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18 Absolute BEST National Parks to Visit in March (that are Actually Amazing)

The ground is beginning to thaw, the flowers are starting to bloom, and road trip season is just around the corner! March is a great time to get outside and visit some of the natural wonders right here in the United States. From hiking in the desert to marveling at volcanic rock, here are the very best national parks to visit in March!

best national parks to visit in March views of the Grand Canyon landscapes of red grey and tan canyon on partly cloudy sky
Of course the Grand Canyon made this list!

This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, see my disclosures.

You picked a great time to explore, too! Springtime is one of my very favorite times to travel because there’s fewer people traveling national parks compared to the busy summer season.

Visiting the best national parks in March offers a unique experience with less crowds, allowing for a more intimate connection with nature and stunning landscapes. Plus, the early spring often brings mild weather, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities like as hiking and wildlife observation.

Whether you’re exploring the outdoors solo, with your significant other, or taking a spring break to national parks with kids, you’ll find some inspiration on this list!

Best national parks to visit in March

view of the smoky mountains green treetops and rolling hills on sunny day during RV travel USA
Great Smoky Mountains during spring – see #15 below

Here’s a quick list of the best parks you should definitely visit this March! (Let’s dive into why these parks were chosen in a bit.)

  1. Arches – Utah
  2. Dry Tortugas – Florida
  3. Grand Teton – Wyoming
  4. Congaree – South Carolina
  5. Redwoods – California
  6. Guadalupe Mountains – Texas
  7. Crater Lake – Oregon
  8. Petrified Forest – Arizona
  9. Hawaii Volcanoes – Big Island
  10. Olympic – Washington
  11. Indiana Dunes – Indiana
  12. Joshua Tree – California
  13. Grand Canyon – Arizona
  14. Channel Island – California
  15. Great Smoky Mountains – Tennessee
  16. Death Valley – California
  17. Black Canyon of Gunnison – Colorado
  18. Saguaro – Arizona

Map of national parks to visit in March

Whether you’re looking to head south and escape the last few weeks of winter, or bundle up and enjoy the off-season of the northern parks, this list has something for everyone! Here’s a map of the best national parks in March to add to your bucket list!

By the way, since I haven’t been everywhere (yet), I’ve enlisted the help of some of my fellow travel writers to prepare these recommendations for the best US parks to visit during the spring. Enjoy!

Packing list – what to take along with

hiking boots sitting on rock with lake in distance
Hiking boots: an essential for exploring these parks on foot

To make your March national park vacation even more magical (and stress-free), here’s a complete packing list. No one wants to arrive at their dream national park just to remember they forgot something essential!

  • Extra layers. It may be colder than you expect when adventuring around. Don’t forget the hats and gloves, too!
  • Snacks/food and water. Perfect for any weather, you’ll want to stay fueled during your adventure. My family especially loves trail mixbeef jerky and fresh fruits and veggies for snacks.
  • Reusable bottles. More eco-friendly than single use plastic, fill up at restaurants, national park refill stations or your hotel/accommodations.

Best national parks to visit in March

Whether you’re planning an epic spring break getaway, or escaping the weather back home, there are so many amazing places to visit in March!

1. Arches National Park, Utah

the windows arches national park view of large arch from rock with trees and blue sky
Perfect in March: Arches National Park
  • Average temp: High 60° F, low 34° F

Arches National Park is one of the best March national parks for a vacation. With temperatures reaching upwards to 60° F, it’s not too cold to enjoy outdoor activities, but it’s far more comfortable than the park’s blazing temperatures come summer! 

World-renowned for its gorgeous red rock arches, the landscape alone is worth a visit. March is when Arches peak season begins, so there may be a few crowds to manage, but nothing that will keep you from enjoying some of the best hiking trails to landmarks like Delicate Arch, The Windows, and Sand Dune Arch. 

Mountain bikers will love it, too! Even in the spring, there are plenty of biking trails to conquer! The comfortable March temperatures make activities like this much more fun without being concerned about the heat of later months. 

