Table of Contents
- National Parks to Visit This March
- Best National Parks West Coast
- Best National Parks in Washington
- Olympic National Park in March
- Best National Parks in California
- Yosemite National Park in March
- Channel Islands National Park in March
- Joshua Tree National Park in March
- Death Valley National Park in March
- Red Rock Canyon Park, Las Vegas in March
- Best Arizona National Parks
- Grand Canyon in March
- Petrified Forest National Park in March
- Saguaro National Park in March
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in March
- National Parks in Western US
- Glacier National Park in March
- Yellowstone in March in March
- Rocky Mountain National Park in March
- Great Sand Dunes National Park in March
- Mesa Verde National Park
- White Sands National Park in March
- Best National Parks in Utah
- Arches National Park in March
- Canyonlands National Park in March
- Capitol Reef National Park in March
- Zion National Park in March
- Bryce Canyon National Park in March
- Best National Parks East Coast
- Florida National Parks to Vist in March
- Biscayne National Park in March
- Acadia National Park in March
- Eastern State National Parks
- Mammoth Cave National Park in March
- Shenandoah National Park in March
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park in March
- Virgin Islands State Park in March
- Things to at Virgin Islands National Park
- Best Nationals Parks in the South
- Texas National Parks
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park in March
- Big Bend National Park in March
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Craving fresh air, scenic hikes and camping, RV or glamping adventures? This guide shares the best national parks to visit in March for crawling out of winter and looking forward to spring.
We’ve explained how to get to each national park, where to stay, things to do, areas that are closed, what temperatures you can expect in March and the dangers to look out for so you can plan accordingly.
Note: We endeavour to keep our guides up to date. If you see any information that needs tweaked, do tell us in the comments or via email.
And don’t forget to tell us which national park you plan to visit in March!
National Parks to Visit This March
Here is a US map to help you with your bearings.
Best National Parks West Coast
From lush forests and gushing waterfalls to arid deserts with unreal landscapes, the west coast national parks are a fun getaway for those looking to tick off the most popular parks in the US.
We’ve also included parks located in Nevada and Arizona in this section.
Best National Parks in Washington
Olympic National Park in March
Olympic National Park is located in the Washington Peninsula near Seattle.
Spring is a great time to visit the park because of the wildlife viewing opportunities and minimal crowds.
March is the best time to see the Roosevelt elk.
The landscape is also lush after all of the winter rain.
Seattle is the closest major city to Olympic National Park.
If you are driving from Seattle you can either take a ferry across the sound or you can drive around down through Tacoma and Olympia.
If you drive around it takes about two hours. Seattle is the best airport to fly into when visiting Olympic National Park.
As you are exploring the park, there are lots of cities to get supplies and fuel.
Some of the larger cities in the peninsula are Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles, and Forks.
Olympic National Park Lodgings
There are lots of different campgrounds throughout Olympic National Park.
Some are first-come, first-served.
If visiting a campground that accepts reservations, it is a good idea to make your reservations as early as possible because they fill up quickly.
Sol Duc, Kalaloch and Mora are the national park campgrounds that accept reservations.
If you are looking for a hotel, Forks is a great place to make your home base.
Miller Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast is a charming hotel that is close to the fun things to do in Forks and Olympic National Park.
Olympic National Park in March Temperatures and Bugs
In March, Olympic National Park has a high of about 37 degrees Fahrenheit with overnight lows averaging around 24 degrees Fahrenheit.
When packing, keep in mind the Olympic Peninsula has a lot of rain.
In March, it rains about 18 days per month. It is important to bring warm and water-resistant clothes.
Things to Do at Olympic National Park
- Hoh Rainforest
- Hurricane Ridge
- Ruby Beach
- Lake Crescent
- Sol Duc Falls
By Candice, CS Ginger
Best National Parks in California
Yosemite National Park in March
Visit Yosemite National Park in March to avoid the crowds and appreciate the gorgeous scenery of snow-topped mountains.
Yosemite National Park is located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, 167.3 miles (4-hour drive) from San Francisco and 279.3 miles (6-hour drive) from Los Angeles.
The closest international airport is Fresno Yosemite, located 64 miles from the park, and it has both car rental options and a shuttle to the National Park.
There is a gas station available 24 hours at El Portal, located about 4 miles from Yosemite’s Arch Rock entrance, and there’s also a market for convenience items.
There are two other gas stations inside the park, at Wawona and Crane Flat, where you can also stock up on minimal convenience goods.
Yosemite National Park was officially founded in 1890 but it has a long history before being federally protected.
You can learn more about Miwuk history at Yosemite Museum and Mariposa Museum and History Center (5119 Jessie St, Mariposa).
Yosemite National Park Lodgings
You should spend a minimum of 2 days in Yosemite to really soak it in, which means you’ll have to sleep somewhere in the park.
There are 13 popular campgrounds at Yosemite, seven of which need to be booked in advance, including Bridalveil Creek, and Upper, Lower and North Pines.
If you can’t manage to make a reservation, you can check Camp 4, which doesn’t allow RVs or trailers but works on a first come first serve basis during the off-season, and they usually have free spots.
There are three hotels inside the park, the most luxurious being The Ahwahnee, but most visitors who are not camping spend the night outside of the park, on places like Rush Creek Lodge.
Yosemite in March Temperatures, Bugs and Animals
Yosemite National Park’s temperature in March ranges from 30 F to almost 60 F.
Nights are particularly cold, so be sure to take enough winter clothing, especially if you’re camping in the park, and a good sleeping bag.
Check out our hiking gear list for more item ideas.
Mosquitoes and ticks, Yosemite’s most abundant bugs, are not an issue during the winter months due to the chilly air and almost freezing temperature.
Remember to use the bear-proof food lockers to keep the black bear away from your snacks!
Black bears come active at Yosemite again late March after hibernating for the winter.
Things to do at Yosemite National Park
- Watch sunrise or sunset at Tunnel View
- Hike the Bridalveil Fall Trail (and all other trails!)
- Visit Yosemite Museum and the Ansel Adams Gallery
- Stargaze at night
- Go skiing or snowboarding at Badger Pass Ski Area
- Enjoy the views of Yosemite Falls from Sentinel Meadow
While Yosemite is one of the prettiest national parks, it is also one of the busiest so prepare for some crowds, even in March although they will be fewer than spring or summer.
by Stefania, Every Steph Travel & Lifestyle
Pinnacles National Park in March
March is the ideal time to visit Pinnacles National Park.
Daytime temperatures are pleasant for hiking, and you will see numerous varieties of wildflowers in bloom in the park.
Pinnacles National Park is located in Central California, just east of the Salinas Valley. The park is 123 miles (about 2 hours) southeast of San Francisco, and about 268 miles northwest (about 5 hours) of Los Angeles.
Although Monterey Regional Airport is the closest airport to the park, most visitors will fly into San Jose, about 80 miles north of the park, San Francisco, or Oakland, about 116 miles north of the park. You can rent vehicles at all of these airports.
If you plan to enter from the west entrance, you can get gas in the city of Soledad along US 101. There are several gas stations just off the freeway. If you plan to enter via the east entrance, gas is available in the town of Hollister, about 34 miles from the park.
Hollister and Soledad also have restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores, if you need to buy food or supplies.
Pinnacles National Park Lodgings
There is only one campground at Pinnacles National Park, near the east entrance to the park. Tent and RV sites can be reserved up to six months in advance, and group sites up to 12 months in advance.
While no lodging is available inside the park, chain motels are available in both Hollister and Soledad. Consider the Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott in Hollister, or the Valley Harvest Inn in Soledad.
Pinnacles National Park March Temperatures and Bugs
The daytime high in Pinnacles National Park in March is 67 degrees Fahrenheit, and the nighttime low is 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Dress in layers, especially if you plan to start early or stay late.
Ticks and rattlesnakes are found in the park. Wear a good bug spray, and watch for snakes, spiders, and the like as you walk or hike. Poison oak is also found at Pinncales.
Things to Do at Pinnacles National Park
- Hike the more than 30 miles of trails. Trails range from easy to challenging.
- Explore the talus caves in the park. Bear Gulch Cave and Balconies Cave are the two major caves you can enter, although breeding bats may sometimes cause closures.
- Look for California condors: the park is one of the places in California where condors bred in captivity are released.
- Enjoy the wide variety of wildflowers, from bush poppies and buck brush to fiddleneck, filaree, fiesta flower, and more.
- Observe the night sky: since Pinnacles is wilderness, there is minimal light pollution and you can see millions of stars on clear nights.
By Dhara, Roadtripping California
Channel Islands National Park in March
California has an impressive nine national parks spread out all over the state, but one of the least-known is beautiful Channel Islands National Park.
Composed of five islands off the coast of Southern California, March is the perfect time to visit Channel Islands National Park!
The wildflowers will be in lovely bloom and the weather won’t be too scorching hot as it can be in the summer.
Channel Islands National Park is located about 22 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara.
