National Park Destinations Perfect for Spring Travel

There’s no question that the United States features a wide variety of beautiful and breathtaking National Parks. And while most of them can be enjoyed all year long in some fashion, there are lots of destinations that are perfectly suited for a spring visit to maximize on weather, views, animals and other features.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite NPS spring destinations to give you inspiration – or perhaps a roadmap – for your next RV road trip.

  • Joshua Tree National Park is situated between San Diego and Los Angeles, California, making it a great spring destination. Cold winter nights and supremely hot summer days makes spring the perfect time to head to Joshua Tree. Spring temps are comfortable for desert hiking, biking and rock climbing, but the cooler evening air still invites a cozy campfire. Many of Joshua Tree’s desert plants begin to bloom, and there are different views to explore between the Mojave and Colorado Deserts located here. This park is a popular one, so book in advance for your stay!

  • Grand Canyon National Park is another locale perfect in spring weather. Morning temperatures on the South Rim (the most popular side) are still cool in the springtime. This will give you ample opportunity for hikes down into the canyon, which can be difficult later in the summer when the temperatures can be scorching. Layers are recommended when hiking here because you’ll probably shed them as the day warms. You might encounter a dusting of snow on the rim or upper parts of the trails, especially in early spring – another vote for layered clothing.

  • If you’re on the hunt for waterfalls, then Great Smoky Mountains National Park in spring is your golden ticket. When the snow melts in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the waterfalls grow in both volume and size. Snowmelt also aids the spring wildflower display in the Great Smoky Mountains, where you’ll find more than 1,500 different flowering plants. If you’re looking for something to do while you’re there, plan your trip for late April and check out the annual Wildflower Pilgrimage. (For additional flower inspired road trip destinations check out our Springtime Flower Festival blog!)

  • Did you know you’ll find a vast beach-like sand playground in southern Colorado? The Great Sand Dunes National Park is a surprise to many people who think of Colorado as only a mountain destination. Spring is a perfect time of year to spend at the sand dunes, where you’ll find unique and fun activities like sand boarding, sledding and nightly stargazing. Spring is great because the sand isn’t too hot yet in the intense high-altitude sun, and occasional rain showers make the sand sturdier. Bubbling water from the Medano Creek is fun for kids of all ages and dogs alike, and the seasonal creek flows strongest in the spring because of snow melt.

  • Looking for a place with a variety of experiences? Try Shenandoah National Park just 75 miles from Washington, D.C., for waterfalls, wildflowers and animals. In the spring as the trees leaf out, newborn black bear cubs emerge from their dens. Waterfalls throughout the park are at their peak, flowing and tumbling down cliffs and slopes. As things begin to warm, wildflowers bloom. Go to Big Meadows, once a historic farming area and now a controlled grassland – here you’ll see loads of flowers as well as wildlife like deer and bears.

No matter what part of the country you’d like to visit, the National Parks Service website has all kinds of great information, or you can try searching for state park services for other springtime destination gems.

Springtime Preparations

Springtime can be a beautiful time of year to travel in the US, but it can also be a time of year with volatile and changing weather. Be aware of any hazardous weather patterns in the springtime destinations you are visiting and know emergency protocol for staying safe.

For springtime travel you’ll also want to be sure your RV interior is ready to keep you comfortable no matter the weather. From chilly spring mornings to sunny afternoons to unexpected evening showers, make sure you’re able to spend extended periods of the day comfortably inside your coach despite what the weather is doing outside.

For RVers with a Coleman-Mach AC unit you’ll be able to add an immediate influx of warmth when needed with the Add-On Electric AirSpace Heater Kit that installs inside the existing ceiling assembly (part of the Climate Control Accessory Line). Raise or lower the interior temperature as needed to contend with springtime fluctuations. Suburban also has an Electric Wall Heater that allows RVers to easily control interior warmth on an as-needed bases with plug-in or hardwired models available.

Topics: Lifestyle