If biking isn’t your speed, a scenic drive throughout the park is another way to enjoy the spring atmosphere. 

Best of all, the fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down! Camping in Arches National Park is one of the best things to do when visiting this spot in March.

Nights and early mornings will be chilly, but as long as you dress warm, the gorgeous sky full of stars will make up for the discomfort! 

Take a day or two in March to enjoy the magical backcountry that is Arches National Park! 

Recommended by Candice of GS Ginger

2. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

dry tortugas national park with view of stone walkway and brick structure with teal water
Beautiful in March – Dry Tortugas NP
  • Average Temp: High 82 F, Low 66 F

If you want to enjoy one of the best national parks to visit in March in the USA then Dry Tortugas National Park is a destination that should not be overlooked.

After all, this incredible natural oasis spans 100 square miles and is located just 70 miles off the coast of Key West.

Comprising of seven distinct islands, March is an ideal time to visit since it is shoulder season. This means you’ll likely have this tranquil paradise all to yourself, without having to contend with the intense heat and humidity of the summer season. 

To visit, fly into Key West International Airport. From here, the park is only accessible by seaplane or ferry. Therefore, many visitors opt to take the Yankee Freedom III ferry from Key West  to the park. The trip costs $190.00 per person and includes both breakfast and lunch.

Once on the island, highlights include stunning coral reefs, the pristine beaches of Garden Key, historic Fort Jefferson, and visiting a picturesque lighthouse on Loggerhead Key. You can even explore the Windjammer Wreck from 1875 on Loggerhead Reef or head to Bush Key to watch Sooty Terns..

For amazing accommodations, check into a room at the Courtyard by Marriott Key West Waterfront. It’s a picturesque, 3-star hotel with a spacious outdoor pool.

Recommended by Victoria of Florida Trippers

3. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

elk in field in front of grand teton national park with snow covering the ground
Elk grazing in Grand Teton National Park
  • Average Temp: High 39, Low 11

One of the best March national parks is Grand Teton National Park. Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton is home to the Teton Range. It soars 7,000 feet above Jackson Hole and is home to an array of wildlife. 

March in Grand Teton is perfect if you love winter activities like cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Plus, many roads and services are still closed for off-season. So, you’ll have the place all to yourself and don’t have to worry about crowds. 

Additionally, because roads like Teton Park Road are closed to motorized vehicles, they are groomed for hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing through the middle of March. So, enjoy a bit of winter fun as you snowshoe from Taggart Lake Trailhead to the Signal Mountain Lodge.

It’s also a great time of year to see wildlife since they stand in sharp contrast to the snow on the ground. Expect to see fox, eagles, wolves, coyotes, bison, deer,, trumpeter swans, etc. 

Now, while all the park’s lodges and campgrounds are closed, you can book a room at a hotel in nearby Jackson.

One of the best hotels in the area is The Lodge at Jackson Hole. It’s a traditionally decorated hotel that has a heated indoor/outdoor pool on-site. Guests can also use the hot tub and enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast as well as a free shuttle service.

Recommended by Jamie of Photo Jeepers

4. Congaree National Park, South Carolina (one of the most underrated national parks to visit in March)

best national parks to visit in March with woman sitting in front of kayak with tall trees and river
Kayaking and enjoying the park
  • Average temp: high 68° and low 46°

Congaree National Park is one of the least visited U.S. National Parks, receiving less than 200,000 annual visitors. But, as the home to the largest old-growth hardwoods bottomland in the southeastern United States, it’s absolutely worth visiting!

March is an especially lovely time to visit, thanks to the pleasantly warm temperatures and the lack of bugs (which definitely isn’t always the case in a swamp-like environment!). 

There’s plenty of things to do in Congaree National Park including hiking along the Boardwalk Loop trail. This is one of the best places in the park to see its unique bald cypress trees and towering loblolly pines.

Because of Congaree’s fertile soil and year round warm climate, it’s actually one of the tallest deciduous forests on the planet, earning it the nickname the “Redwoods of the East”!

