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Best National Parks to Visit in March in the US

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Looking for the best national parks in March? No worries. Here’s the ultimate collection of the best national parks to visit in March in the USA.

The ultimate collection of the best national parks to visit in March in the USA

BEST NATIONAL PARKS TO VISIT IN MARCH IN THE USA

If you are a nature enthusiast like me, then we agree that US national parks are among the best places to visit in March.

A nature lover or not, visiting some of the 63 national parks in the US needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. National parks are especially beautiful in spring when nature awakes after winter. In short, US national parks are fabulous spring break destinations.

If you would like to get out in nature at the beginning of spring, you need to check out this ultimate collection of the best national parks to visit in March!

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO. 

1. JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK IN CALIFORNIA

Joshua Tree is one of the best national parks to visit in March in the USA
Joshua Tree NP; Photo credit: World Adventurists

Exploring Joshua Tree is like embarking on an otherworldly journey!

With its surreal rock formations, sun-drenched desert landscapes, and diverse flora and fauna, the park offers something for everyone. From hiking through the rugged terrain of unique rock formations and hidden canyons to camping under the stars to stargazing in the dark night sky, a visit to Joshua Tree will take your breath away.

March is a great time to visit Joshua Tree National Park and see the unique beauty of the desert landscape. Clear skies give you an unobstructed view of the awe-inspiring mountains and ancient rock formations, while temperatures are pleasant enough to enjoy your sightseeing without being too hot or cold (73°F/23°C50°F/10°C). 

The park’s namesake trees, Joshua Trees, are also in bloom during this time, offering picturesque views of their tall spiky shapes and incredible resilience against the harsh climate. 

Joshua Tree National Park is a stunning haven nestled amidst the majestic desert of America, with several hikes for both novice and expert adventurers. For those just starting on their hiking journey, there are beginner-friendly trails suited to your level of experience, as well as more extended routes for seasoned hikers looking to test themselves. Whatever path you choose at Joshua Tree National Park, prepare yourself for an awe-inspiring natural wonder!

If you want to experience the breathtaking beauty of hiking in Joshua Tree, don’t forget to hit up Skull Rock, Cholla Cactus Garden, and 49 Palms – each one more awe-inspiring than the last. 

You also will not want to miss taking the drive up to Keys View, where you can take in the stunning views of the Coachella Valley.

Despite the season, the desert can be sweltering, so it is important to bring plenty of water and start your hike early to beat the heat.

To truly experience all that Joshua Tree has to offer, you should plan on dedicating at least three days – and don’t hesitate to stay longer if your schedule allows!

The closest major airport is Palm Springs International Airport, located just an hour’s drive away from the park. 

Skylark Hotel is a perfect choice for your Joshua Tree adventure, boasting mountain views and an iconic 50s-inspired atmosphere in the heart of nearby Palm Springs. Besides that, famous Palm Springs has some truly amazing rentals. Check out the 15 best Vrbo Palm Springs rentals!
Or check out these 15 best Joshua tree rentals and stay within the park.

If you’re ready to explore one of America’s most unique national parks, make sure to plan a trip to Joshua Tree National Park in March! 
There is no doubt, Joshua Tree NP in California is one of the best national parks to visit in March!

Contributed by Debbie Fettback of World Adventurists

Plan your trip to Joshua Tree, CA

Fly to the nearby airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Joshua Tree!
Check out car rentals at Palm Springs International Airport
Book your stay at Skylark Hotel, or check out 15 best Vrbo Palm Springs rentals

2. KALOKO HONOKOHAU NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK ON THE BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII

Kaloko Honokohau NP is among the best national parks to visit in March
Kaloko Honokohau NP; Photo credit: This Hawaii Life

One of the most historic and rich cultural sites to visit on the Big Island of Hawaii is Kaloko Honokohau National Historic Park located just a short drive from Kona International Airport.

It is a national historic park because of the ancient ruins and sites here that contribute to the attractions including fish ponds, heiau or Hawaiian temples, home platforms, petroglyphs, and other important sites that compromise on this important cultural site. 

Passed for other historic sites like the Place of Refuge and Volcanoes National Park, Kaloko Honokohau is authentic and more low-key with excellent placards to read and learn more about this area. There’s also an excellent beach area to enjoy away from all the crowds and tourists that flock to more well-recognized attractions on the island.

The temperatures in Kaloko Honokohau in March go from the average low of 68 F (20 C) to the average high of 75 F (24 C).
You’ll enjoy visiting this park which can be an easy visit when you are looking to visit more beach areas or other sites on the west side of the island. The best things to do is to visit the information center and start on some sites and see the historic landmarks, walk along the fish ponds and then enjoy some beach time along the expansive and isolated beach areas.

The 3-star Hale Hualalai in Kona is only 6 mi (9 km) away from Kaloko Honokohau NP and it has excellent reviews. The guests praise the spacious rooms, welcoming hosts, delicious breakfast adn great location.

Kaloko Honokohau NP on the Big Island of Hawaii is definitely one of the best national parks to visit in March.
Fly to Kona International Airport, rent a car at the airport, book your stay at Hale Hualalai, and head to Kaloko Honokohau National Historic Park!

Recommended by Noel of This Hawaii Life

Plan your trip to Kaloko Honokohau National Historic Park

Fly to the nearby airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Kaloko Honokohau National Historic Park!
Check out rental cars at Kona International Airport
Book your stay at Hale Hualalai

3. DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK IN NEVADA/CALIFORNIA

Death Valley is one of the best places to travel in March for teh Wildflower Super Bloom
The Wildflower Super Bloom in Death Valley NP

Death Valley National Park is one of the most spectacular places in the US. 

March is a great time to visit Death Valley NP. Death Valley in March has perfect temperatures for exploring this extraordinary US national park. March temperatures in Death Valley go from an average low of 54 F (12 C) to an average high of 74 F (23 C).

Besides that, the sensational Wildflower Super Bloom occurs in Death Valley in March. The vast wildflowers carpets in the desert are a must-see natural event in Death Valley.

March is a perfect time for sightseeing must-see sites in Death Valley (like the Zabriskie viewpoint, Badwater BasinDevil’s Golf Course, Artist’s Palette, and the Dantes Viewpoint).
The temperatures in March in Death valley are perfect for hiking the 1-mile-long Golden Canyon trail, the 2.7-mile-long Twenty Mule Team Canyon, and trekking Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Death Valley National Park is 126 miles from Las Vegas and 214 miles from Los Angeles.
McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is the closest airport to Death valley. The Las Vegas airport is 130 miles from the park. 
Bob Hope Airport in Burbank is another airport close to Death Valley. The Burbank airport is about 160 miles from Death Valley. 

