A vacation ahead? We know the feeling! Pretty excited to relax, explore and learn about new things, aren’t you? Well, do you know that many people like discussing or being with nature? Many people think it is the best way to relax and spend their vacation in a meaningful way. So national parks are always on the top of the vacation bucket lists. Today, we will share some exciting facts about the best us national parks to visit in December. Same as you, we are also excited to share the details as spending a vacation in the right way is a pleasure!
Why do you think people like to take their long-awaited vacations in December? Well, there are reasons. For most people, December is the end of a hectic year. So many wishes to have a break from work and the busy schedules and plan to spend more time with their loved ones. Also, it’s the best time of the year when people get ready to celebrate the season and the dawn of the new year. So with all these around the corner, people mentally and physically expect family time. Therefore, people unofficially spend their vacations in December in almost all countries and cultures. They usually take an extended break from their busy routines. So, the holidays are well planned to spend in the most meaningful ways.
National parks to visit in December
For all the nature lovers, here is some good news! We thought it was a must to share some exciting facts about the most famous national parks on the top for next December to explore.
There are several parks worldwide listed as the best national parks in December. Below are the details of a few of the topmost parks in the U.S.
Everglades National Park
The Everglades is a unique national park to visit in Winter. It is located in Florida, US. Many people call this park in December.
But in Winter, the Everglades gets a dry season from early December till late April or early May. Most of the time, it is humidity, and the weather is overall more comfortable. As it is the dry season, the skies are also more transparent.
During this time of the year, water levels in the lakes are lower. The animals like alligators are a common site peeping through the watering holes and sloughs. It is relatively easy to spot them when you walk around the park. If you’re an alligator lover and wish to see them more, visiting Everglades in December is the best thing you could do.
You can also spot a lot of varieties of birds, especially the ones that migrate during this time of the year. Birds from the north migrate to this part of Florida for the Winter. You will be greeted with heaps of varying wildlife, making your trip to the Everglades in Winter exciting and adventurous.
Dry Tortugas National Park
If you are an adventure lover and looking to take your chances at a national park in December, this is a riskier one. Dry Tortugas National Park is situated in Florida. Usually, the weather here is so unpredictable. But, if you get there and the weather collaborates, you’re lucky and in for a real treat.
It is pretty exciting to travel to Dry Tortugas by boat from Key West. You can organize your tour before getting there or risking it and book once there -don’t worry- December in Key West isn’t too busy. This park is known as one of the U.S.’s most remote national parks.
But remember, Hurricanes usually hit this area from June until November. So, there cannot be any storms in December. But be on the watch that winter storms sometimes happen, and seas can be rough. Be flexible with your travel itinerary if you wish to visit Dry Tortugas National Park in December.
One of the most significant advantages of visiting Dry Tortugas in Winter is that there will be fewer people. Apart from that, plenty of birds migrate from the north, and birdwatching is a fantastic experience at the park.
Joshua Tree National Park
December in Joshua Tree National Park is excellent due to high temperatures. This park is located in South California. You see fewer crowds and abundant sunshine in December. You should be at the Joshua Tree if you want to explore the best views of dusty walks on a winter day. Also, its unique landscapes and the chances to stargaze on chilly nights in the park are the unique experiences you can collect.
Did you know that Joshua Tree is also home to a vast range of wildlife, including bird species, reptile species, and mammal species? The common species that you can see most are the desert tortoise, bobcats, white-tail antelope, coyotes, kangaroo rats, and ground squirrels.
Prepare for the high temperature, as desert temperatures are all about extremes. You won’t believe that it may feel warm throughout the day; it gets freezing at night. It’s even worse in Winter. So, remember you dress warmly if you plan to camp at the park. This park is one of the best national parks to visit in December.
Death Valley National Park
If you wish to visit the national parks in Southern California, Nevada, December is the perfect time to visit Death Valley, National Park. Winter brings more relaxed and more controllable temperatures as compared to summer. The park also has the least crowds during this time of the year. That makes it perfect for exploring all outdoor activities and enjoying the experience to the maximum.