Since the national park consists only of islands, you can’t drive there, but instead you have to take a ferry from one of two harbors.
You can take the Island Packers ferry from either Ventura or Oxnard. The ferry costs $31.50 each way.
The closest city is Santa Barbara, and it is about 30 miles (and 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic) from Ventura Harbor.
If flying in from another state, it is likely you will fly into LAX (Los Angeles International Airport).
It is about 60 miles to Oxnard from LAX, and takes about 1.5 hours to drive there.
Both LAX and SBA offer car rental services, if you are flying in from out of state.
You can’t bring your car to Channel Islands National Park, but you will need it to get to and from either Ventura Harbor or Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard.
There are ample places to get gas in both Oxnard and Ventura, as well as along Highway 101.
There are no convenience stores or concession stands on the islands, as they are virtually undeveloped.
Therefore, bring everything you need, including food, since you won’t be able to buy anything once in the park.
Channel Islands Lodging
Camping is available in limited quantities on Channel Islands National Park, so you’ll need to book in advance via recreation.gov.
There are five NPS campsites, one on each of the islands in the national park: Anacapa Island Campground, Scorpion Canyon Campground on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa Island Campground, San Miguel Island Campground, and Santa Barbara Island Campground.
There are no hotels or lodges in the national park itself, so most visitors will instead opt to stay in either Ventura or Oxnard near the ferry terminal if they can’t acquire a campsite or prefer not to camp.
Channel Islands in March Temperatures and Bugs
Average high temperatures in Channel Islands National Park in March are around 62 °F with low temperatures of 55 °F.
High winds are probable during this time, and rain is a possibility, so keep that in mind while packing, especially if you’re camping!
Bring a very sturdy tent that won’t be susceptible to wind damage, and you’ll want to make sure you stake it into the ground well.
While you won’t find much in the way of mosquitos during March, there are ticks on the Channel Islands which can carry Lyme disease.
Be sure to wear long pants and socks and do a thorough tick check especially if you hike through tall grass.
Things to Do at Channel Islands National Park
- Go pelican watching on Anacapa Island
- Photograph the stunning Anacapa Arch and Elephant Arch on Santa Barbara Island
- Watch a sunset from Potato Harbor
- Spot dolphins and other marine life on the ferry
- Go fishing with Channel Islands Sportfishing
By Allison Green, California Crossroads
Joshua Tree National Park in March
Visit Joshua Tree National Park in March for mild daytime temperatures and desert wildflowers.
In some years, large quantities of flowers bloom all at once. This is known as a superbloom event and typically occurs every 5-10 years.
Joshua Tree is located in Southern California, 131 miles from Los Angeles (2.5 hours) and 187 miles from Las Vegas (3 hours).
Two of the closest airports are Palm Springs (37 miles) and Los Angeles (187 miles). Both options have car rental agencies available.
While there are no gas stations in Joshua Tree National Park, the closest service stations are located in the cities of Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms and Palm Springs.
These are also the best places to stock up on snacks and supplies before entering the park.
Joshua Tree Lodgings
There are nine campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park.
Campgrounds that can be reserved in advance include Black Rock, Cottonwood, Indian Cove, Jumbo Rocks, and Ryan.
The rest are first-come first-served: Belle, Hidden Valley and White Tank.
If the campgrounds are full, consider backpacking in Joshua Tree instead.
There are no hotels in the National Park, so non-camping visitors typically leave the park and find accommodations in neighboring communities such as the Miracle Springs Resort in Palm Springs.
Joshua Tree in March Temperatures and Bugs
Joshua Tree’s maximum average temperature is 73 F and the minimum is 43 F. Be sure to pack plenty of layers and check the weather forecast as temperatures can vary wildly.
It has been known to freeze overnight in March, so bring a warm sleeping bag if you’re camping outside. Also carry along sunscreen and a broad hat for sun protection.
There are no mosquitoes in Joshua Tree given its arid climate. Do be on the lookout for rattlesnakes, spiders, and scorpions, however!
Things to at Joshua Tree National Park
- Hike the 300 miles of hiking trails (or trek cross-country!)
- Go rock climbing or bouldering at over 8,000 climbing routes
- Watch the sunset from Key’s View
- Take a stroll through the cacti in the Cholla Cactus Garden
- Stargaze at Arch Rock or Skull Rock
- Hunt for one of the park’s five hidden palm tree oases
- Wander through the Wonderland of Rocks (but be sure to bring a map!)
By Katy, A Rambling Unicorn
Death Valley National Park in March
Visit Death Valley National Park in March for the famous Wildflower Super Bloom that occurs in spring and pleasant hiking temperatures.
During your stay, appreciate how the Timbisha Shoshone People navigated life here all year round until they were pushed out of the area when it became a national monument in 1933.
Death Valley National Park is located mostly in California (with a smaller part is in Nevada), 126 miles from Las Vegas, NV (2 hours), and 214 miles from Los Angeles, CA (3 hours 30 minutes).
The closest airport to the 5th largest national park in the US is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas (130 miles from park headquarters) or Bob Hope Airport in Burbank (160 miles from park headquarters) and both airports have car hire options.
There are a few gas stations in Death Valley National Park: at Furnace Creek Ranch, Stovepipe Wells Village, and Panamint Springs Resort. Diesel and propane are sold only at Furnace Creek Ranch. Gas prices inside the park are higher than outside.
There are also several service stations at Pahrump, the town most people visit on Death Valley road trip and and a major stop on the way to Death Valley from Las Vegas.
If you forget to pack something or need to buy some essentials, several convenience stores are located in the following areas – Stovepipe Wells, Furnace Creek, Death Valley Junction, and Beatty.
Death Valley Lodgings
There are nine public campgrounds in Death Valley.
Furnace Creek Campground (reservations Oct 15 – Apr 15, no reservations in summer), Texas Spring Campground (no reservations), Sunset Campground,Stovepipe Wells (no reservations; no fee- free), Mesquite Spring (no reservations, free), Emigrant (tents only; no reservations; free), Wildrose (no reservations, free), Thorndike (no reservations; free), Mahogany Flat (no reservations; free).
And there are three privately managed campgrounds in Death Valley: Fiddler’s Campground, Stovepipe Wells RV Park and Panamint Springs Resort Camping & RV.
There are also two hotels within the park: The Ranch At Death Valley (a 4-star hotel) and The Inn At Death Valley (a 5-star hotel).
Frugal travelers usually opt for budget-friendly motels in Beatty, about 15 miles from Death Valley.
Death Valley Inn & RV Park (a 3-star motel), Exchange Club Motel (a 3-star motel), El Portal Motel (a 2-star motel), Atomic Inn Beatty Near Death Valley (a 2-star motel).
Death Valley in March Temperatures and Bugs
Death Valley’s maximum average temperature is 74 F and the minimum is 54 F.
Keep in mind, that it gets cooler in the nights and mornings, so take layers with you and don’t forget to pack and a decent sleeping bag for colder nights, if you are camping.
Death Valley is mosquito free and unlike many deserts, it’s insect free. But be careful of lizards, scorpions and snakes (especially rattlesnakes)!
Things to at Death Valley National Park
- San hello to Death Valley at the Zabriskie viewpoint, the most iconic Death Valley’s viewpoint
- Head to the the Furnace Creek Visitor Center to get all info about Death Valley
- Go to Devil’s Golfs Course, a shockingly vast salt pan created by the evaporation of a lake 2.000 years ago
- Check out Badwater Basin, the lowest place in North America
- Drive along Artist Drive and take photos of colorful Artist Palette
- Walk Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
- Chase the ’sailing stones’ at Racetrack Playa
- See historic Harmony Borax Works
- Catch sunsets over Death Valley from the Dantes Viewpoint
- Visit Ubehebe Crater
- Hike the 1-mile long Golden Canyon trail
- Trek the 2.7-mile long Twenty Mule Team Canyon
- See iconic Scotty’s Castle, a landmark of California
By Milijana, World Travel Connector
Red Rock Canyon Park, Las Vegas in March
Red Rock Canyon, which spans more than 195,000 acres, is Nevada’s first National Conservation Area and is one of the most scenic places in southern Nevada is as popular with visitors as it is with locals,
Red Rock Canyon is about 15 miles (24 km) west of Las Vegas.
This trip can also be combined with a California trip due to 5 hours drive from San Diego. Many travelers do this trip as a long weekend road trip from San Diego too.
The closest airport to the Red Rock Canyon is Harry Reid International Airport, Las Vegas.
Many travelers rent a car in Vegas city or at Vegas airport and drive to the conservation area.
Restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, banks, postal pro, and grocery stores are located at the corner of Charleston Boulevard and Desert Foothills Drive, 4.5 miles northeast of the entrance to Red Rock Canyon on State Route 159/Charleston.
There are many restaurants, supermarkets, stores, gas stations, etc. further east along Charleston Boulevard.