Another must-do activity is kayaking along Cedar Creek, a slow moving creek that meanders through the heart of the park’s otherworldly-looking cypress-tupelo flat, with trees that are over a thousand years old towering above.

Congaree is fairly small and you can hit most of its highlights in just a day or two. Consider staying in the nearby city of Columbia, which is actually the capital of South Carolina and offers a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops to enjoy. 

Recommended by Jess of Uprooted Traveler

5. Redwoods National Park, California

woman standing near car with massive redwood trees surrounding
Perfect in March: Redwoods National Park
  • Average temp: high 57, low 37

Visiting the Redwoods in Northern California any time of year is a treat, but it is one of the best national parks in March to visit.

Spring is the time of year where the Redwood forests are extra lush, green and have less crowds. It is also when you are most likely to see light rays streaming through the marine layer into the forests. It is a dreamy sight if you’re lucky enough to see it. 

The mild weather and average temps of 37-57 allows all parts of the Park to remain open during March. You also will not need to worry about acquiring permits for the famous Fern Canyon during the month of March either! 

Check out the Avenue of the Giants scenic drive and Founders Grove hike in the southern region of the Redwoods.

In the central area of the Redwoods, stop at the Redwood Skywalk, Fern Canyon, and go elk viewing at the Orick Visitors Center.

In the Northernmost Redwoods, check out Howland Hill Road, Damnation Creek Trail and Simpson Reed Trail in Jedediah Smith State Park. 

These activities would be best experienced in a 3-5 day trip while staying in Arcata or Crescent City California. You definitely won’t regret a visit to the world’s tallest trees!

Recommended by Melissa from Miss Rover

6. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

dirt hiking path through mountains with desert scene best national parks to visit in March
Hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  • Average temp: high 53, low 35

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of the best national parks for a March vacation. The weather is not too hot or too cold and it makes for the best hiking weather! Plus, this is a lesser known national park, so it does not get as crowded. 

The focal point of the park is Guadalupe Peak. It is a strenuous hike to the top, or you can choose to admire it from the bottom. It is visitable from several parts of the park. 

The Devil’s Hall trail is a 4.2 mile trail that is not too strenuous. This one is perfect to see a lot of areas of the park and some cool natural features like a slot canyon.

Another popular trail is McKittrick Canyon to Pratt Cabin. This trail takes you along a stream through the desert. It can be longer if you have more time. 

Visitors should spend at least one day here, two if you want to cover all of the hiking trails. Base yourself in Carlsbad and pair a trip to this park with one to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. 

This is a desert park, so you will want to wear layers as the weather can change quickly. Also, make sure to bring a lot of water with you. You will also need a car to get around the park as there is no park shuttle. 

Recommended by Francesca of Homeroom Travel

March national parks continued…

Have you decided which national park you will visit this March? If not, there’s so many more gems to choose from!

7. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

sunrise over lake with snow and clouds
Perfect park without the crowds!
  • Average temp: high 37, low 19

If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, consider visiting Crater Lake National Park in March. While this park is popular in the summer when the road around the rim of the lake is open, you can still visit in the winter.

Crater Lake is great for a stop on an Oregon road trip. Lodging within the park is not available in March, but you can stay nearby if you want to extend your trip.

Visiting Crater Lake in the spring offers different opportunities than visiting during the hustle and bustle of the short summer season. From snowshoeing with the park rangers to cross-country skiing around the rim of the lake or on designated trails, you’ll find several winter activities that offer a unique way to see the park.

The temperatures are still cold and snow is likely with an average of 83 inches of snowfall in the month of March and the highest snow depth at 115 inches. Highs are in the upper 30s and lows are in the upper teens, but this just means you are likely to have the views without the crowds.

Bundle up, take your layers, check the weather conditions to make sure a recent snowfall hasn’t closed the entrance temporarily, but don’t be afraid to add Crater Lake to your March National Park vacation.