Since Las Vegas is the closest city to Death Valley., the best way to explore Death valley on your own is to take a road trip to Death Valley from Las Vegas.
So, fly to Las Vegas, rent a car at the airport, and head to Death Valley. 

There are nine public campgrounds and two hotels within Death Valley park. If you are not into camping,
make sure to check out the fantastic The Ranch At Death Valley and  The Inn At Death Valley in Death Valley!

Recommended by me

Plan your trip to Death Valley NP

Check out rental cars at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, or Bob Hope Airport in Burbank
Book your stay at The Ranch At Death Valley, or The Inn At Death Valley

4. HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK ON THE BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of the best national parks to visit in march
Hōlei Sea Arch of Hawaii Volcanoes NP; Photo credit: Forever Karen

Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii come to witness the extraordinary volcanic power of Kilauea.

While Hawaii has two international airports, Kona (KOA) and Hilo (ITO), the latter provides easier access to the national park.

You’ll enjoy slightly cooler weather in March, although daytime highs are 82F (28C).

If Kilauea isn’t exercising its fury, hikes around its lava fields are possible. Stop by the visitor center first to check on activity and park area closures.

One of the most popular hikes is the Kilauea Iki Trail, a four-mile round trip that takes you into a barren crater. Pack lots of water and wear sunscreen because the bottom of the crater offers no shade from the scorching sun.

Halema’uma’u Crater has grown in size due to extreme volcanic activity, and you can walk the Sulphur Banks Trail to see smoke and odors emitting from its caldera.

Within the park, Chain of Craters Road leads out to the ocean, with many lava fields along its route. You can learn about the eruptions at each stop and immerse yourself in the sterile landscape. At the end of the road, the Hōlei Sea Arch results from an eruption, but the ocean is slowly eroding its façade.

Outside the park, you can visit Moana Loa Macadamia Nut Farm for a self-guided factory tour and sample some delicious goods! Macadamia nuts are a favorite Hawaiian gift to take home for family and friends.

A helicopter excursion over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers a unique perspective of its topography. It’s an opportunity to witness the destruction of the mighty Kilauea.

The Lotus Garden Cottages offers a tranquil stay in the rainforest, close to the park entrance. Guests enjoy a fantastic complimentary breakfast and the Zen of a peaceful holiday with the sound of songbirds.

Recommended by Karen of Forever Karen

Plan your trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Fly to the nearby airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!
Check out car rentals at Hilo Airport
Book your stay at Lotus Garden Cottages

5. CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK IN UTAH

Canyonlands National Park is one of the best national parks to visit in March in the USA
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands NP; Photo credit: Fox in the Forest

Canyonlands National Park in Utah is one of the best national parks to visit in March in the USA.

Known as one of Utah’s “Mighty 5”, Canyonlands National Park covers a desolate, 330,000+ acres of land in the Southeastern part of the state. 
It’s an area known for its dramatic desert landscape, divided into two sections known as Island in the Sly and The Needles. 

So, while Island in the Sky is flatter and features more stunning viewpoints, The Needles is a labyrinth of canyons that are home to intense white water rapids and amazing historic rock paintings

However, because of the climate, summers can be brutally hot. The area is also inundated with tourists who are visiting during summer break. 

Therefore, March is an ideal time to visit since you will have the trails to yourself and won’t have to deal with sweltering temperatures. Instead, daily highs are a pleasant 59°F/ 15°C while daily lows plummet to 30°F/ -1°C

There are also only around three days of rain per month, so the weather should be ideal for hiking and checking out some of the park’s most scenic viewpoints

In particular, Grand View Point is amazing since it sits at upwards of 6,000 feet of elevation and offers sweeping views of both the Green and Colorado River. Plus, if you want to go on a nice trek while you’re here, catch the Grand View Point Trail and take this short trail to the overlook

However, no trip to Canyonlands would be complete without a stop at Mesa Arch, the park’s single most famous landmark. Plan to get here for sunrise and use the easy, 0.5-mile, Mesa Arch Loop to get here. Then, marvel at the 1200-foot drop into Buck Canyon below from the base of the arch.

You can also stop by the Shafer Trail Viewpoint and the Green River Overlook before heading to the scenic area that sits right across the street from the visitor center. 

Finally, return to your room at The Moab Resort, WorldMark Associate, and enjoy a relaxing meal at their restaurant before taking a dip in the hot tub. 

Just know that to get here, you’ll have to travel to drive four hours (250 miles +) from Salt Lake City to Moab since Salt Lake City has the closest international airport. However, closer regional airports include Grand Junction Regional Airport and Canyonlands Field.

Recommended by Meg of Fox in the Forest

Plan your trip to Canyonlands National Park

Fly to the nearby airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Canyonlands National Park!
Check out car rentals at Salt Lake City International Airport, or Grand Junction Regional Airport
Book your stay at The Moab Resort, WorldMark Associate

6. DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK IN FLORIDA

Dry Tortugas Np in Florida is among the best national parks to visit in March
Dry Tortugas NP; Photo credit: Ze Wandering Frogs

Approximately 70 miles west of Key West, Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, Dry Tortugas National Park is a remote national park.
The park is renowned for its clear water, stunning beaches, and significant past. A trip to Dry Tortugas should be on any South Florida itinerary as you travel from Miami to Key West.

March is a great time to visit the park when the sea is relatively calm, the crowd less present, and the temperatures are not as hot as in the summer months
Once on the island, learn about the park’s history through a visit to Fort Jefferson, which was built in the mid-1800s. One of the top activities on the island is to snorkel the crystal-clear waters and enjoy looking at the park’s abundant marine life. Bird-watching is another popular activity, as you spot brown pelicans and frigate birds. Sailing around the island is another terrific way to admire the stunning landscape and enjoy the warm waters around Dry Tortugas.

The Dry Tortugas has a subtropical climate, with temperatures averaging from 55°F to 65°F (19°C to 25°C). Therefore, the summer months are best avoided as the temperatures can reach over 90°F and be the rainest

The closest airport to Dry Tortugas National Park is Key West International Airport (EYW). However, other options, like the Miami International Airport (MIA) though that airport is 3 to 4 hours away from Key West. From Key West, Dry Tortugas can be reached either by ferry or seaplane.