There is a restaurant, bar, motel, horseback riding, and petting zoo in Bonnie Springs/Old Nevada which is 5.5 miles southeast of the entrance to Red Rock Canyon, along State Route 159.
As Red Rock Canyon is located only 15 miles from Las Vegas, therefore travelers prefer to stay in Las Vegas city.
There is one campground in Red Canyon Park – Red Rock Canyon campground which is 2 miles away from the visitor center. It has not many facilities.
The campground is located one mile south on Moenkopi Road from the junction with W. Charleston Blvd.
Its physical address is 3293 Moenkopi Road, Las Vegas, NV 89161. Per night stay for RVs is 20$.
Red Rock Canyon March Temperatures and Bugs
The average low temperature of Red Rock Canyon in March is 38.4°F and the average high temperature in March is 63.7°F
You will find many Rattlesnakes in Red Rock Canyon as they camouflage with the environment under shrubs, within rock cracks, and along with sandy soils.
These snakes are venomous and need to be careful if you spot them.
There are not many mosquitoes due to the dry climate of this region.
Things to at Red Rock Canyon Park, Las Vegas
- Take a 13 miles scenic drive throughout the park along the scenic loop.
- Explore Calico Basin and Red Springs Picnic Area
- Go for Calico Tanks Trail as it is the most beautiful trail here.
- Hike to Calico Hills for stunning views from the top.
- Explore Lost Creek – the stunning waterfall of the Red Rock region.
- Do not miss to spot Petroglyph Wall which displays ancient rock art in the entire park and is the most unique part of this park.
- Vehicle Entry fees – 15$ per car or truck and 5$ per bike
- Red Rock Canyon’s opening hours – 6 A.M. to 7 P.M.
By Yukti Agrawal, Travel with me 24 x 7
Best Arizona National Parks
Arizona is home to one of the most popular parks in the country and some lesser-known gems.
Grand Canyon in March
Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim is wonderful in March because the temperatures are cool – perfect for hiking – and you’ll avoid the summer crowds.
The Grand Canyon is located in Arizona, 277 miles from Las Vegas (4 hours and 15 minutes) and 232 miles from Phoenix (3 hours 30 minutes).
The closest airport to Grand Canyon, other than the small Tusayan Airport that mostly offers scenic flights, is Flagstaff (90 miles from Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim).
The two nearest major international airports are Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (232 from the South Rim) and Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport (277 miles from the South Rim of the canyon).
All three of these airports have car rental options.
There is one gas station inside the national park at the South Rim, at Desert View.
There are also several gas stations in nearby Tusayan, just five minutes from the park’s South Entrance.
There are two convenience stores inside the park on the South Rim – Canyon Village Market in Grand Canyon Village, and Desert View Market Place at Desert View.
The Tusayan General Store in nearby Tusayan is also a convenient place to stock up on any supplies.
Grand Canyon Lodgings
Grand Canyon’s North Rim is closed in March, but there is one NPS campground on Grand Canyon’s South Rim open then – Mather Campground in Grand Canyon Village.
Most spaces are reservable, but there are 10 spaces that are first come, first served.
There is also the privately-run Trailer Village RV Park in Grand Canyon Village, which is open all year.
Reservations for the RV Park are highly recommended and can be made online.
There are six lodges in Grand Canyon Village, all open in March.
A top pick is Bright Angel Lodge, a historic lodge and cabins with basic rooms perched on the edge of the canyon’s rim.
Grand Canyon Temperatures, Bugs and Animals
Grand Canyon’s South Rim average maximum temperature in March is 51F and the minimum is 25 F. It is cool in the day but gets very chilly at night.
If you’re camping, you will want a good winter tent and a warm sleeping bag.
Since you will probably want to get up to see the canyon at sunrise, wear lots of layers and have a cold-weather jacket with you.
Grand Canyon is cool and dry in March, so bugs and other animals are not an issue.
The most dangerous animal at the Grand Canyon is actually the rock squirrel!
Dozens of people get bitten by these critters every year, so it’s best to stay well away from them.
Things to do at Grand Canyon National Park
- Hike the rim trail
- Take the free Hermit Road shuttle to the viewpoints west of Grand Canyon Village
- Drive Desert View Drive to the viewpoints east of Grand Canyon Village
- Hike the Bright Angel Trail below the rim
- Stay overnight at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon
- Buy Native American art at Hopi House
- Visit the History Room at Bright Angel Lodge
- Learn about the canyon’s formation at the Yavapai Geology Museum
The Grand Canyon also features in our guide to the most romantic places in the US.
By James Ian, Parks Collecting
Petrified Forest National Park in March
Petrified Forest National Park is home to the Petrified Forest of 225-million-year-old fossilized trees.
The Painted Desert, a patch of badlands, is also part of this park.
Visit in March for beautiful weather and cooler hiking temperatures.
The Petrified Forest is located in Holbrook in northern Arizona.
It’s in a remote area of the state, 108.7 miles (1 hour 39 minutes) from Flagstaff and 202.4 miles (3 hours 21 minutes) from the capital city of Phoenix.
It’s a worthwhile and unique place to visit and a popular road trip from Phoenix.
The closest airport is in Flagstaff. However, it’s a small and mostly regional airport so the larger, international Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix may be a better option for most.
Both airports do have rental cars available.
There is one gas station located in the national park near the north entrance, and ten others located in the town of Holbrook 20 minutes away.
There are a convenience store, restaurant, and gift shop near the north entrance of the park where most people enter. And you’ll find a gift shop with snacks available near the south entrance of the park.
Petrified Forest Lodging
There are no accommodations for staying inside the park. You’re also not allowed to camp in the park or RV, with the exception of backpacking in the designated Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area.
Information is available at the visitor centers.
You may also like our guide to backpacking national parks for the best options.
There are a number of hotels in nearby Holbrook offering a range of options based on your budget.
Some options include the Travelodge by Wyndham, Best Western Arizonian, and Lexington Inn Holbrook.
There are also RV parks and campgrounds including the Petrified Forest KOA and OK RV Park.
Petrified Forest in March Temperatures and Bugs
Bugs and mosquitos are not a problem in March as the Petrified Forest is in an arid high desert climate. Temperatures range from a high of 64°F to a low of 31°F on average. It’s perfect hiking weather during the day at this time of year! Shade is limited in the park and it’s nice and cool in March.
Things to Do at Petrified Forest National Park
There are two main draws to visit Petrified Forest National Park: seeing the fossillized forest and visiting the Painted Desert. Here are the top park activities:
- Hike the trails to walk among the fallen petrified trees
- Visit the Agate House pueblo built around 700 years ago
- Wander around the badlands in the Painted Desert
- See the Native American ruins and petroglyphs in the badlands
- Take in sunrise or sunset over the badlands to enjoy the exquisite colors of the desert
- Learn about the Native Americans who once lived in the area at the visitor centers
By Samantha, My Flying Leap
Saguaro National Park in March
A visit to Saguaro National Park in March is a perfect idea because that is when the cacti begin to bloom and mild hiking temperatures prevail. The park consists of two districts: Rincon Mountain District (east) and Tucson Mountain District (west), and since they are adjacent, it is worth visiting both.
Saguaro National Park is located in southeastern Arizona, about 10 miles from Tucson (15 minutes), and about 116 miles southeast of Phoenix (2 hours 30 minutes).
The closest international airports to the park, with its 1.8 million saguaro cacti, are Tuscon (15 miles) and Phoenix (103 miles to Red Hills Visitor Center and 129 miles to Rincon Mountain Visitor Center). Car rentals are available at both airports.
There are many gas stations and services in the Saguaro region, especially in Tuscon. The one closest to the Red Hills Visitor Center (West District) is Speedway. And Circle K, if you are planning your visit from Rincon Mountain Visitor Center (East District).
If you forgot to pack something or need to stock up on snacks, there are several stores in Tuscon for your daily needs.
There are no lodging facilities in Saguaro National Park unless you wish to camp in Saguaro East.
Camping is allowed at six designated campsites within the Saguaro Wilderness Area, but you will need a permit. There are no overnight vehicle accommodations (including RVs).
Your best bet is to stay in Tucson. If you prefer the east side of the park, you can stay at Rincon Country East RV Resort. Or you can choose Rincon Country West RV Resort, which is closer to the Tucson Mountain District.
There are a variety of hotels in Tuscon. The Hampton Inn & Suites Tucson East is just 8.6 miles from the park’s east entrance and has excellent guest reviews.
Saguaro in March Temperatures and Bugs
Saguaro’s maximum average temperature is 74F and the minimum is 53 F. It is cooler in the morning and after sunset, so wear layers.
Arizona is a flower state when saguaro blossom.
So Saguaro draws bats, bees, flies, and beetles.
But most of the time they spend in saguaro flowers.
However, it would be best to have covered shoulders and long pants.
You do need to look out for snakes and spiders as well.
It is best to have trekking boots with a good grip and toe-covered.
But most of all, you need to be careful about the spines of the cactus.