Recommended by Christine of Live Love Run Travel

8. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

best national parks to visit in March with view of hiking trail through brown and white striped hills
Hiking in Petrified Forest National Park in March
  • Average Temp: High 66 F, Low 31 F 

Petrified Forest National Park is one of the most unique national parks, yet it falls under the radar for many. Tucked in the northeast corner of Arizona, it is a perfect addition to any road trip from Sedona, Flagstaff or Phoenix. 

In March, the temperatures are very pleasant in contrast to the sky-high temperatures in the summer that can reach over 100 F. Instead, March has an average temperature between 60 F and 70 F during the day. 

The dramatic desert landscape is spread out over a 28-mile road that has designated areas to stop along the way. The Petrified Forest has the most petrified wood than anywhere else in the world in addition to stunning rock formations in various shades of red, orange, blue, purple, and white. 

You can see the highlights in half a day but recommend a full day to see all the sights and go on a few of the hikes. You’ll even cross the iconic Route 66 as you make your way through the park that is marked with an old 1932 Studebaker. 

After leaving the visitor center, not to miss attractions along Park Road include the Painted Desert, Puerco Pueblo petroglyphs, the Tepees, Blue Badlands, and Crystal Forest for petrified wood.  

If you only have time for one hike, make sure you go on the 1-mile Blue Mesa Trail in the Blue Badlands as the shades of rock formations are spectacular. Striations of blue, purple, grey, and white are unlike anything else.  

Recommended by Vanessa of Traveling Ness

9. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island (a favorite on this list of best national parks to visit in March)

view of Hawaii volcanoes national park with black dried lava and small green bursts of growth
A fun park in Hawaii in springtime
  • Average Temperature: High 80, Low 70

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, this National Park is home to two active volcanoes: Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. 

The park offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness the raw power of nature as it continuously shapes and transforms the landscape.

March is an ideal time to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, as the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds than in the summer months. The park offers a variety of activities for visitors, including hiking trails and scenic drives. 

For those interested in hiking, there are over 100 miles of trails to explore, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks.

The Kīlauea Iki Trail is a popular choice, as it takes visitors through a volcanic crater and a lush rainforest. Along the way, you can witness steam vents, lava formations, and incredible views of the surrounding landscape.

If you prefer a more relaxed experience, the park also offers scenic drives that show Hawaii’s diverse terrain and natural beauty. The Chain of Craters Road takes visitors past lava fields, volcanic landscapes, and stunning coastal views.

But it’s not just about nature at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – it also offers a glimpse into Hawaiian culture and history. Visitors can explore ancient petroglyphs and learn about the lives and stories of the native Hawaiian people.

A trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park isn’t complete until you stop by the Thurston Lava Tube, a 500-year-old cave formed by the flow of lava that offers a unique underground experience. This is one of the best things to do on the Big Island, so make sure to add it to your list!

Before exploring the park, we recommend stopping at the Kīlauea Visitor Center to get information and updates on volcanic activity. 

Recommended by Trysta of This Travel Dream

10. Olympic National Park, Washington

national parks to visit in march view of moss covered trees from below
Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park😍

Average temp: high 51, low 36

Olympic National Park is a fascinating park to visit year-round, but it’s especially unique to visit in the springtime. March brings slightly warmer temperatures and the beginning of longer, brighter days.

Animals are making their first appearances with their young and snow is melting to create thousands of waterfalls throughout the park. Best of all, there are fewer crowds at this time of year, making the trails basically empty!

At a minimum, plan to stay a full day at Olympic National Park. This park spans over 900,000 acres and it can take a long time to drive to multiple sites. Ideally, you’ll want to stay overnight near the park so you can get the full experience. 

No matter what activities you choose to do at Olympic National Park in March, you’ll want to dress in lots of layers. Temperatures can range from the low 50s down to the mid-30s depending on what area of the park you’re exploring.

A Merino base layer is always a great option, and you’ll want to make sure you have a pair of puddle-proof hiking boots and a waterproof jacket as March is one of the months with the most precipitation. 