There is no accommodation on Dry Tortugas, though rustic camping is allowed in designated areas. No amenities are available on the island, including water, so those looking into spending the night on Dry Tortugas must be fully autonomous and self-reliant.

However, the 3-star Courtyard by Marriott Key West Waterfront with a psapciois outdoor pool in Key West could serve as a great base for exploring Key West and Drt Tortugas NP.
Fly to Key West International Airport, catch Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West and enjoy visiting this amazing national park in March!

Recommended by Patricia of Ze Wandering Frogs

Plan your trip to Dry Tortugas National Park

Fly to the nearby airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore the Key West area and Dry Tortuga National Park!

Check out car rentals at Key West International Airport
Book your stay at Courtyard by Marriott Key West Waterfront
Book Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West

7. GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK IN MARCH

Grand Canyon is among the best national parks to visit in March in the USA
Grand Canyon; Photo credit: Many More Maps

If you’re looking for one of the best national parks to visit in March, look no further than the Grand Canyon.

Given how unbearably hot this national park can get in the summer months, March is actually the perfect time to visit if you’re looking for pleasant weather.

Many people squeeze a day trip to the Grand Canyon into their Las Vegas itinerary, but if you’re looking to see and experience the very best the park has to offer, you should spend at least two full days there.

There are two main places to visit in Grand Canyon National Park – the South Rim and the North Rim. Both are beautiful and unique, so if you’re able to visit both you definitely should. Arguably the most scenic hike in Grand Canyon National Park is the 8.8-mile Bright Angel Trail, which is located at the South Rim. It’s one of the best ways to get up close to the Grand Canyon’s most epic vantage points.

Another top thing to do in Grand Canyon National Park is to arrange a scenic helicopter flight over the Canyon. These short flights can be surprisingly affordable, and seeing the canyon from above really puts its enormity into perspective. Some other fun things to do in the park include kayaking along the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon or riding the Grand Canyon Scenic Railway.

In March, expect highs of 73°F (23°C) and lows of 48°F (9°C – but this is normally only at night).

Flagstaff Airport is the closest airport to the Grand Canyon National Park, but you’re also able to fly into Phoenix or Las Vegas if you’re willing to drive slightly further. You’ll need to hire a car or join a guided tour group to get to the park. 

The Grand Canyon Village is the best area of the park to stay in, and it has a range of accommodation options to suit every budget – from campgrounds to luxury hotels. Bright Angel Lodge gets consistently good reviews from mid-range travelers visiting the Grand Canyon.

However, if you fly to Flagstaff Airport and rent a car at the airport, staying in the fantastic Little America Hotel in Flagstaff is a great option as a base for exploring Grand Canyon. The hotel is only an hour and 30 min drive from the Grand Canyon.

Recommended by Ella of Many More Maps

Plan your trip to Grand Canyon National Park

Fly to the nearby airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Grand Canyon National Park!
Check out rental cars at  Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG), or Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl Airport (PHX)
Book your stay at Little America Hotel

8. EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK IN FLORIDA MARCH

Everglades is among the best national parks to visit in March
Everglades NP; Photo credit: Megan and Aram

Everglades National Park is an amazing park full of fascinating landscapes and a protected habitat for endangered animals.

March is a great time to visit as it is Florida’s dry season, so days are dry and pleasant. This also makes it one of the busiest times to visit the park, but since the park is so expansive, there are plenty of areas with room to breathe.

One often doesn’t think of a guided tour in a national park, but at Everglades, there are several not-to-miss tours.
Take the Shark Valley two-hour tram tour on the 15-mile “River of Grass” loop, narrated by an expert naturalist who will give you information about the animals and nature you will be seeing.
A trip to the Everglades is not complete without an airboat tour to explore the wetlands. Keep your eyes peeled for animals like alligators, crocodiles, fish, snakes, and the elusive Florida panther! On foot, check out some of Everglades’ great hiking trails. Some paths wind through the forest and some are boardwalks over marshy areas, like the popular Gumbo Limbo Trail.
There are also wonderful kayaks and canoe trails if you like to be in the water! It’s an exciting way to immerse yourself in the breathtaking environment of the Everglades. 

March is a wonderfully pleasant month to visit the Everglades, as it is dry with comfortable temperatures ranging between 60-80F (16-26C) degrees.

The easiest way to get to Everglades National Park is to fly into the Miami airport (MIA), which is only one hour’s drive from the park entrance (making it the perfect day trip from Miami)!
There are no lodges inside the park for accommodation, though there are two campgrounds available, Long Pine Key and Flamingo, if you like camping! Otherwise, people most often stay in Everglades City on the west side of the park or in Miami, on the east side. Everglades Adventures Hotel Suites by Ivey House is a top-rated stay in Everglades City.

Recommended by Megan of Megan and Aram

Plan your trip to Everglades National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Everglades NP!
Check out rental cars at Miami Airport(MIA)
Book your stay at Everglades Adventures Hotel Suites by Ivey House

9. GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NP IN NORTH CAROLINA/TENNESSEE

The Great Smoky Mountains is among the best national parks to visit in March
The Great Smoky Mountains NP

Located near both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a stunning place filled with awesome mountain landscapes that cross 520,000+ acres of land along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee

In particular, March is an excellent time to visit since it is shoulder season at that time of year, Therefore, visitors can get reduced rates at hotels, will avoid the crowds of fall/summer, and can still use the park’s various amenities – all of which will be open at this time of year. 

So, grab your hiking shoes and get ready to hike a scenic portion of the world-famous Appalachian Trail before taking in sweeping panoramas from the top of the observation area at Clingmans Dome. Believe it or not, Clingmans Dome is actually the tallest mountain in Tennessee and offers fantastic views of the area

Other fun things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains include paddling through Fontana Lake (you can grab a rental boat in ​​Fontana Village) and learning about pioneer history at the Mountain Farm Museum in Oconaluftee. 

However, if you really love history then be sure to stop by Cades Cove since this area is home to 90+ historic mills, churches, homes, and barns that date back to the 1800s. It’s a great place to stop and learn about what life was like for early settlers. 