Death Valley provides a suitable habitat for more traditional wildlife such as badgers, cottontails, bobcats, bighorn sheep, coyotes, and gophers. If you are lucky, you can see mountain lions in the nearby mountains within the park. Mountain lions are one of the occasional winter visitors in the desert oases.
The best is to visit the Death Valley National Park in California and Nevada in December to experience the best parts of this unique national park. The park offers exciting activities like abundant hiking and stargazing to keep you active and entertained.
Zion National Park
In the Winter, Zion National Park in southwest Utah is famous because its daytime temperature is warm. The park is usually less crowded in December, allowing you to experience nature while breathing in the fresh winter air all by yourself!
You can well Experience the beauty and solitude of Zion in December through hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, photography, and many more great activities. You will also see incredible landscapes dusted in snow.
You can spot the mountain lions, canyon wrens, tortoises, peregrine falcons, eastern collared lizards, and northern Pacific rattlesnakes in the Weeping Rock Area. Because of the land’s cape’s elevation makes it easier for you to spot the wildlife. It is known as one of the best winter national parks.
Grand Canyon National Park
If you love watching Bison, you should not miss the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. In Winter, do you dream of getting blown away by the unique snow-covered landscape at Grand Canyon National Park? December is ideal as it is the best time to travel to national parks. It is due to fewer crowds, the coolest temperatures, and clear skies.
You can Visit viewpoints via the park shuttle to see the canyons. We recommend walking to the shuttle point as it beats driving in the snow. But keep in mind that only two shuttle routes are operational during the Winter: the Kaibab Rim Route and the Village Route.
Also, don’t forget to experience the herds of Bison in the North Rim area of the park. But It’s not easy to spot other wildlife at the park as they hardly get out of their hiding places during Winter. But there is a higher chance of seeing ravens, Albert’s squirrels, elk, and California’s condors in the nearby ponderosa pine forest and along the rim. It is also one of the best national parks in Winter.
Yosemite National Park
December is the ideal time to visit Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada in California. Yosemite Park is less crowded in December. So, you will be able to explore many wintery activities, starting from cross-country skiing to ice-skating. So make sure to add this to your list of national parks to visit in Winter!
For adventure lovers and hikers, Yosemite is a dream come true. The park has the most breathtaking high alpine hiking and fantastic scenery. You can take some of the steepest trails, such as Snow Creek, which goes through Yosemite Valley, and the North Rim, which is known to have the best views of Half Dome. Snow Creek is open throughout the year, and it has become a more popular trail for backpackers in Winter.
The park is home to various animals, a unique feature, and a natural part of the Yosemite landscape. You may Catch a glimpse of mountain lions in Yosemite’s mountains and valleys. American black bears, coyotes, skunks, and a dozen species of butterflies can be seen in the Pine Campgrounds and meadows.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The best time to explore the Great Smoky Mountains is in December. The most stunning feature in the park is the snow and crystallization of the water. Do you know how excellent Hiking in Winter in the Great Smoky Mountains is?
During this time, all the trails in the park are lined with snow. Most of these trails lead to marvelous views of the snow-covered mountains. Other tracks may lead you to stunning frozen waterfalls. It is a lifetime experience, we would say!
Among the most common animals the Black bears, woodchucks, raccoons, elks, and white-tailed deer are the most common. Most of these animals can be seen in open areas like Cades Cove and Cataloochee. Spotting wild animals in spring and summer is not easy because most of the park is covered by thick forests. You can easily spot non-hibernating animals in Winter since deciduous trees have lost their leaves.
Denali National Park & Preserve
Situated in Alaska, the Denali National Park & Preserve is a perfect winter getaway in December. But Much of the park’s roads are closed. The only way to explore the park during Winter is to use cross-country skiing and snowshoeing along numerous trails.