Known for its diverse ecosystem, Olympic National Park offers mountain ranges, picturesque coastlines, and lush temperate rainforests. There are four rainforests on the Olympic Peninsula and one of the best places to visit in Olympic National Park is Hoh Rainforest.

The green, moss-covered trees will take your breath away during this time of year!

Two of the most popular trails at Hoh Rainforest are the Hall of Mosses Trail and Sol Duc Falls Trail. Both are classified as easy and are under two miles roundtrip. Aside from the rainforests, you can also explore beaches on the rugged coastline or fish at crystal clear lakes.

Recommended by Tess of Traveling Tessie

11. Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana

March national parks view of sandy path to water with blue sky
Excellent spring break getaway: Indiana Dunes NP
  • Average Temp: High 47F, low 31F

Have you heard of Indiana Dunes? It is one of the newest official national parks, and there are so many reasons to visit in the spring!

March may be too chilly to lounge on the beach, but it’s never too cold for a hike!  

Indiana Dunes hiking trails are incredible. Cowles Bog Trail and the 3 Dune Challenge are two of the most popular options.  Hiking up vertical sand dunes and arriving at views overlooking Lake Michigan is stellar. 

March in the Midwest can be overcast with occasional showers and chilly weather so plan your clothing accordingly. This also means it’s low season. The park will be less crowded with more time to explore on your own.  

March also begins the first signs of spring. Be on the lookout for tiny pine cones on trees up above!

Consider exploring Indiana Dunes for 1-2 days. With leftover time, visitors can explore the neighboring towns of Beverly Shores or Union Pier.  

The America The Great National Park pass is accepted for entry. However, be mindful that there are multiple entrances to the park.  

Indiana Dunes is separated into two parks: state park, and national park. If you enter through the state park, your pass will not be accepted and a separate entrance fee will be collected. 

Recommended by Alyssa, An Apple a Plane

12. Joshua Tree, California

puffy Joshua Trees in Southern California with mountains in distance
Such a fun park! Joshua Tree
  • Average temp: high 73, low 48

If you are looking for a fun and adventurous national park vacation in March, you should check out Joshua Tree in California, where two deserts meet. Joshua Tree is approximately 2 hours drive time from Los Angeles and 2.5 hours from San Diego.

 It has amazing rock formations, beautiful desert plants, and lots of wildlife.

March is the best time to see the colorful and bright wildflowers in the park. You can find poppies, lupines, desert dandelions, and many more. You can also look at the online wildflower report to see what’s blooming and where to go.

After marveling at the wildflowers, save some time to climb the rocks. Joshua Tree is a great place for rock climbing and bouldering with so many routes to choose from, for beginners and experts.

The weather in March is perfect for climbing since it’s not too hot or too cold. You can also learn how to climb from the Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School where they offer tours and lessons for all ages and levels.

No trip to Joshua Tree would be complete without hitting the trails. The park has many hiking trails that you can explore where you can see the hidden valleys, canyons, oases, and mines of the park.

Some of the most popular trails are the Ryan Mountain Trail, the Lost Palms Oasis Trail, the Barker Dam Trail, and the Hidden Valley Trail. Remember to bring water and a map when you hike, and avoid the sun in the middle of the day.

Joshua Tree is a wonderful national park to visit in March where you can stay for a few days or a week, depending on how much you want to do. You can camp in the park, or find a hotel or Airbnb nearby, and for more information, you can also visit the park’s website. 

Recommended by Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes

More national parks to visit in March

Visiting these March national parks truly offers the best of both worlds! You can choose between the hot desert sun or the snowcapped mountains. Here are more of the very best destinations!

13. Grand Canyon, Arizona

the Grand Canyon landscapes of red grey and tan canyon on partly cloudy sky
Amazing park in the springtime!
  • Average temp: high 57F, low 25F

Stretching an incredible 277 miles in length, up to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best national parks to visit in March. It’s a great time to visit, as the cold and ice melt away, but you can still avoid the summer crowds.