Things to at Saguaro National Park
- Try to visit both districts of Saguaro, because they are different
- Take a photo next to the largest saguaro cactus you can find
- Observe native birds such as woodpeckers, owls, purple martins, and house finches that live in the holes of the saguaros
- Take Cactus Forest Drive in the Rincon Mountain District (east)
- Take the Bajada Loop Drive in the Tucson Mountain District (west)
- Go for a hike: Cactus Wren Trail (west) and Cactus Forest Trail (east)
- Enjoy the saguaro sunset from Valley View Overlook (west) or Javelina Rocks Overlook (east)
- If you are traveling with kids, visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in the West District – it’s a cross between a zoo and botanical garden; general admission is $24.95, children (ages 3-12) $13.95
By Agnes, The Van Escape
Located in the Pacific Ocean, about 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland, The Aloha Island, has a very active national park waiting to be explored…
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in March
Visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in March is a perfect time to explore here on the Big Island with fantastic spring weather, less crowds visiting at this time and so much to see at the park grounds.
Volcanoes National Park is about 29 miles to the main city in Hilo and 83 miles from the main city of Kona.
The closest city to get to the national park is from Hilo downtown which is about forty minutes and you can easily rent a car from downtown or at Hilo airport.
From Hilo take Highway 11 south to the park entrance sign.
If you are looking for gas stations nearby, you can get gas at Volcano village which is a few miles from the park entrance or you can easily get gas in Hilo before you start your trip.
You can also get snacks and food to go in Hilo or in Volcano village, there are a few restaurants and a small market and sandwich shop for take out food.
Visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Lodgings
You can easily camp at the national park, is one main lodge on the park grounds called the Volcano House.
Camping can be done through the park website and is located at two main sites in the park here.
There are a variety of smaller inns and AirBnB rentals in Volcano village which is a very short drive to the park.
Visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Temperatures in March, Bugs and Animals
The park temperature is variable during March which is located in a higher part of the island and cooler in general.
General temperatures in March tends to be very comfortable from the 70s to mid 80s in Farenheit on average and cooler at night time.
Dress in layers and bring an umbrella for changes in the weather and look at weather reports so you can plan accordingly.
Bug and insects are standard mosquitos so always bring spray if you are planning on doing any outdoor hiking activities.
Things to See at Volcanoes National Park
- Rim outlooks from many vantage points
- Hiking opportunities around the park especially the rim trail and Kilauea Iki trail
- Visit the cool Thurston Lava tube
- Experience a fun road trip on the Chain of Craters road through the park
- Check out the Pu’uloa petroglyphs with an easy short hike to the site
- Have a nice meal and view of the main caldera at Volcano House
This is one of the best national park vacations for travelers who love geology and nature.
Many of Hawaii’s locations feature in our warm winter destinations guide.
By Noel, This Hawaii Life
National Parks in Western US
Winter activities, hot springs and rocky mountains, let’s see what the Western State National Parks have on offer for adventure seekers this March.
The following parks are located in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado.
Glacier National Park in March
If you like to bundle up and embrace winter and its activities, such as skiing and snowshoeing, and you prefer to avoid crowds then visiting Glacier National Park in March is for you.
Glacier National Park is in northwestern Montana bordering the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.
It is 28 miles from Whitefish, MT (48 minutes) and 25 miles from Kalispell (50 minutes).
The closest airport is Glacier Park International (FCA) located in Kalispell, 30 miles from the West Entrance of the park and car rental is readily available.
There are no gas stations inside Galcier NP so it’s best to fill up in one of the towns just outside the park.
Although Glacier is open year-round many of the services are closed during the shoulder season so it’s advisable to go armed with supplies such as food and drink when visiting in March.
Glacier National Park Lodgings
The only option for staying in the park in March is for hardy winter campers. Apgar and St Mary Campgrounds offer camping year-round but there is no running water or flush toilets outside of the summer months.
In March, the best place for accommodations when visiting Glacier is in Whitefish and the Grouse Mountain Lodge is a favorite for skiers.
For the ultimate in unique Montana accommodations, the Bar W Guest Ranch provides cozy rooms and an abundance of winter activities just 30 miles from West Entrance of Glacier NP.
Glacier in March Temperatures and Bugs
Weather can be extreme and unpredictable in March with temperatures averaging only 43F so bundle up and be prepared with good winter clothing and snow boots.
Due to the cold weather bugs are pretty much non-existent.
Things to do in Glacier National Park in March
- Cross country skiing
- Winter hiking
- Ranger-led snowshoe walks
- Winter camping
- Enjoy the peace of the park with no crowds
- Wildlife spotting
- Beautiful winter photography
By Sarah of All About Glamping
Yellowstone in March in March
Yellowstone was officially the first national park to be federally protected in 1872 which resulted in treaties identifying Native tribes as the rightful owners of the land being overturned.
It is said that 27 tribes, including the Tukudika, are associated with Yellowstone, with a history spanning at least 11,000 years.
Visiting Yellowstone National in March is perfect for those that would like to see the park’s most famous wildlife (such as bears, elks, bison, wolves, etc) as they migrate to the lower elevation parts of the park.
It is also ideal for avoiding crowds, a common issue when visiting Yellowstone in the summer.
This iconic American national park is located near the Northwest and spans a total of three states – Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.
As a result, there are many entrances to the park.
But if you are visiting in March, the only one that is open is the North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana.
The closest airport to Gardiner is the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), which is located 88.4 miles away from the North Entrance of Yellowstone.
Car hire options are also available at BZN.
There are seven fuel locations inside Yellowstone National Park, but in March, only the one at Mammoth will be open.
In Gardiner, there is also a gas station where you can top up before entering the park.
At every fuel station inside the park, you will also find a corresponding convenience store.
Yellowstone National Park Lodgings
There are a total of 12 campgrounds inside Yellowstone National, but only the Mammoth Campground is open in March.
Reservation for Mammoth Campground is typically made online, but for the month of March, visitors must show up in person to secure their spot.
There are a total of 9 lodges inside Yellowstone National Park, but plenty of places to stay in Gardiner.
In March, only 2 out of the 9 lodges inside the park open and operate as winter lodges – Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.
However, these winter lodges begin to close in March, so you might not find a place to stay inside the park at all as the summer lodges don’t open up until late April.
Yellowstone in March Temperatures
The temperature in Yellowstone in March is cold and ranges from a low of 17.2 to 39.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are camping in Yellowstone during March, make sure you have the proper sleeping bag to protect yourself against the freezing temperatures.
Snow is not uncommon to see during March, so make sure you pack lots of warm clothing with you.
Luckily, due to its chilly temperature, bugs are non-existent at Yellowstone in March so you will not need to include any insect repellant in your Yellowstone packing list.
Things to at Yellowstone National Park in March
- Go wildlife watching (free)
- Visit the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone or/and Old Faithful via a snowmobile or snowcoach
- Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on one of the many trails in Yellowstone (free if you have your own gear)
- Check out the Mammoth Hot Springs (free)
- Participate in one of the rangers-led programs (free)
By Sean, LivingOutLau
Rocky Mountain National Park in March
Visit Rocky Mountain National Park in March for a taste of winter and spring combined.
While it is still winter in Rocky Mountain National Park in March, the spring weather is beginning, bringing warmer temperatures, fewer crowds combined with the Colorado snow.
Located in northeast Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park can be easily accessed by flying into Denver International Airport and then renting a car from the airport for your 77 mile (1 hour and 45 min) drive to the town of Estes Park, Colorado.
Estes Park is the perfect town to call home during your visit to Rocky Mountain National Park.
The town of Estes Park has numerous gas stations, boutique shops, restaurants, and more, making it the best place to stock up for supplies as well.
Honestly, there are so many things to do in Estes Park that you really do want to include this mountain town on your Rocky Mountain itinerary.
Rocky Mountain National Park Lodging
Unfortunately, there are no overnight accommodations in Rocky Mountain National Park.
There are numerous accommodations around the park though.
The towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake are popular towns to stay in while visiting Estes Park, but note that the Grand Lake entrance is not open in March.
One of the most popular hotels in Estes Park is the historic Stanley Hotel.
Other options include The Inn on Fall River and The Estes Park Resort.
Rocky Mountain National Park in March Temperatures and Bugs
The temperatures in Rocky Mountain National Park in March will vary depending on what side of the park you are on and what elevation you are.
The east side of the park at Estes Park generally sees a high of 44ºF (6ºC) and low of 23ºF (-5ºC) with an average snowfall of 8.6 inches.
The west side of the park at Grand Lake sees highs of 43ºF (1ºC) and 9ºF (-16ºC) with an average snowfall of 13.4 inches.
Due to the cold temperatures, you should not have a problem with bugs in Rocky Mountain National Park this time of year.
Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park
- Cross Country ski the 3.3 mile loop at Sprague Lake
- Try your hand at ice fishing (just be sure you have a Colorado fishing license)
- Do some winter wildlife watching. Be on the lookout for elk, moose, and bighorn sheep
- Go snowshoeing and explore the park
- Go hiking at Bear Lake, Cub Lake, Dream Lake, Gem Lake, or Deer Mountain
- Enjoy sledding at Hidden Valley
By Michelle, That Texas Couple
Great Sand Dunes National Park in March
Visit Great Sand Dunes National Park in March to explore without the crowds and have easy access to one of the quietest parks in the system.
Great Sand Dunes National Park is located in southwest Colorado, 236 miles from Denver and 234 miles from Albuquerque, both about 4 hours away.
When you drive to Great Sand Dunes National Park from Denver, take I-25 south to US 160 and head west.
From Albuquerque, you’ll go the opposite route and drive north on I-25 to US 160.
Both Denver and Albuquerque have major airports and several car agencies.
The closest gas stations to Great Sand Dunes National Park open in March are in Mosca, 23 miles west of the park’s Visitor Center, and Fort Garland, which is 31 miles southeast.
If there are any last-minute items you need, you Mosca Pit Stop is the closest, and there are several in Alamosa, which is directly south of Mosca.
Great Sand Dunes Lodgings
Camping at Great Sand Dunes National Park in March is limited to backcountry camping, with sites that are an easy mile hike and others more than ten miles from parking.
Primitive camping is available at Zapata Falls Campground on Bureau of Land Management land.
Great Sand Dunes Lodge is a motel located just south of the park and opens-March 1.
Several national chain hotels and motels, including Hampton Inn, can be found in Alamosa, which is 38 miles southwest of the Visitor Center.
Great Sand Dunes in March Temperatures and Bugs
The maximum average temperature at Great Sand Dunes is 46.9 F and the minimum is 21.2.
Weather can be volatile, so pack layers and be prepared with a cold weather sleeping bag if camping.
Because it can get below freezing at night, bugs are generally not an issue in March.
Things to do at Great Sand Dunes
- Hike the 30 square mile dunefield
- Hike the 7-mile round trip Mosca Pass
- Drive the Medano Pass 4WD Road (small SUVs not recommended)
- Go sandboarding or sand sledding (rentals available from Oasis Store outside park)
- Take a private birding tour
- Go horseback riding at Zapata Ranch
- Get up before the sun and see the Milky Way
By Theresa, The Local Tourist
Mesa Verde National Park
If you’re looking for a place to visit in March, look no further than Mesa Verde National Park for its cooler temperatures and incredible cliff dwellings that are easier to see with fewer tourists.
Mesa Verde National Park is located in the southern part of Colorado, around 370.8 miles south of Denver (6 hours 45 minutes).
If you won’t be traveling from Denver, many people will also get to Mesa Verde National Park from Cortez, which is 10.3 miles (13 minutes) from the park’s entrance.
The nearest airport to the park is Cortez Municipal Airport (14.9 miles from the park entrance) where you can rent a car; there are also connections from Denver International Airport to the Cortez Municipal Airport for those who have to fly into a larger airport first.
Downtown Cortez is filled with shops and a few gas stations where you can fill up your tank before entering the park if needed.
In the case that you need to pick up some quick snacks or other items to visit the park, there’s a Safeway and a City Market (both local grocery stores) in Cortez, as well as a few outdoor shops for gear.
Mesa Verde National Park Lodgings
The one campsite inside Mesa Verde National Park is Morefield Campground with 267 camp spots available and reservations are not required; in fact, the campground is rarely ever full.
Another option to stay inside the park is at Mesa Verde’s own hotel, Far View Lodge, which allows you to be a short drive from the top attractions.
If you can’t get a hotel or campsite, many other guests will opt to stay at one of the hotels in downtown Cortez, such as the Hampton Inn.
Mesa Verde National Park Temperatures
The warmest that it usually gets in Mesa Verde National Park is 87.5 F and the lowest is 18.4 F, but because the park is in the mountains, it gets pretty cool in the morning and at night no matter the time of year.
Bugs are never that bad in Mesa Verde National Park, especially in March, but be sure to pack normal precautions like bug spray just for protection.
Things to do at Mesa Verde National Park
- Find the petroglyphs (free)
- Tour one of the many cliff houses with a park ranger
- Learn about the park’s history at the museum
- Eat dinner in the Metate Room in the park
- Drive around to the Far View Sites (free)
- Hike the Long House Loop and post a photo of the view with a nature caption
- Stargaze in the official 100th International Dark Sky Park
By Krystianna, Volumes & Voyages
White Sands National Park in March
White Sands National Park is the perfect park to visit in March due to the perfect weather you will encounter and the lack of crowds.
It is located in southern New Mexico near the town of Alamogordo.
To get here, El Paso is 100 miles away (1.5 hours) or 224 miles from Albuquerque (3.5 hours) and both airports have the option to rent a car.
There are no gas stations or convenience stores within the park, but you can stop in Las Cruces or Alamogordo.
White Sands Lodging
White Sands National Park offers one backcountry camping site. To get to the site, you follow a 2-mile loop and camp among the sand dunes.
Outside of the park are several RV parks and campgrounds at Oliver Lee State Park and Aguirre Springs Recreation Area.
There are no accommodations within the park, but the towns of Alamogordo and Las Cruces have many chain hotels. The Hampton Inn is an affordable option.
White Sands in March Temperatures and Bugs
White Sand’s maximum average temperature is 75 F and the minimum is 40 F.
The mornings can be quite windy and cold, so make sure to pack a good windbreaker or jacket, especially if you are camping.
Although White Sands National Park has some bugs, in March it is typically too cold for them to come out. Be on the lookout for spiders and sand scorpions.
Things to do at White Sands National Park
- Look inside the Visitor’s Center to learn about daily programs.
- Drive Dune Drive to look at the Sand Dunes.
- Hike the 5 mile Alkali Flat Trail that goes up and down the sand dunes. This is very strenuous and is quite the workout.
- Hike the 1 mile Dune Life Nature Trail that is much less strenuous.
- Sled down the Sand Dunes. You can rent a sled for $15 from the Visitor’s Center.
- Walk the Interdune Boardwalk to learn about the geology of the area.
By Francesca, Homeroom Travel
Best National Parks in Utah
Arches National Park in March
Arches National Park in Utah is perfect to visit in March if you are looking for milder temperatures than in winter, smaller crowds and opportunities to take photos of the incredible arches dusted by snow.
Arches National Park is located just outside of Moab, a gateway to adventure and one of the most popular destinations in Utah that boasts super hiking, rafting on the Colorado river, camping and rock climbing.
The closest airport to Arches National Park is in Moab, however, many visitors fly to Salt Lake City International Airport located about 200 miles away. The airport has several car rental companies which is a great option if you are traveling in summer, when rental vehicles are in high demand and can be tough to get in Moab
While there are no gas stations inside Arches National Park, but there are many gas stations in Moab and you can get gas before going to the park.
Likewise, Moab offers plenty of convenience stores, supermarkets and grocery stores, so you can get plenty of food and snacks. There are no stores within Arches National Park.
There are no hotels inside Arches National Park. The only campsite at Devil’s Garden fills up very fast, and your best bet is to book a hotel or reserve a campsite in Moab. For example, Best Western Moab is one of the best options that offers basic amenities that a traveler might need.
Arches in March Temperatures and Bugs
March brings warmer temperatures to the Moab area compared to cold winter months, but mornings and nights are still chilly.
The average high temperature in the Arches during March is in low 60s, however, at night it’s not uncommon to see it dip into 40s and even 30s.
Temperatures vary at the Arches National Park throughout the day, and, while it can be cold in the morning, it typically gets much warmer by noon.
But make sure to bring some sunscreen, as sun can be still strong here during midday.
And, if you plan on hiking, dress in layers.
Since Arches National Park is located in the high desert, there are no bugs here.
Did you know that there are free national park entry days throughout the year?
You can visit the Arches and other parks completely free on Veterans Day in November!
Read more about this, and other national parks, in our guide to parks in November.
Things to do at Arches National Park in March
- Most things at Arches National Park revolve around hiking and taking photos of … arches! The park is home to thousands of arches most famous of which can be accessed by easy or moderate hikes.
- While most visitors come here for the famous Delicate Arch, it takes about 2 days to check most trails at this national park off your bucket list, so don’t skip the rest of the park after snapping the iconic photo.
- And, if the weather forecast calls for snow, make sure to bring your camera. Arches is a popular national park for winter photography, as snow makes for incredible photos against bright orange red rock.
By Daria, the Discovery Nut
Canyonlands National Park in March
Canyonland National Park is another one of nature’s gems in the United States. Covering 338,000 acres, it is the largest national park in Utah and a great place for a Utah road trip.
The park is in the southeastern corner of Utah about 32 miles from Moab, the nearest big town. Moab is where most people stay when they visit Canyonlands. The city has an airport and several car rental agencies.