Just be sure to pack a raincoat and layers of clothing. After all, March can mean up to eleven days of rain in the region, with daily highs of 56°F/13°C and daily lows of 29°F/-2°C

You’ll also want to fly into McGee-Tyson Airport. It’s a little south of Knoxville and it will take you around an hour to drive to the national park from there

Then when you arrive, be sure to stay at The Park Vista – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – in Gatlinburg. After all, rooms are comfortable, beautifully decorated, and well-priced. Plus, guests enjoy access to a multi-tiered indoor pool, as well as a waterslide and hot tub.

Recommended by Victoria of Southern Trippers

Plan your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fly to the nearby airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
Check out rental cars at McGee-Tyson Airport
Book your stay at The Park Vista – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

10. CHANNEL ISLANDS NP IN CALIFORNIA

Channel Islands NP are among the best national parks to visit in March
Channel Islands NP; Photo credit: Barefoot Theory

Channel Islands National Park is one of the least visited National Parks in the US due to its remoteness off the coast of Southern California.

It’s made up of 5 islands and there are no restaurants or hotels, which makes it a quiet destination for outdoor enthusiasts, especially if you’re interested in camping.
Each of the islands offers different options for outdoor adventure, but Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the Channel Islands, is a favorite of many visitors and the easiest to visit.

March is one of the best months to visit the Channel Islands because of the mild climate, blooming wildflowers, and active sea and wildlife. You’re likely to encounter gray whales, the island fox, and a variety of sea birds.
Temperatures average from a high of 62°F to a low of 55°F, perfect for hiking and camping. Due to spring rain, the islands will generally be very green during this time. 

You can’t visit the Channel Islands in March without booking a whale tour to watch California Gray Whales on their annual migration, which ends in April. Going on a sea kayaking tour to explore the dozens of sea caves off the coastline and get a chance to see sea lions and harbor seals up close is one of the most popular things to do. Other popular activities include hiking, birdwatching, and snorkeling. 

Channel Islands is located about 20 miles off the central coast of California. You can access the islands year-round via a ferry that departs from Ventura & Oxnard, which are a 1.5-hour drive north of Los Angeles International Airport

While day trips to the island give you a taste, the best way to explore is to camp overnight on the Channel Islands. Be sure to pack layers and a windbreaker as the wind can pick up in March!

There are campgrounds on all 5 of the islands and reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance on Recreation.gov. One thing to keep in mind is that March can see an uptick in visitors due to Spring Break, so it’s best to make the ferry and/or camping reservations early.

Recommended by Kristen of Barefoot Theory

Plan your trip to the Channel Islands National Park

Book Channel Islands National Park Sea Cave Kayaking Experience from Ventura Harbor

11. SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK IN CALIFORNIA

Sequoia NP is among the best national parks to visit in March
Sequoia NP; © World Travel Connector

Sequoia National Park is home to some of the world’s tallest trees and most majestic groves.

It is America’s second-oldest national park and home to many animals, including black bears, deer, coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions.

If you plan on visiting Sequoia National Park, March is one of the best months to go. The weather is usually pleasant and not too hot or humid.
There are fewer crowds than in the summer months. In fact, crowds are far fewer in Sequoia than in the well-known Yosemite.
It’s also when wildflowers bloom throughout much of the park.

Check the NPS site to make sure roads are open. The General Highway that connects Sequoia National Park with Kings Canyon opens on March 18.

Sequoia National Park has a lot of things to do! Look up at the General Sherman tree, the largest living thing on Earth. Drive through the Tunnel Tree, a giant sequoia that was tunneled through in 1937. Enjoy spring wildflowers on the Moro Rock Trail while hiking up to Moro Rock. Go snowshoeing on Giant Forest Road.

The weather in Sequoia National Park in March is milder than in the previous months.
In the foothills, you can expect the average high temperature to be 64°F (18°C) and the average low temperature to be 41°F (5°C).
The sequoia groves are higher so expect lower temperatures. The average high temperature in the groves is 46°F (8°C) and the average low temperature is 26°F (-3°C).

The closest airport to Sequoia National Park is Fresno Yosemite International Airport which is 1.5 hours of a drive away via CA-99 North. But if you’re looking for the closest airport in a major city, Los Angeles International Airport is 4.5 hours of drive via CA-65 South and I-5 South. Buckeye Tree Lodge is a top to stay in Sequoia NP!

Recommended by Rasika of Bae Area And Beyond

Plan your trip to the Sequoia National Park

Fly to the nearby airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Sequoia National Park!
Check out rental cars at Fresno Yosemite International Airpor, or Los Angeles International Airport Book your stay at Buckeye Tree Lodge

12. ZION NATIONAL PARK IN UTAH IN MARCH

Zion NP is one of the best national parks to visit in March in the US
Zion Np; Photo credit: 24 Hours Layover

Zion National Park is one of the most popular and beautiful US National Parks. It is full of stunning hiking trails and viewpoints and has mind-blowing unique scenery.

March is the perfect time to visit Zion. The crowds are yet to descend on the park so you can enjoy the hikes without too many people, the snow has started to melt – yet still lightly sprinkles the tops of mountains, and the early spring lighting is perfect for photography, especially at sunrise. In March the weather starts to warm up, with average daily highs of 62 F (17 C) and blue skies, making for comfortable hiking conditions.

Whilst you may get some showers in Zion in March, as typically 50mm of precipitation falls throughout the month of March, it is also common to have sunny days in Zion in March. Do bring layers though as the mornings and evenings can still be cold.

March is the perfect time of year to go on hikes that are too hot to do in summer. Whilst The Narrows hike is often inaccessible due to the risk of flash flooding, there are plenty of shorter hikes with breathtaking views such as Observation Point and Angels Landing you can do.
The shuttle bus begins to run in March, which will take you to the popular trailheads, and you won’t be fighting for a seat on the bus as it won’t be crowded like it is in the summer months.

Don’t forget to look out for baby wildlife in Zion in March! Look out for baby bighorn sheep, deer fawns, and wild turkey chicks, but never approach or get close to wildlife. 

The scenery in Zion is particularly stunning in March, so be sure to pull that camera out and get some great snaps!

The nearest airport to Zion National Park is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, 170 miles away. From there you can rent a car to get to Zion.

If you want to stay overnight, the nearest accommodation is Zion National Park Lodge – located right inside the National Park. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park is also a fabulous option for exploring Zion National Park.
Another benefit of visiting Zion in March is that the accommodation is cheaper than in peak season and there is more availability. If you visit in the summer you need to book your accommodation months before, but in March you can book much more last minute!