While enjoying the winter sports at the park in December, you will also enjoy the magical view of the snow-covered mountains and landscapes in a calm and beautiful environment.
It’s possible to view wildlife at Denali National Park in Winter. Most of the animals in this landscape are well-adapted to life in the subarctic. If you need to know the time-Dawn and dusk are usually the best times to view caribou, moose, wolves, and Dall’s sheep during Winter. It is one of the best national parks to visit in November and December.
Do dear readers, if you were thinking of Which National Park is best for December? We hope you got a whole lot of answers above.
But did you know that other parks are warm as well? Let s find out what they are.
Which National Park is warm in December?
Dear explorers, below are some of the most famous parks as the warmest parks in December.
- Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
- Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in North Carolina and Tennessee.
- Zion National Park, Utah
The temperature of these parks is higher than the other forest parks. So, if you are willing to explore any of these parks, make sure to be ready to experience the harsh weather.
Best winter national parks
several national parks are famous as the best places to visit during Winter. Here we are with some fascinating information about some of them.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico
If you love to see the famous, striking limestone creations at Carlsbad Caverns, you should visit the caverns national park. These have often been compared to floating underground jellyfish or alcoves full of goblins and fairies—however, you interpret them, they’re mysterious. The most important thing about visiting this New Mexico location in the winter months is that the cave stays at 56 degrees Fahrenheit despite rain or shine. You can even enjoy the Ranger-led tours that are available year-round. The visitors can choose to check out the Natural Entrance and Big Room Trails independently. For those looking to check yet another winter-friendly park off their list, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the best.
Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii
Dear readers, this national park is extraordinary due to the mythical story behind this. The name itself means “house of the sun” from the legend that the demigod Maui once roped a star and pulled it closer to Earth to make the days last longer. Also, the Haleakalā National Park centers around the resting, high-altitude volcano by the same name. Sliding Sands Trail is considered The crown jewel of the park; its landscape is stunning and colorful with its rust-hued rocks, endangered silver sword, and cinder cones. If you like to relax and enjoy the view from afar, you should reserve the sunrise from the mountain’s summit. You can pack a breakfast to enjoy at the Leleiwi Overlook once the sun is up. Then you can chill out near the beach at one of Maui’s exquisite hotels.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Joshua Tree national park has long been at the center of hippie-culture folklore. It is considered the hub for creatives looking to escape So Cal’s big cities. The park itself is a center for world-class rock climbers. It also offers scenic drives and family-friendly hiking trails that any visitor can enjoy. There is more to do after exploring the Cholla Cactus Garden and cycling up the large, monzogranite rocks along Arch Rock Nature Trail. You can settle in for some epic stargazing at The Rowan in Palm Springs or a nearby Hip Camp if you prefer to rough it.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Mount Rainier is famous as the U.S.’s most glaciated peak. It always looks like a winter wonderland, even in the boiling heat of summer. But a visit to this stratovolcano during the winter months means much more fun. You are more accessible to snow play if you visit in Winter. The road to the park’s gorgeous Paradise area is open all day during the season. After a winding scenic drive through the sparkling, snow-covered pines, you can join a ranger-guided snowshoe walk. Finally, you can sip the lovely afternoon tea in front of a crackling fire at the historic National Park Inn. It is the park’s only year-round lodging.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
If you wondered, Bryce Canyon’s red hoodoos are beautiful; imagine them covered in glittering white snow. During the winter months, photographers from everywhere in the country gather at that park’s majestic Sunrise and Sunset Points. They would capture the fading light as it traveled across the rocky mountain peaks. Get your microspikes or snowshoes ready and travel between the two points on the Rim Trail. Then you can warm up on a beautiful driveway to Rainbow Point. The lodging and accommodation are superb at one of the area’s great hotels, like a tiny house built in a shipping container just 20-minutes by car from the park.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina, and Tennessee
If you think getting out in nature during an East Coast winter means shivering, you have got it wrong. The park has lovely cool weather to explore the beautiful surrounding.