The average temperature can be 40 degrees F the month before, but by March, that goes up to 57 F as spring sets in. Perfect for tackling those challenging hikes below the rim without breaking a sweat on the shadeless trail or slipping on the leftover ice.

If you come earlier in the month, you’ll still find crowds less than half of what you see during the peak summer months. But March marks the start of spring break, so the park tends to get more popular around the middle of the month.

While the North Rim is still closed, the South Rim and West Rim are always ready for visitors. Unless you’re thinking of doing the full 24 mile rim-to-rim hike which requires extra time, spend at least a day at each rim of the Grand Canyon. 

Most visitors on a one day South Rim itinerary choose to walk parts of Bright Angel Trail or South Kaibab Trail, then spend the afternoon scenically driving to Desert Watchtower. On the West Rim, the views may not be as grand, but you can’t miss walking on the Skywalk. It’s a glass bridge extending 70 feet over the canyon.

Recommended by Catherine of Day Trip Nomad

14. Channel Islands National Park, California

kayakers and boat in bay with pier and coastline Channel Islands National Park California
Less crowded during the spring: Channel Islands
  • Average temperature: high 62, low 55

Channel Islands National Park is one of the least visited national parks in the country because of its rather isolated location. It’s a must on this list of best March national parks.

In order to reach the park, you’ll need to take a boat taxi with Island Packers from either Oxnard or Ventura’s harbor. The journey by boat is about an hour each way. You are nearly guaranteed to see sea lions, dolphins, and other marine life on the way there, making the trip quite fun.

Visiting in March is a great time to go because wind chill on the boat and island will not be as bad as in winter. That said, it is still recommended to dress in layers.

Spring is when many seabirds are migrating or nesting. This makes bird watching popular at this time of year. It is also the greenest time on the island before the summer heat.

The island you choose to visit will determine what there is to do. You also will need to decide if you are interested in a day trip or a multi-day camping trip. 

Things to do in Channel Islands National Park include hiking and wildlife viewing. Santa Cruz Island is popular for snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. Anacapa, one of the smallest islands, hosts the iconic lighthouse and an easy hike to Inspiration Point.

If you visit as a day trip, a hotel in Ventura or Oxnard near the harbor would be best.

Recommended by Taylor of Taytrum Travels

15. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee (another of the best March national parks)

Laurel Falls smoky mountains view of waterfall on hillside with shrubs and trees behind
Lush waterfall during spring in the park
  • Average temperature: high 56, low 29

One of the most underrated national parks to visit during the spring is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Spanning the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, this park is amazing in the springtime.

You’ll still get the traditional ‘smoky’ mountain views, even though many of the trees are still bare. Furthermore, the streams and waterfalls are lush and abundant during a March trip to the Great Smoky Mountains!

With reduced crowds yet open roads and hiking trails, March is truly one of the best times to visit the park!

If you’re up for hiking, make sure to do the Laurel Falls Trail and Grotto Falls, both relatively easy hikes to full waterfalls. For scenic drives, the Cades Cove Loop is a good one, and you can even hike Abrams Falls in the area, too.

The Smoky Mountain Scenic Byway is a must-do in the park as well. Clingmans Dome Observation Tower provides 360-degree views, where you’ll get some of the best views of the mountains.

The Great Smoky Mountains easily earn a spot on this list of the best national parks to visit in March!

Recommended by me – Nikki of Inspired Routes

16. Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley in sunset with pink sky and brown mountains
Death Valley during sunset
  • Average temp: high 82, low 55

Death Valley National Park is known as the lowest point in North America. It’s considered as the hottest place on the earth with temperatures up to 134 °F in summer!

March is the perfect time to visit Death Valley National Park as the valley is transitioning from Winter to Spring! Daytime temperatures remain mild during the day, making it perfect for sightseeing!

Death Valley is known for its wildflower blooming during the spring and March is the perfect month to witness this natural phenomenon. The timing can be varying every year, so keep checking the local reports when you plan your travels!