Recommended by Catrina of 24 Hours Layover

Plan your trip to Zion National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Zion National Park!
Check out car rentals at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas
Book your stay at SpringHill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park

13. ARCHES NATIONAL PARK IN UTAH IN MARCH

Arches NP is among the best national parks to visit in March
Arches NP; Photo credit: Unearth The Voyage

Arches National Park is one of the best national parks in the United States.

It’s located just outside of Moab in Utah and is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. It has beautiful desert landscapes, incredible hiking trails, and diverse scenery that you can see right from the side of the road.

March is a perfect month to visit Arches National Park because it is starting to warm up but the crowds are still slim compared to later on in the year.
In March you shouldn’t have any issues with hiking trails being icy/snowy, so you can still go hiking another plus is you don’t have to deal with the heat! The average temperatures in March are highs around 64 F (17 C) and lows around 32 F (0 C). 

There are lots of amazing things to do in Arches such as hiking, sightseeing, and stargazing. One of the best hiking trails is The Windows, where you can see multiple incredible Arches all in one short trail. Another great hike is Devil’s Garden, an 8-mile loop that takes you through some of the most incredible scenery in the whole park.
If you’re not into hiking, don’t worry! One of the top things to do is drive the scenic drive through the park and see all the sites right from the road. You also don’t want to miss an Arches National Park sunset, or the show the sky puts on a clear night. Arches NP is deemed a dark sky preserve, so you can see some pretty incredible stars

The best airport to fly into is Salt Lake City and rent a car to drive to Arches. The drive is around 3 hours and 30 minutes but it is a pretty scenic drive. 
When looking for a place to stay, Moab is the biggest town that is located only a few miles from the park. One of the best places to stay is the Hoodoo in Moab, a really nice hotel with great amenities. 

Recommended by Jessica of Unearth The Voyage

Plan your trip to Arches National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Arches National Park!
Check out rental cars at Salt Lake City Airport
Book your stay at Hoodoo in Moab

14. GREAT BASIN NP IN NEVADA

Great Basin NP is one of the best national parks to visit in March
Great Basin; Photo credit: She Dreams of Alpine

Great Basin National Park encompasses 77,000 acres of rugged landscape hidden away in eastern Nevada near the Utah border.

Though it is one of the least-visited national parks, it features incredible desert terrain along with some of the oldest trees in the world.

While conditions in March can vary drastically from sunny days to heavy snow, you’ll find seclusion in this special place and can still explore most of the awesome attractions. The average high temperature in Great Basin in March is 48°F (9°C), and an inch or two of snow or rain during the month is to be expected.

Luckily, one of the top highlights of THE Great Basin is the Lehman Caves, which offer a perfect shelter from any wintry weather you might encounter. The caves feature breathtaking limestone formations, and you’ll be surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites as you explore. The caves are open year-round, but the only way to check them out is on a ranger-guided tour. Reservations are required for the tours, which often sell out, and March is a great time to book a tour because they are less likely to fill up with fewer visitors in the park than during peak season.

Another must-see in Great Basin National Park is the bristlecone pine trees, which can be as old as 4,000 years old. There are several bristlecone groves in the park, and you can find them along the aptly-named Bristlecone Trail, a relatively easy hike that’s just under 3 miles round trip.

You’ll discover lots of wonderful hikes in Great Basin, from a loop along an alpine lake to a trail that leads to the foot of a glacier. While snow is likely to still be on the ground in March, you can explore the trails on snowshoes for a lovely experience.

The crowning jewel of Great Basin National Park is the 13,044-foot Wheeler Peak. While Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive will most likely be closed and winter mountaineering skills are required to reach the summit in March, you can still get jaw-dropping views of the peak along other trails in the park.

Great Basin National Park is really in the middle of nowhere, and the closest major airports – Salt Lake City and Las Vegas – are 4 to 5 hours away, respectively. A rental car is probably the best option to get to the park. The closest town to Great Basin is Baker, Nevada, which offers lodging including the Hidden Canyon Retreat and several Airbnb options.

Recommended by Allison of She Dreams of Alpine

Plan your trip to Great Basin National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Great Bas!
Check out rental cars at Salt Lake City Airport or McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas
Book your stay at Hidden Canyon Retreat

15. YOSEMITE NP IN CALIFORNIA

Yosemite NP is among the best national parks to visit in March
Yosemite NP; © World Travel Connector

Yosemite National Park is one of the best secrets when it comes to spring adventures in the US. 

With the park spanning over a 1200 square mile radius, there are hundreds of hikes and some incredible landmarks to see. 
Whilst Yosemite is famous for waterfalls, which are usually still frozen in March, there is plenty of other attractions to experience.

Yosemite’s weather is ideal for hiking during March, despite some snow on the ground in places, many trails are open. 
There are several popular hikes in the area, including Lower Falls, Cook’s Meadow, and Mirror Lake. Most of the hikes are kid-friendly for families visiting with little ones in tow.

Mariposa Grove is certainly worth a visit with over 500 sequoia trees, the oldest ones are over 2000 years old. It’s a little drive from Yosemite Valley but it’s worth it!
Pack a lunch since there are no restaurants along this route. The walk is dotted with rest stops perfect for a picnic.

An old church stands alone at Yosemite Valley and is usually covered in snow in March making it postcard perfect with the backdrop of rolling mountains. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Clark Point trails follow the famous Mist Trail. Stunning views of Yosemite are visible from Clark Point, making it another perfect hike in the month of March

No trip to Yosemite is complete without seeing the view through Tunnel View. The lighting is excellent at sunrise and the tunnel perfectly frames the infamous El Captain

Sentinel Bridge is another great place to capture photos. In particular Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and the Merced River can be captured all in one shot. 

A low of 34 F (1 C) and a high of 58 F (14 C) are typical in Yosemite in March.

San Francisco is the largest city close to Yosemite. Visitors from San Francisco to Yosemite use Highway 120 as the most direct route.
Yosemite can easily be visited from Los Angeles, San Diego, Death Valley, and Las Vegas.
Los Angeles, San Diego, Death Valley, and Las Vegas visitors use Highway 41 and enter via the South entrance.
For keen flyers, book a flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), or Fresno-Yosemite International Airport (FAT), the nearest airports to Yosemite.