Half the season, At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the days will have a high temperature. It is the perfect weather for hiking the park’s more than 800 miles of trails. You can start the day by taking in the views at Newfound Gap. It’s nestled on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. You can then hike to craggy Alum Cave or explore the old-timey wooden structures at Cades Cove. Stargazing by the fire at Cades Cove Campground at night is a pure retreat.
Zion National Park, Utah
Zion’s national park is famous for its sandstone walls which are often eclipsed by tourist throngs from spring through Fall, with 4.5 million people swishing into the 15-mile-long Canyon each year. But with the light falling of snow, the rust-colored cliffs. The trail takes on a magical quality, and often crowded spots like Canyon Overlook become mob-free. The best experience is that the Winter travelers can savor slow mornings. Relaxing and sipping coffee in a cozy western cabin at Xanterra’s centrally-located Zion Lodge is one of the most blissful moments you will enjoy.
What national park closes in the Winter?
Usually, all the national parks operate as usual for Winter but with slight changes in their regular schedules. They may close early if there’s heavy snowing or might shut down for a shorter period due to bad weather. Also, there are chances that some winter activities might get cancelled. And sometimes, the management of these national parks may shut down certain tracks or fruits due to the risky weather conditions. But still, most of the parks operate as usual. Only one national park is reported to be fully closed each Winter.
It is Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park! This park covers the entirety of a 45-mile-long island in Lake Superior.
Isle Royale is one of the least visited in the U.S. due to its location. But surprisingly, it is also the National Park with the most significant repeat visitors. The island entirely shuts down every year from November 1 to April 15 as the winter weather conditions of Lake Superior make it too dangerous for visitors. Also, you can only get to Isle Royale by boat or seaplane. The management banns all the wheeled vehicles, including the bicycles.
Best national parks to visit by month
dear readers, this is an exciting section of the discussion. Here we go with some interesting facts about many other national parks that you could visit by the month. It is surprising, right? But believe us, there are nature lovers who visit the national parks every month. Below are some of the interesting facts about such parks.
Everglades National Park
Most people visit this park in March. The weather is a crucial issue for most of the year in Florida, and the high temperatures, the hurricane season, and humidity levels add to it. The area in which the park is located gets a great deal of rain and has an official hurricane season.
But it gets settled a little in the late Winter and early spring months.
When the weather is excellent, there’s relatively little rain. Everglades is a perfect selection for a March visit when you decide on the best national parks to visit by month. March is known as one of the busiest times to visit the Everglades.
Shenandoah National Park
If you are wondering which park would be ideal for visiting in April, the best is Shenandoah National Park. The trees start to bloom again after the long cold Winter. The animals are active, and the environment’s beauty is significantly different. As this park has a dozen hiking trails, springtime or the period around April is the best time to explore it.
White Sands National Park
As one of the smaller, less crowded national parks, White Sands is one of the best parks to visit in June. May is beautiful with many flowers blooming, and the weather too is lovely for hiking. Though the daytime is warm, the nights are pretty cool.
This park is more famous for its scenic beauty. So, people love to hike. There are five marked trails related to the park.
Acadia National Park
Maine’s Acadia National Park is one of the busiest parks in the U.S., but not necessarily in June. Many schools are not finishing for the summer until early June, and temperatures are just starting to reach up. Acadia national park will not have many visitors till June and august.
In June, the park is also fully functioning, and the wildflowers are in full bloom, blanketing hillsides in bright pops of color.
There are a lot of different activities to keep you busy in Acadia National Park in June, including hiking, biking, and water activities such as kayaking or boat tours. You can drive along the scenic loop road, explore some historic lighthouses, and remember not to miss sunrise at Cadillac Mountain. It’s the first in the continental U.S.! But you should also not forget that early summer means biting bugs. Pack plenty of bug spray, and you should be fine!
Yellowstone National Park
If you plan a trip in July, the Yellowstone National Park is the best.
