Spring is here and that means it is time for Spring Break! Not the type to head to a tropical beach somewhere and party? Yeah, us too. Luckily for everyone looking for somewhere different to enjoy the break, we have a variety of great National Parks to visit during your break. These 5 parks are the perfect spot to vacation during the Spring for the chance to enjoy more uninterrupted sights, colorful scenery, breathtaking waterfalls and so much more.
5. Saguaro National Park | Tucson, Arizona
Desert Dwellers unite! Saguaro National Park in Southern Arizona protects and preserves a giant saguaro cactus near the city of Tucson. In the Spring time, not only will you see the endless cacti that cover the beautiful desert landscape, but a rainbow of color in between (SUPER BLOOM!). The blooming wildflowers include desert marigolds, gold Mexican poppy and red penstemons, while many of the shrubs, trees cacti are in bloom too, including the chollas. More awesome hikes than you can count, prehistoric petroglyphs to explore, historic sites and plenty of desert wildlife. Watch for animals like coyotes, desert tortoises and jayelinas in the lower elevations, and the Mexican spotted owl, deer and black bear in the upper elevations of the park. The weather should be in the 80's for you to soak up that sun and enjoy some warm weather after a long winter.
4. Yosemite National Park | California
Since there is never a bad time to go to Yosemite National Park, we had to add it to the list. However, during Spring you will have the opportunity to see its many waterfalls at their peak due to the spring thaw melting away winter's snow quickly, resulting in raging falls. As far as the wildflowers are concerned, in late April and early May the dogwood blossoms erupt. Some will say that the colorful sight of these blossoms can even rival the falls, but either way you will have a plethora of perfect photo-ops with all of the popular hikes and sites that you typically see on Instagram daily.
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Gatlinburg, Tennessee
For you East Coast folk, Spring time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most ideal time for hikers. With temperatures beginning to warm, more than 800 miles of breathtaking trails filled with blooming wildflowers, and never ending views of striking natural beauty around nearly every turn, how could you disagree? There are an estimated 1,700 different types of wildflowers in the park, including the spring ephemerals, which tend to start making their appearance in early Spring, as well as trilliums, orchids, violets, and even iris typically blooming through the months of March and April.
2. Joshua Tree National Park | California
Spring is the best time to visit Joshua Tree National Park. Not only is the weather absolutely PERFECT with the highs averaging 80, but this is when the wildflowers begin to bloom. Typically, they begin to bloom in the lower elevations of the Pinto Basin and along the park's South boundary a few weeks before Spring has officially arrived. The higher elevations tend to burst with color in March and April, and in regions at about 5,000 feet, with some blooming as late as June. When there is enough Spring rain, the tall, spindly vine cacti bust into surprisingly crimson flowers. If you are lucky enough to score a campsite in Jumbo Rocks (our personal favorite) you will have a limitless number of hikes right at your fingertips as well as giant boulders to climb on for days, not to mention the panoramic views of endless stars on a clear night you will have too!
1. Zion National Park | Springdale, Utah
Perfect weather? A backdrop that looks like a real life painting? Zion National Park is a Spring gem. Waterfalls are ripping due to the rapidly melting snow, an endless amount of plants are blooming, and the crowds tend to be thinner. The massive canyon walls soar into the sky, while the miles and miles of trails to hike bring views of the colorful pink and orange canyons and sandstone cliffs. In the Spring, the glimpses of green offer a striking contrast against the orange rock that glistens in the sun. This is why Zion National Park is our number 1 pick for the perfect Spring Break destination.
You don't have to take our word for it, but we guarantee any of these beautiful parks will be an amazing substitute for a tropical destination this Spring season. What are you waiting for? Gather up your friends, book your plane tickets, pack your favorite Stranded Adventure gear and get out there!