Glamping in Yosemite is among the most popular things to do in the park.
There are many rental cabins in Yosemite. The cabins are just a short drive from the Valley. They come fully furnished, so all that is required is supplies.
Yosemite cabins are mostly found on its west side. Despite being close to the valley, they are tucked away enough to avoid its hustle and bustle.

However consider, staying at the stylish Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite, a favorite accommodation for families who visit Yosemite. It is only 45 min from the Yosemite Valley Visitors Center on the route from San Francisco to Yosemite.

Recommended by Karen of Travel Mad Mum

Plan your trip to Yosemite National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Yosemite NP!
Check out rental cars at Fresno-Yosemite International Airport (FAT, San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Oakland International Airport (OAK), or San Jose International Airport (SJC)
Book your stay at Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite

16. REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK IN CALIFORNIA IN MARCH

Redwood NP is among the best national parks to visit in March
Redwood NP; Photo credit: CS Ginger

If you’re looking for a memorable adventure, Redwood National and State Parks are ideal for travelers during the month of March.

This is one of the best national parks in California and one of the best national parks to visit in March. The combination of natural beauty and outdoor activities make these parks an ideal spot for an unforgettable vacation.

There are lots of great things to see and do while visiting the Redwoods in March, but here are some of the best.
Check out some of the hiking trails like Fern Canyon. The Redwoods offer miles of hiking trails that wind through lush forest canopies and meadows. From easy strolls through the trees to more challenging climbs up rocky hillsides, there is something for everyone.
Kayaking and canoeing down one of the many serene rivers that meander through the Redwoods can be a truly tranquil experience. You can rent kayaks or canoes from nearby outfitters or check out the  Hiouchi Visitor Center for more information.
The Redwood National Park is home to numerous wildlife species, including black bears, bald eagles, river otters, elk, and more. Nature lovers will have plenty of opportunities to find wildlife here!  

The average temperature in March is around 50 F (10 C), with highs in the low 60s F (15-17 C) during the day and lows at night dipping down into the mid-40s F (7-8 C). Rainfall averages around 4 inches, so pack for wet weather.

The closest airport is Medford Airport (MFR), located in Rogue Valley. It is about a 3-hour drive, and you can then rent a car right from the airport. For accommodations, check out Emerald Forest Cabins & RV, or camping options inside the park a the National Park Service website.

Recommended by Candice of CS Ginger

Plan your trip to Redwood National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Redwood NP!
Check out rental cars at Medford Airport (MFR)
Book your stay at Emerald Forest Cabins & RV

17. BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK IN SOUTH DAKOTA

Badlands NP is among the best national parks to visit in March
Badlands NP in South Dakota

Most people don’t think of visiting South Dakota in the shoulder seasons, but that’s exactly why the Badlands is one of the best national parks to visit in March.

Badlands National Park feels like another planet – the endless plains of the Midwest abruptly stop and turn into a sea of jagged sandstone rock formations. 

The park is most popular in the summer, but that’s also when temperatures can soar in this barren place. And South Dakota is prone to brutal winter weather.
The weather is still chilly but mild in March and the crowds are nonexistent. You’ll be able to explore this otherworldly landscape all on your own.

For hikers, there are several excellent trails in the park. The Notch Trail is only 1.5 miles but hikers get to climb up a log ladder and then walk along a cliff before reaching a stunning overlook. The Door Trail takes hikers out into the canyon itself.

For more leisurely visitors, the Badlands Loop Road connects the east and west entrances of the North Unit and has multiple overlooks along the way. The Sage Rim Road is one of the best places to see wildlife – you’ll drive past herds of buffalo, big-horned sheep, multiple prairie dog villages, and even a lone coyote or two.

The average temperatures in March range from a high of 50 F (10 C) to a low of 26 F (-3), with a slight chance of snow. 

The closest airport is in Rapid City, just 55 miles from the park. Rent a car at the airport and head to explore Badlands NP in March! That’s also the most convenient airport for Mount Rushmore and all of the Black Hills attractions. Rapid City is also the best place to stay the night as there are not any hotels around the park. The 3-star Best Western Plus Rapid City Rushmore is a top-rated hotel in Rapid City.

No matter what time of year you visit though, the Badlands is a must-visit part of any Midwest roadtrip itinerary!

Recommended by Maggie of Pink Caddy Travelogue

Plan your trip to Badlands National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Badlands NP!
Check out rental cars at Rapid City Airport
Book your stay at Best Western Plus Rapid City Rushmore

18. BRYCE CANYON NP IN UTAH

Bryce NP in Utah is among the best national parks to visit in march
Bryce NP; Photo credit: Parks Collecting

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is home to thousands of amazing hoodoos.

These are free-standing sandstone pillars, and with thousands of them crowded together, they make an alien-like environment like nowhere else you will ever see. The largest concentration of hoodoos is in the main Bryce Amphitheater.  

March is still winter in Bryce Canyon, and the national park is typically covered in snow. Not only are there a lot fewer visitors at this time of year, the canyon, with the hoodoos draped in snowy cloaks, is arguably at its most beautiful.  

There are four major viewpoints in Bryce Amphitheater (Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, and Bryce Points), and admiring the views from all these vantage points is the number one thing to do there. 

Although not all trails are open, if you have microspikes, you can still hike many of the trails. Getting down below the rim of the canyon, surrounded by the hoodoos, is an other-worldly experience you will never forget. It is especially magical when there is snow

Other top things to do in Bryce Canyon are to take a guided snowshoe hike with a park ranger during the day and to star gaze at night. Bryce Canyon is an officially designated Dark Sky Park, so this is one of the best places in the country to see the stars and the Milky Way. 

Average temperatures in March typically range from 23°F (-5°C) to 45°F (7°C), so dress warmly.

The nearest commercial airport is Cedar City Regional Airport, and you will need to rent a car and drive from there to the national park. It’s just under two hours away

Consider staying at Bryce Canyon Villas in Cannonville. The motel is one of the most popular and best-rated accommodations among Bryce Canyon visitors.

Recommended by James Ian of Parks Collecting 

Plan your trip to Bryce Canyon National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Bryce Canyon NP!
Check out rental cars at Cedar City Regional Airport.
Book your stay at Bryce Canyon Villas

19. CONGAREE NP IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Congaree NP is among the best national parks to visit in march
Congaree NP; Photo credit: Places Allow Pets

South Carolina has many dog-friendly beaches and parks, and Congaree National Park is the largest national park in SC.