Yellowstone is one of the ideal national parks to visit in the summer because of the incredible diversity. It is the best place to spot Bison, grizzly bears, moose, and wolves migrating among geysers. Also, it is fantastic to see the massive waterfalls, lakes, rivers, dense forests, and mountain peaks.
The wildlife and geographic features in Yellowstone are unique in any season. But summer is the only season where you experience all of it at once and honestly appreciate this incredible wonder.
Glacier National Park
Glacier, in north-western Montana, is one of the parks that you can visit any time of the year! But the month of August is ideal for getting the whole park experience as this is one of the warm national parks in Winter.
Glacier National Park spreads over two distinct areas. The West Glacier and East Glacier, which the Continental Divide separates.
It would help if you did not miss Going-to-the-Sun Road, a spectacular two-lane highway. It connects both sides of the park and is one of the most stunning drives in the country; the sad part is that it’s not open throughout the year due to heavy snowfall. If you wish to go along this road, remember it doesn’t open until early July and closes for the year by mid-September.
Grand Canyon National Park
Did you know that the Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World? The most suitable time to explore this park is the month of September. During this time, the weather is ideal for experiencing the eye-catching gorgeous desert sunrises and sunsets.
Most travelers like Autumn’s warm days and cool nights, ideal for hiking, camping, rafting, or kayaking on the Colorado River. And Fall is the minor rainy season in the Grand Canyon. But the weather is more unpredictable as Winter reaches closer.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains is a fantastic destination throughout the year. Also, It is one of the best year-round national parks. But the best time is October. Fall is the best period in which the weather is beautiful, with warm days and cool nights. And the park is less crowded, and most visitors would like this time as it is the best time to relax.
The spectacular show of changing fall foliage is the key attraction. The park’s trees turn color from high to low, which is a fantastic sight to see. The peak of these colors tends to be in mid to late October.
It would help if you did not miss Driving anywhere through the park as it is a must. But for the best views, drive Foothills Parkway and Clingmans Dome Road.
Big Bend National Park
If you plan a tour in November, do not miss the Big Bend national park, which lies on the international border between the U.S. and Mexico in west Texas.
The location is a remote but stunningly beautiful area and has a little of everything: mountains, high and low desert terrain, and of course, the mighty Rio Grande River.
Big Bend is a paradise for adventures like hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, camping, riding a horse, stargazing, or going birdwatching throughout the year.
The park offers plenty of water recreation, with opportunities to kayak, canoe, or go rafting. Please note that you need a passport for any water activities at Big Bend because the river acts as the international border.
Death Valley National Park
There is a lot to explore in Death Valley National Park. The best time to visit the place is in December. You can hike, drive 1,000 miles along the beautiful scenic roads, explore volcanic craters, see the beautiful wildflower blooms in the spring, climb dunes, and more.
The best is to explore in the winter months, as Death Valley’s extreme conditions make it unsafe and unpredictable to be outside for much of the year. That is why it’s one of the best national parks to visit in December.
Arches National Park & Canyonlands National Park
Arches and Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah, are the best national park to visit in January.
Located in southern Utah, this is one of the best national parks to visit in the Winter because of the mild weather. This park doesn’t have much off-season, attracting off-roading enthusiasts and hikers year-round.
If you are hoping to go on the trek to Arches and Canyonlands, you may consider making an extended road trip and visiting Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef. If you wonder which one is the best to stay in December, you are with the best option!
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is an all-time park, but it’s ideal for visiting in February for several reasons.
Visiting early in the season means you can ski or snowshoe. If you are interested, February is also the only time you can see Firefall, a unique natural phenomenon. But note that weather conditions need to be perfect for Firefall to occur and because of the event’s wild popularity in recent years.
So dear travelers and adventure lovers, I hope this long article was not boring! The facts we shared should have covered and cleared all your concerns and doubts about traveling to experience the national parks. So we hope the points we shared gave you a clear picture of what should and should not follow as everything is set now; why wait! Pack your baggage and get ready to enjoy the journey! Good luck!