The best way to get to Canyonlands from Moab is to go north on US 191 ten miles to S.R. 313. Note that there are no services like convenience stores, gas or restaurants in Canyonlands. Load up on all your needs in Moab or the Needles Outpost on S.R. 211 just outside the park where you find groceries and fuel.
The area is actually four parks in one divided by the Green and Colorado Rivers: Islands in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze and The Rivers. You can’t cross from one section to the other without again leaving the park. Islands in the Sky is the most visited section.
Canyonlands National Park Lodgings
There are no accommodations inside the park. Your best bet is to stay in Moab. One very nice and convenient hotel in Moab is the Best Western.
There are two campgrounds in Canyonlands. One, Willow Flat, is in the Islands in the Sky section. It has 12 sites available on a first come first served basis for US$15.00 per site.
The Needles, in the eponymous section has 26 sites at $20, also on a first come first served basis.
There are additional campgrounds outside the park. Further information is available at Discover Moab.
Canyonlands National Park temperatures
Spring, around late March when the average daytime temperature is a mild 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 Celsius), and fall are the best times to visit Canyonlands. The temperature ranges from a high of 65 F to a low of 35 F at night so be sure to layer clothing.
Free things to do in Canyonlands National Park
- Hike the hundreds of miles of trails
- Picnic by a river or in view of majestic mountains.
- Gaze into the some of the deepest canyons in the park system
- Take awesome photos like Mesa Arch at sunrise.
- Stargaze the brilliant stars in the desert night sky.
If you want to go a little more upmarket, hire a 4X4 car and driver, at about US$400 for a half day, to show you the best spots. Of course, white water rafting one of the rivers at about US$700/person for a full day is a great option. For the ultimate Canyonlands adventure, hire a helicopter. A 45-minute ride will cost you US$319/person with a minimum of two people.
By Talek, Travels with Talek
Capitol Reef National Park in March
March is a wonderful time to visit Capitol Reef, due to the cool yet pleasant temperatures, few crowds, and the blooming trees of the Fruita Orchards.
Capitol Reef is located near Torrey, Utah, 187 miles from Grand Junction, Colorado (2 hours and 50 minutes), 218 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah (3 hours and 25 minutes), and 327 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada (5 hours and 8 minutes).
The closest airports to Capitol Reef are Grand Junction, Colorado or Salt Lake City, Utah, both of which have rental car options.
There are no gas stations in Capitol Reef but there are several options in the nearby town of Torrey.
If you forget to pack something, Torrey also has a handful of convenience stores to pick up necessities, like Tug’s One Stop.
Capitol Reef Lodging
The park only offers one reservable camping option, the Fruita Campground, as well as two first-come, first-serve primitive campgrounds, Cathedral Valley and Cedar Mesa.
Given that Capitol Reef tends to be uncrowded in the springtime, you likely will not have trouble snagging a spot at the Fruita Campground.
There’s no hotels in the park, but if you’re looking for more formal accommodations, consider a stay at The Chuckwagon Motel, a rustic, yet clean motel that’s within minutes of Capitol Reef’s gates,
Capitol Reef in March Temperatures and Bugs
Capitol Reef is a typical desert climate- so expect cool yet pleasant temperatures in the upper 40s through the lower 50s during the day, but sub-freezing temperatures (lows in the 20s) at night.
While you’re sure to work up a sweat while you’re hiking Capitol Reef’s magnificent trails, be sure to bring lots of layers to keep warm in the chilly air, especially in the morning and at night time.
If you’re camping, you’ll want to bring a sleeping bag that’s at least rated for 15° to make sure you stay cozy and warm.
There’s limited annoying bugs at Capitol Reef, especially in March, but you should keep an eye out for scorpions and snakes along the trails.
Things to do at Capitol Reef
- Hike any of the dozens of trails the park has to offer
- See the petroglyphs along Highway 24, left by Indigenous people sometime between 600 and 1300 AD
- Explore the 1800s historic settlement of Fruita and have the famous pie at the Gifford Homestead
- Go on the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive to see some of the most unique rock formations in the park
- Drive a high clearance vehicle to the rugged Cathedral Valley to see stunning rock monoliths and expansive desert views
- Day trip to see the Mars-like landscape of the Bentonite Hills, Utah
- Take a canyoneering or climbing tour to scale the colorful canyon walls in Capitol Reef (starting around $250 per person)
- Stargaze in Capitol Reef, which is a designated International Dark Sky Park
By Jessica Schmit of Uprooted Traveler
Zion National Park in March
March is a great time to visit Zion National Park because there are less crowds and the spring-time temperatures are better for hiking.
Zion is located in south Utah, 160 miles from Las Vegas (2 hours 30 minutes) or 300 miles from Salt Lake City (4 hours 30 minutes).
The closest regional airports are St. George (45 miles from the park) or Cedar City (60 miles from the park), although there are more flight options going to Las Vegas or Salt Lake City.
There are lots of gas stations, restaurants, convenience stores and other places to resupply in the town of Springdale, which is just outside of the Zion National Park boundary.
There are three NPS campgrounds in Zion National Park (Watchman, Lava Point, and South Campground) and it’s practically required to make a reservation in advance since they’re extremely popular.
If the main campgrounds are booked out, you can try some nearby towns like Virgin, La Verkin, or Hurricane.
The Zion Lodge is the only hotel in the park, but there are lots of hotel options in the town of Springdale, which sits right on the edge of the Zion park entrance.
Zion in March Temperatures and Bugs
Zion’s average high temperature is 66 F and the average low is 38 F.
It can be pretty cool in the morning, so you’ll want to wear layers that you can easily shed later in the day when your body heats up from hiking.
The climate in Zion is very dry, so mosquitos and other bugs are generally not an issue at any time of the year.
Things to do at Zion National Park
- Drive the scenic Zion-Mount Carmel highway
- Experience the famous Angels Landing hike and other trails in the park
- Go canyoneering or rock climbing
- Enjoy the quiet side at Kolob Canyons
- Visit the nearby Grafton Ghost Town
By David, The World Travel Guy
Bryce Canyon National Park in March
Visit Bryce Canyon National Park in March to escape the summer crowds, enjoy the winter atmosphere and see the iconic red hoodoos and rock amphiteatres covered in snow, which lingers until late in the month.
Bryce Canyon is located in Southern Utah, roughly halfway between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, 270 miles from the two cities (approx 4 hours drive).
The closest international airports are Las Vegas (LAS) and Salt Lake City (SLC). There’s a smaller regional airport in Cedar City, Utah (CDC – 80 miles away).
There are two gas stations, one near the shuttle bus stop and the hotels, and a Chevron 5 miles down the main road crossing the park.
There are more in Bryce Canyon City and Panguitch, UT, the closest town to the park about 15 miles away.
You can buy food, drinks, and other essentials at the Bryce Canyon General Store near Sunrise Point and North Campground.
Bryce Canyon Lodgings
The North Campground is the only one in the park open year-round, and in March it operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
Since it’s still quite cold in March, it’s probably better to stay at the Lodge at Bryce Canyon, one of the park’s historic structures open since 1924.
There are a total of 114 rooms, including cabin, motel rooms and suites, a restaurant and gift shop onsite. The Lodge is a short walk from Bryce Amphitheater.
Nearby Bryce Canyon City offers a wider choice of accommodation including the iconic Ruby’s Inn, also welcoming RV.
Bryce Canyon in March Temperatures, Bugs and Animals
Due to its high elevation (between 8000 and 9000 ft), March is still winter in Bryce Canyon.
Average high temperature is 45°F, and low is 23°F.
Make sure you have winter gear and a 4-season sleeping bag if you are planning to camp. Trails might be icy, so hiking boots with studs are a must.
Since temperatures are still rigid in March, bugs and animals are not really a problem.
Bryce Canyon Things to Do
- Take an 18-km scenic drive along the main park road-Hike the Rim Trail for scenic views over the Amphitheater
- Go on a guided snowshoe hike (departing daily at 1 PM)
- Enter the lottery for full moon snowshoe hikes
- Join the Astronomy Programs offered by the Visitor Centre
- Cross-country ski along sections of the Rim Trail
By Margherita, The Crowded Planet
Best National Parks East Coast
Gator spotting, world-class beaches and star-gazing, let’s see what the following recommended east coast parks have in store this March.
Florida National Parks to Vist in March
Everglades National Park in March
Visit Everglades National Park in March as the best season to visit Miami is between March to May when the temperatures are mild and mosquitoes levels are low.
The easiest way to get to Everglades National Park, irrespective of whether you’re based in the US or not, is to fly to Miami International Airport.
The distance between the airport and Miami is 9 miles and takes about 20 minutes.
You can hire a car from the airport and head straight to the Everglades or to your vacation base.
The number 150 bus does run between the airport and Miami and takes about 45 minutes and costs between 1-6 dollars.
The distance between Miami and Everglades National Park is about 27.4 miles and it takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to get here.