This protected forest receives its name from the Congaree river that flows through it. The park is home to the United States’ largest stretch of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest.
Hence, it’s an ecologically enriched area with many unique natural features. The park encompasses an area of more than 26,000 acres. You can find some of the tallest trees in the country here.

During March, Congaree experiences a warmer temperature favorable for exploring the forest. Mosquitoes are also relatively less at this time. There can be slight flooding of the rivers during March, but it makes the forest more enchanting and offers a unique view.

The national park offers nature-friendly activities for people of all ages. Kayaking or canoeing in the Congaree or Wateree Rivers is the most popular activity here. It’s the best way to see the forest from within. 

Hike lovers can enjoy the most here as the Congaree National Park has ten well-marked hiking trails. Some of these trails have easy routes and shorter distances. Some are difficult as they pass through flood-affected areas. 

Fishing is another popular activity that visitors opt for in this park. Fishing is allowed within the park with a valid South Carolina fishing license.
There are two camping grounds within the forest. Visitors can reserve a spot in advance in either Longleaf Campground or Bluff Campground to experience a night in the wilderness. Only tents and hammocks are allowed.

The park experiences a decent amount of rainfall throughout the year. The average daily temperature during March is 68°F (20°C) maximum and 43°F (6°C) minimum.

The Columbia Metropolitan Airport is the closest airport to the park. It’s located at a distance of 30 minutes. A cab from the airport will take you directly to the national park. Or rent a car and head to explore that park independently.

You can stay in the forest by camping or head to the nearest town of Columbia for accommodation options. Cambria Hotel and Holiday Inn Express and Suites are two Columbia hotels closer to the park.

Recommended by Ruma of Places Allow Pets

Plan your trip to Congaree National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Congaree NP!
Check out rental cars at Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Book your stay at Cambria Hotel, or Holiday Inn Express and Suites

20. WHITE SANDS NP IN NEW MEXICO

White Sands NP is among the best national parks to visit in march USA
White Sands NP; Photo credit: Nomadicated

Nestled in the Tularosa Basin of Southern New Mexico, warmer temperatures make White Sands National Park one of the best US parks to visit in March.

Protecting over 275 square miles of glittering gypsum sand dunes, White Sands only became an official national park in 2019. Visitors come from around the world to experience the encompassing view of a dazzling white desert landscape.

March is the perfect month to experience White Sands National Park – with pleasant temperatures for leisurely hikes and exploring. The days are typically mild, averaging around 71°F (22°C), while the nighttime lows are around 33°F (1ºC).
As an added bonus, March is one of the region’s driest months. Just keep in mind that due to its popularity as a travel destination, March can be quite crowded!

The White Sands Visitor Center provides a small museum exhibit, daily sunset tours led by knowledgeable rangers, and rentals for sleds to explore the dunes. There’s no single perfect viewing spot; instead, traverse through several dunes to find the ground undisturbed by humans.

Don’t miss driving the entirety of Dunes Drive—a looping route with diverse vegetation on both sides of you. Even though it looks like a desert habitat, White Sands National Park’s unique habitat provides a sanctuary for more than 800 species of animals and plants adapted to the desert environment.

For photographers, White Sands National Park is a dreamscape of ever-changing colors. Witness the majestic transformation from white to golden to pink and blue hues as sunlight shifts over these stunning dunes throughout the day.

If you plan to fly, El Paso International Airport is the closest major airport, but still 102 miles away. From there, the park is easily accessible via US Highway 70, 15 miles from the town of Alamogordo and 50 miles away from Las Cruces. 

Choose to camp at Alamogordo / White Sands KOA Journey, or stay comfortably in one of the local hotels like the White Sands Motel or Home2 Suites By Hilton Alamogordo.

Recommended by Catherine of Nomadicated

Plan your trip to White Sands National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore White Sands NP!
Check out rental cars at El Paso International Airport
Book your stay at White Sands Motel, or Home2 Suites By Hilton Alamogordo

21. OLYMPIC NP IN WASHINGTON

Olympic NP is among the best mational parks to visit in March
Sea Stack on Rialto Beach in Olympic NP; Photo credit: Wheatless Wanderlust

Tucked away at the northwest corner of the contiguous United States is one of America’s most diverse National Parks.

Within the boundaries of Olympic National Park, you’ll find roaring waterfalls, the coastal temperate rainforest, snow-capped rocky peaks, and rugged rocky beaches

There are two reasons why March is a good time to visit Olympic NP
First is the weather. Unlike other national parks in the Pacific Northwest, which are mostly inaccessible during the winter and spring due to snow, Olympic NP is accessible year-round. Especially the lower elevation sections along the coast and in the rainforest. It will be wet – this part of the state gets a substantial amount of rainfall – with temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s F (4 – 5 C), but it’s still accessible.
Second is the crowds. Recently, the park has seen record numbers of visitors each successive summer. On a summer morning, it’s not uncommon to have to wait an hour or more to enter the Hoh Rainforest as cars line up at the parking lot entrance. However, in March, the crowds are far, far thinner, and you’ll be able to enjoy the solitude of the rainforest without the ambient noise that comes with hundreds of other humans enjoying it at the same time. 

Make sure to hike out on Rialto Beach to Hole-in-the-Wall, with its trademark driftwood and sea stacks. The short beach walk is one of the best things to do in Olympic National Park. If you’re looking for two other picturesque beaches in this vicinity, head out to Second Beach and Ruby Beach

The Hoh Rainforest is one of the best examples of the coastal temperate rainforest that thrives in the Pacific Northwest thanks to all the moisture. Thick mosses and bright green ferns cover every surface, from the ground to the trees.
The Hall of Mosses is a short, informative loop through the rainforest with signage talking about the ecosystem, but it’s worth going a bit further and hiking a portion of the Hoh River Trail to escape the crowds and venture deeper into the rainforest. 

If you’re looking for waterfalls, the Sol Duc Valley in the northern section of the park is where you should head. There are two short hikes here that take you to some of the best waterfalls in the stateMarymere Falls (which leaves from the shores of Lake Crescent, which is also worth a visit) and Sol Duc Falls

To get to Olympic NP, you’re going to want to fly to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and rent a car. The drive will take two hours or so, depending on traffic.
Forks and Port Angeles are the main cities along the boundaries of the park and are the two best options in terms of lodging. Hoh Valley Cabins in Fork and Olympic Lodge by Ayres in Port Angeles are the most popular options.
Recommended by Matt of Wheatless Wanderlust

Plan your trip to Olympic National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Olympic NP!
Check out rental cars at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Book your stay at Hoh Valley Cabins, or Olympic Lodge by Ayres

22. CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK IN MARCH

Capitol Reef NP in Utah is among the best national parks to visit in March
Capitol Reef NP in Utah

Capitol Reef National Park is one of the best National Parks to visit in March.

