to grab your free copy!

US National Park Travel Planner

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  1. 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,
    Barb 🙂

    1. 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!

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