There are 4 entrances to Everglades National Park:
- The Gulf Coast Visitor Center
- Shark Valley Visitor Center
- Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center
- Flamingo Visitor Center
It is best to fill up on gas in Miami itself as there aren’t any gas stations close to all of the entrances.
The closest bunch of stations can be found near the Everglades Outpost and the Florida Keys Outlet marketplace.
It is the same with convenience stores as well.
However, there is a convenience store at the Ernest F Coe Visitor Center; you’ll find a Walmart and a Circle K here.
Everglades National Park Lodgings
Long Pine Key and Flamingo are the 2 campgrounds in the park.
Flamingo has fishing opportunities and canoe and hiking trails.
Long Pine Key is open seasonally and tends to fill up fast on a first come first serve basis hence it’s best to check if available in advance else book at Flamingo.
If spots aren’t open at both, you can find hotels near the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, some of which are Travelodge and Hooseville hostel.
Everglades National Park Temperatures in March
The average maximum temperature in March at Everglades is about 25 degrees and is a minimum of 19.
As mentioned before, mosquitoes levels are low and temperatures pleasant thus making it a must add to your Miami itinerary; however, do carry a sweater if needed as it can get quite windy at times!
Things to do at Everglades National Park
- Visit Sawgrass recreation park and take an airboat ride
- Take a walk on the Bobcat Boardwalk at Shark Valley
- Keep an eye out for crocodiles and alligators no matter which route you pick!
- Take a tram tour and keep an eye out for turtles and regional birds
- Hop on a canoe or kayak through the backwaters
- Take a hike on the Gumbo Limbo trail
Recommended by Lavina from Continent Hop
Biscayne National Park in March
Visit Biscayne National Park if you are looking for the best US National Park to visit in March.
It is the ideal time to spend a romantic vacation in Florida by swimming and snorkeling in the little warm water and exploring the park by boat.
Biscayne National Park is located just 32 miles (40 minutes) south of Miami and 63 miles(1.2 hours) south of Ft. Lauderdale International Airport.
The best way to get to this national park is by car.
If you don’t have a car, rent it from the airport or you can take the Homestead National Park Trolley service from Homestead.
People also come from Tampa, Fort Myers, Orlando, but it will be over 3 hours long drive.
There is no gas station in Biscayne National Park. It is highly recommended to fill the gas from nearby cities like Homestead, Miami, and Key Largo.
Biscayne National Park Lodgings
Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key are the two campgrounds where you can stay at a cost of $25 per night.
No reservation is necessary, but it is recommended to reach early as these are first come first serve.
There is no National Park lodge in Biscayne National Park but you can stay at Courtyard by Marriott Miami Homestead which is located in the town of Homestead.
Biscayne National Park in March Temperatures and Bugs
March in Biscayne National Park is neither too cold nor too hot.
The average maximum temperature is 25°C and the minimum is 19°C.
It’s a bit chilly during the night but bearable.
Mosquitos can ruin your beautiful day even during cooler months.
You need to bring a bug spray to this wooded national park.
Things to at Biscayne National Park
- Go for a snorkeling trip and discover the third-largest barrier reef in the world.
- Enjoy wildlife watching and bird watching in the park.
- Visit Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key and hike the spite Trail and Jetty Trail.
- Enjoy Kayaking and paddleboarding through the mangrove swamps.
There is no entry fee in Biscayne National Park. It is open 24 hours throughout the year.
By Trijit, Budget Travel Buff
Acadia National Park in March
Acadia National Park enjoys our famously distinct seasons in New England, so visiting in March is best if you’re game for anything!
You could be there for early springtime hiking or you could be there with tons of snow and perfect conditions for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
Located on Mt Desert Island in northeastern Maine right on the Atlantic coastline, Acadia is one of the few national parks on the East Coast.
It was originally named Sieur de Monts National Monument in 1916 then Lafayette National Park in 1919.
In 1929 it was changed to Acadia National Park.
Some of the land was ‘donated’ by wealthy women such as Bar Harbor resident, Eliza Homans.
Naturally, the land where Acadia sits today was connected to people before these titles were given.
The Wabanaki People; Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet and Micmac, called Mount Desert Island, Pemetic or ‘the sloping land’ and records show they’ve lived on the East Coast for 12,000 years.
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is probably best for international arrivals, while Bangor and Portland welcome plenty of domestic flights.
Getting to Acadia by car is easy enough from Boston or elsewhere in New England.
The drive from Boston is about 4.5 hours and covers 275 miles or so.
Once you’re at Acadia, staying right in Bar Harbor is ideal for convenience and for that cute coastal town vibe.
There are a few gas stations in town as well as plenty of restaurants and bars.
Of course, in March, not everything will be open in this more popular summertime destination!
But you certainly won’t have to deal with tourist crowds, which can make for a much more enjoyable experience.
Acadia also features in our guide to the best national parks in October because fall is when it is really in its prime!
Acadia National Park Lodgings
If you’re visiting Acadia in March, you’ll be in the lowest tourist season and definitely not there for camping weather.
Instead, opt for the delightful Inn on Mount Desert or the Acadia Hotel – Downtown and stay right in the heart of Bar Harbor.
Note that even many hotels and B&Bs close during the winter, so you’ll want to book in advance to ensure availability.
Acadia National Park March Temperatures and Bugs
Temperatures in Acadia National Park in March are typically in the high 30s to mid-40s Fahrenheit, since it’s right on the cusp between winter and spring.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get fresh snow just before you arrive!
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can be done right along the carriage roads, which are filled with hikers and cyclists in the summer months.
Another benefit of visiting in this shoulder season: Zero bugs!
Things to do at Acadia National Park
- Try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing along the carriage roads; rentals are available if you don’t have your own gear.
- Winter beach walks!
- Enjoy the quiet local life in the off-season of this typically busy tourist spot
- Search for wildlife, including deer and plenty of birds
- Go ice fishing
- Drive along the parts of the Park Loop Road that remain open in winter: Ocean Drive and Jordan Pond Road
- Walk along the carriage roads, but do watch for ice.
- Go snowmobiling! (not allowed on the carriage roads)
- Always check local conditions on the NPS website or from rangers at the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce
By Amanda, Hey! East Coast USA
Eastern State National Parks
Mammoth Cave National Park in March
Visit Mammoth Cave National Park in March to see gypsum formations and historic cave writing with guided tours of the cave.
Mammoth Cave National Park is located in West-central Kentucky, 85.7 miles from Owensboro, KY (1 hour 40 minutes) 124 miles from Evansville, IN (2 hours 10 minutes).
The closest airport to the 15th largest national park in the US is Louisville, KY (88.9 miles from Visitor center) or Nashville, TN (99.2 miles from Visitor Center). Both airports have car rental options.
There is no gas station once you enter the Mammoth Cave national park.
There are service stations at Cave city and Brownsville; most people stop before entering the park.
If you need any supplies or need to stock up on snacks, several convenience stores are located in Park City or cave city.
Mammoth Cave Lodgings
There are three front-country campgrounds and 13 backcountry campsites in Mammoth cave that you have to reserve or take a permit in advance.
Check weather conditions in advance, and don’t forget to pack all essentials for camping.
Permits for the Riverside/Floodplain camping are obtained at the Mammoth Cave Campground in person only on the day of your trip.
The Lodge at Mammoth Cave is the only hotel in the park, but most visitors drive out at night and stay in Park City or cave city at accommodations such as Grand Victorian Inn.
Mammoth Cave in March Temperatures and Bugs
Mammoth Cave’s maximum average temperature is 58.6 F, and the minimum is 48.5 F.
The temperature in the cave is lesser than the outside temperature while deep in the cave, it is constant 54 F.
Campers, please be prepared for cold weather and pack according to weather conditions; storms happen year-round.
Since Mammoth Cave has a cooler temperature, mosquitos are not an issue in March, but Insect and spider species make up a large portion of the array of wildlife found inside the park. Some of these insects you can find at the cave entrance.
Things to at Mammoth Cave National Park
- Take eight different types of tour, historical tour is popular
- Over 30 miles of river to Canoeing, Kayaking, and Boating
- Camp by the river at the Houchin Ferry Campground
- Fishing at Green and Nolin river
- Watch the sunset through the mountains
- Explore wildflowers at Cedar sink
- Almost 20 miles hiking trail
- Hike to popular sunset point
By Urvi Shah, Urvi’s Travel Journal
Shenandoah National Park in March
Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park stuns with natural beauty in the springtime across rolling hills, mountain vistas and rural landscapes.
As the temperatures warm and wildflowers begin to bloom, violets, wild geraniums and pink lady’s slippers line the hiking trails.
Just 90 minutes west of Washington, DC, an exploration of Shenandoah National Park begins at the top of the park’s 105-mile scenic byway, Skyline Drive.
This park road meanders north to south from Front Royal to Waynesboro.
Along the way, more than 75 overlooks implore visitors to stop to take in the scenery.