Located in Utah, it is the least visited park of the “Mighty 5,” but nevertheless, it is an exceptional park to visit. It is located in Torrey, which is a bit off the beaten path, but easy to work into a Utah road trip. 

March is an awesome time to visit Capitol Reef because the weather will be chilly but perfect for hiking and it is right before the peak summertime crowds. You will be able to get a better deal on hotels and the trails will not be at all crowded

One of the best hikes in Capitol Reef is the Cassidy Arch trail. This 3.4-mile round-trip hike offers some spectacular views of the park and Cassidy Arch. Another neat trail to take is the Grand Wash trail. This 2.2-mile (each way) trail takes you through the narrow section of the park with some slot canyons. 

If you want more of an adventure, opt to take the Sulphur Creek trail which can be done in different lengths. The most popular thing to do in the park is to grab some pies from the Gifford House! What flavors they have change depending on the season as all fruit is harvested from the park. 

Weather in March is usually around 55 F (13 C) with little rain. It makes for the best hiking weather. 

The three closest airports to Capitol Reef are Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Moab. Moab is the closest airport, but Salt Lake City is usually the cheapest. From there, you will need to rent a car to get the rest of the way to the park. 

Torrey, Utah has a collection of hotels to stay in. The Red Sands Resort and the Capitol Reef Resort are two of the more popular options. At the Capitol Reef Resort, you can even opt to stay in a covered wagon or a teepee. There are also a few campgrounds within the park.

Recommended by Francesca of Homeroom Travel

Plan your trip to Capitol Reef National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Capitol Reef NP!
Check out car rentals at Salt Lake City International Airport, or McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
Book your stay at Red Sands Resort and the Capitol Reef Resort

23. HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK ON MAUI IN MARCH

Haleakala NP is one of the best national parks in March
Haleakala craters on Maui

Haleakala National Park, located on Maui, is quite diverse, offering the chance to explore rugged coastlines, bamboo forests, and perhaps most famously, the summit of the world’s largest dormant volcano

March is a fabulous time to visit Maui – you’ll get to enjoy peak humpback whale season and you’ll get to escape the last cold weather days from the mainland, with Maui’s balmy temperatures. While you may find a handful of rainy days sprinkled throughout your visit, daily highs are typically low to mid-80s (around 27 C)!

One of the best things to do in the park is to drive up to the volcano’s summit and explore some of the hiking trails there, like the Keonehe’ehe’e Trail, which takes you down into the crater of the volcano or Pa Ka’oao Trail, which provides panoramic views of the summit.
If you prefer to get around on wheels, another popular activity is to whiz down the 21 switchbacks that lead up to the summit on a bicycle, offering incredible vistas of Maui’s impossibly green highlands below.

If you can swing it, be sure to time your visit in the late afternoonwatching the sunset above the clouds at Haleakala is beyond magical! Additionally, the summit is one of the best places on the planet for stargazing, thanks to its elevation and limited light pollution. Just make sure to include a puffer coat and a beanie on your Hawaii packing list if you’re planning on staying once the sun goes down- it can get quite literally freezing at the summit, thanks to the staggering elevation. 

While the park is most famous for its volcanic landscape, it also has a section on the eastern side of Maui, the Kīpahulu District, which is only accessible via the Hana Highway. The most famous hike in this section is the Pīpīwai Trail, which leads you through a bamboo forest and past stunning waterfalls.

To reach the park, fly into Kahului Airport on the northern side of the island and consider booking accommodations in the small surfer town of Paia, like the Paia Inn. Not only does the town have a laid-back, artsy vibe, but you’ll be conveniently located both to the national park and to the start of the iconic Road to Hana.

Recommended by Jessica of Uprooted Traveler

Plan your trip to Haleakala National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Haleakala NP!
Check out rental cars at Kahului Airport
Book your stay at Paia Inn

24. SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK IN VIRGINIA IN MARCH

Shenandoah is the best national parks to visit in March
Shenandoah NP; Photo credit:

Shenandoah National Park is a wonderful park to experience miles and miles of hiking trails, gorgeous views, waterfalls, wildlife, and all over spectacular scenery, and March is a fantastic month to visit the park.

Spring is making its appearance, with green grass, leafing trees, and fields of wildflowers. Animals are waking up after a long winter and are more active.
Take a drive along the famed Skyline Drive, where you’ll get spectacular vistas from the many viewpoints you can stop at.
There are tons of trails available to hike in Shenandoah, including 101 miles of the famed Appalachian Trail. Some great trails include Lands Run Falls, a trail to a waterfall; Pass Mountain Loop, a hike past beautiful meadows; and Tanners Ridge Road, a level hike along the Appalachian Trail to an old homestead.
Spring is also a great time for birdwatching! The birds are out and about, with many visiting species heading through the park on their northern migration, so don’t forget your binoculars. As the animals are becoming more active, it’s a great time for wildlife viewing and photography. Animals are most often spotted at dawn and dusk. Make sure to keep a safe distance while watching wildlife in their natural habitat.

March has variable weather. It could be very warm and sunny one day, it could snow another day. Make sure to check the forecast before your trip, and be prepared when you’re out and about, especially on hikes. Generally, the temperatures are around the upper 40s (9C) and drop below freezing at night.

To get to Shenandoah National Park, you can fly into a regional airport like Shenandoah Valley (SHD) or Charlottesville-Albemarle (CHO) which are the closest to the park, or into Washington Dulles (IAD) which is about 55 miles away from the park. There are four entrances to the park. If you want to stay in the park, check out Skyland or Big Meadows Lodge, two popular lodges inside the park that put nature literally on your doorstep. 

Recommended by Megan of Virginia Travel Tips

Plan your trip to Shenandoah National Park

Fly to the airport, rent a car at the airport, and head to explore Shenandoah NP!
Check out rental cars ar Washington Dulles
Book your stay at Skyland, or Big Meadows Lodge

MAP OF THE BEST US NATIONAL PARKS TO VISIT IN MARCH

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