Death Valley can be visited year-round, but March is less crowded month since the winter holidays are over.

Due to mild temperatures during the day, outdoor activities like hiking are encouraged! But make sure to carry enough water for hiking if you plan some intense adventures in the valley!

Death Valley is divided into north and south and 2 days in Death Valley is recommended to explore all the sights of the National Park. You can cover famous viewpoints including Badwater Basin (Lowest Point in North America), Dante’s view, Zabriskie Point and Artist’s Palette, Golden Canyon hike and Mesquite Sand dunes for stunning views.

Camping is available in Death Valley National Park, and March offers more comfortable camping conditions than the scorching summer months. Be sure to check for campground availability and make reservations if needed.

Recommended by Mayuri of fernwehrahee

17. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado

deep canyon with some snow and river down below
Best national parks in March: Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  • Average temp: high 57, low 29

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Montrose, Colorado is a gorgeous area for sightseeing, hiking, snowshoeing, and adventuring. Located in the Western Slope of Colorado, the area brings travelers and natives, with breathtaking views and the serene feeling of the Rocky Mountains.

It’s an excellent destination of this list of the best national parks to visit in March!

The national park is known for its steep, jagged cliffs throughout its landscape. Animals like mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, elk, and over 125 species of birds (including golden eagles and red-tailed hawks) can be seen in various areas.

During March, the mountains are dusted with snow, and ski season is in full force. Although Black Canyon of the Gunnison is not an official ski resort, visitors can cross-country ski at the South Rim of Gunnison Point. The South Rim Ski and Snowshoe Trail is a great area for snowshoeing – even for beginners learning about the sport!

At night, the skies light up with close-up views of the stars, making it a gorgeous spot for stargazing. Black Canyon of the Gunnison is considered an International Dark Sky Park and organizations have events where you can view the stars and planets through telescopes.

After visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, be sure to check out this list of things to do in Montrose, Colorado. The small, quaint town is full of outdoor activities and mom and pop shops and restaurants.

18. Saguaro National Park, Arizona

view of large saguaro cacti with blue sky white clouds best national parks to visit in March
Perfect national park to visit in March: Saguaro!
  • Average temp: high 76, low 48

One of the best US national parks to visit in March is Saguaro National Park located in southern Arizona. Part of the Sonoran Desert, Saguaro National Park is named for and is known for its large number of tall saguaro cacti.

March is one of the best months to visit Saguaro National Park for mild temperatures and the beginning of wildflower blooms.

Saguaro National Park is divided into two parts, which are geographically separated by the city of Tucson: Rincon Mountain District (referred to as Saguaro East) and Tucson Mountain District (referred to as Saguaro West).

Both sections of Saguaro National Park are worth visiting. Both offer scenic drives through the park and miles of hiking trails of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty. From longer hikes leading to great views from above to short easy trails perfect for families visiting Tucson with kids, there’s a trail for everyone!

Drive or bike Cactus Forest Drive, an 8-mile scenic paved loop in the east side, with several overlooks and photo viewpoints. One interesting highlight in Saguaro West are the 800 year-old petroglyphs at Signal Hill which can be reached on an easy hike.

The two sections are located about an hour drive apart, so it is best to spend 2 days to fully explore the park but it can be done in a day if your time is short. Stay in or near Tucson and check out other must see attractions such as the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum which is located close to Saguaro West.

Recommended by Matilda of The Travel Sisters

Best national parks to visit in March

road with red rocky spires in distance
Arches National Park Scenic Drive (#1 above)

Wow! What a list. Are you so excited to start planning your March national park trip?

With breathtaking natural landscapes, hiking trails, scenic overlooks and unique experiences, the great outdoors is calling you this spring!

Related guides you might like:
26 Best National Parks for Kids (that are Actually Fun)
AMAZING Utah National Parks Road Trip (Map, Best Hikes, Scenic Route Between Parks + More)

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text reads 18 best national parks to visit in March in the USA with view of walkway over water, large arch and waterfall