The closest major airport is Washington-Dulles International Airport, a one-hour drive (56 miles) east of the north entrance station for Shenandoah National Park in Front Royal.
The majority of visitors drive from the north and east to visit the park. There is a small gas station in the park at milepost 51 on Skyline Drive.
There are three convenience stores inside the park for supplies, souvenirs and snacks.
Called “waysides” you’ll find one in each of the three park districts: North, Central and South.
They are Elkwallow Wayside (milepost 24.1), Big Meadows Wayside (milepost 51) and Loft Mountain Wayside (milepost 79.5).
Shenandoah National Park has four family campgrounds for tents and trailers located along Skyline Drive.
These include Mathews Arm (milepost 22.1), Big Meadows (milepost 51.2), Lewis Mountain (milepost 57.5) and Loft Mountain (milepost 79.5). With 221 sites, Big Meadows is the park’s largest campground.
All campgrounds except Lewis Mountain have sites that can be reserved online at Recreation.gov.
All sites at Lewis Mountain are first-come, first-served only.
If you don’t book a site online, plan to arrive at the park early.
The campgrounds book up quickly, especially on fair-weather weekends.
There are two park lodges: Skyland and Big Meadows.
Both lodges have a restaurant, outdoor terraces and easy access to popular Skyline Drive hiking trails, like Stony Man.
You won’t want to miss sampling the park’s signature mile-high blackberry ice cream pie, which is available at both park restaurants.
Shenandoah in March: Temperatures and Bugs
Situated in the mountains, temperatures run cooler than they do at lower elevations, though spring weather can vary from day to day and it’s not uncommon for a winter storm to bring snow in March. That noted, dress in layers and pack a raincoat. Average highs are typically in the 50s, while lows are in the 30s.
Thankfully, bugs are not yet a problem in March. This includes ticks, mosquitoes and spiders, which typically make their debut for the year in April.
Things to Do at Shenandoah National Park
- Hike 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the iconic Appalachian Trail
- Stop at any and all of the 75 scenic overlooks and pull-offs along Skyline Drive
- Go stargazing at Big Meadows
- Splash in a swimming hole at Rose River Falls
- Hike to Hawksbill Summit, the highest point in Shenandoah National Park
By Erin, Go Hike Virginia
Great Smoky Mountains National Park in March
Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park in March because of the blooming colorful wildflowers, the emergence of new leaves, and various wildlife giving birth to their young.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, 48 miles from Knoxville (1 hour and 5 minutes), 227 miles from Nashville (four hours), and 38 miles from Asheville, North Carolina (50 minutes).
The closest airport is McGee-Tyson Airport (43 miles from park headquarters on the Tennessee side) near Knoxville or Asheville Regional Airport (50 miles from park headquarters on the North Carolina side) and both airports have car hire options.
There are no gas stations within the park so the closest gas stations on the Tennessee side are in Gatlinburg, which is four miles away from the park entrance.
There are also several gas stations in Cherokee when entering from the North Carolina side, which is three miles away from the park entrance.
If you need to grab snacks and other supplies, there are two small convenience stores within the park – Cades Cove Campground (which also has a deli) and Elkmont Campground Concession.
Great Smoky Mountains Lodging
There are three campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains that require bookings – Cosby Campground, Elkmont Campground, and Cades Cove Campground.
There are two additional campgrounds that don’t require bookings and are on a first-come, first-serve basis – Abram’s Creek and Look Rock Campground.
Visitors who don’t want to camp can drive to Gatlinburg and stay at one of the hotels there such as Courtyard by Marriott Gatlinburg Downtown.
Great Smoky Mountains Temperatures in March, Bugs, and Animals
The average daily maximum temperature in March is around 61 F degrees and the minimum temperature is 34 F.
Be sure to pack a thick jacket for mornings and nights and a warm sleeping bag for camping.
Also, it rains pretty often in the Great Smoky Mountains in March so pack a rain jacket and waterproof hiking boots.
Due to the cooler weather in March, mosquitoes aren’t an issue but pack bug spray for chiggers, ticks, bees, gnats, and spiders.
Things to Do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Hike a part of the Appalachian Trail
- Hike one of the 150 trails
- Road trip through the park and stop at the overlooks for beautiful views
- Climb Clingmans Dome
- Kayak through Fontana Lake (rental fee for kayak)
- Visit one of the 100+ waterfalls
- Watch the sunrise through the mountains
- Take a day trip to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge
By Disha, Disha Discovers
Virgin Islands State Park in March
Visit Virgin Island National Park in March to take advantage of mild temperatures perfect for hiking, swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.
Trunk Bay has been consistently voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and offers an incredible Underwater Trail!
Virgin Island National Park is located in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Although it is located in the Caribbean, Americans do not need a passport to visit since the island is a US territory.
There are no airports on St. John, so visitors must fly into the Cyril E. King Airport on the nearby island of St. Thomas.
From here, you can rent a car or take a taxi to the Redhook ferry.
The ferry ride is approximately 45 minutes long.
Tickets can be purchased up to a week in advance.
There are plenty of gas stations and convenience stores on the island.
It is strongly suggested that you rent a car if you plan on staying on the island for more than a day.
You may also like our guide to the best islands to visit in the US.
Virgin Island National Park Lodgings
If you’re interested in camping, the Cinnamon Bay Resort & Campground is currently accepting reservations.
The eco-tents offer an upscale, comfortable camping experience.
Each rental comes with a fan, light, electrical outlets, a queen size bed, linens, cooking kit, and more.
There are 2 people and 4 people options available.
Since a majority of visitors arrive via plane from the US, the campground also offers the option to rent a tent and all of your camping necessities, so you don’t have to tote them with you!
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re looking for a little bit of luxury, The Westin St. John Resort Villas offer a delightful spa, restaurants, and a pool.
Virgin Island National Park in March Temperatures and Bugs
The weather in March is absolutely perfect! The average low is 67 degrees and the average high is 81 degrees.
On average, there are about 8 days of rain throughout the month.
Mosquitos are typically moderate this time of year, depending on the amount of rain.
Things to at Virgin Islands National Park
- Hiking one of the more than 30 trails
- Guided tours
- Historical Sites
By Elle, 5 Suitcases
Best Nationals Parks in the South
Texas National Parks
Guadalupe Mountains National Park in March
March is a wonderful time to go hiking and camping in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The temperatures are moderate and it’s less windy, even during the night which makes it suitable for campers.
The Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in far West Texas on U.S. Highway 62/180. Whites City (32 miles – 30 minutes distance) and Carlsbad (55 miles – 1 hour distance) in New Mexico are the closest towns to the national park.
The city El Paso which has an international airport is 114 miles away from the national park. You can hire a car from the airport and reach Guadalupe Mountains National Park in under 2 hours.
The nearest gas stations are in Dell City (45 miles away) and Carlsbad (55 miles away). So make sure you come in with a full gas tank.
Pack enough food and water before you reach the national park, because there are no restaurants nearby.
However if you need to stock up on more snacks you will find many convenience stores located in Dell City and Carlsbad. Water is available at the visitor’s center, but make sure you bring your own as well.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Lodgings
There are two fantastic campsites with tents as well as RV sites in the national park for which reservations are only taken in advance – Pine Springs Campground and Dog Canyon Campground.
The closest lodging option is White’s City Cavern Inn in Whites City.
This motel is just 30 minutes away from Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Most visitors choose to stay in Carlsbad, because it brings them to close proximity with Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
This way you can visit both the national parks when you are in the area.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park in March Temperatures and Bugs
Guadalupe Mountains National Park’s maximum average temperature in the month of March is 54 F and the minimum is 35.6 F.
As you would mostly be hiking there and the heat may tend to be intense during the day, make sure to pack a good sunscreen, sunhat and plenty of drinking water.
The night may get a bit chilly, so also bring a warm jacket with you.
It is recommended to bring bug spray to protect yourselves from bugs, spiders and flies while planning your camping trip in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Things to do atGuadalupe Mountains National Park
- Hike the Smith Spring Trail to marvel at the tranquil beauty of the Manzanita spring.
- Hike the Guadalupe Peak, the highest peak in Texas.
- Wildlife spotting along the McKittrick Canyon Trail.
- Visit the Salt Basin Dunes.
- Hike the Devil’s Hall Trail.
- Stargazing from Pine Springs.
By Anjali Wadhwa, Cheerful Trails
Big Bend National Park in March
Visit Big Bend National Park in March for the famous Texan bluebonnets flowering around mid-March and cooler hiking temperatures.
Big Bend National Park is located in West Texas, 412.6 miles from San Antonio (6 hours) 436.7 miles from Austin (6 hours 30 minutes).
The closest airport to the 15th largest national park in the US is Midland/Odessa (235 miles from park headquarters) or El Paso, Texas (330 miles from park headquarters) and both airports have car hire options.
There are two gas stations in Big Bend, Panther Junction and Rio Grande Village.
There is another service station at Terlingua, the town most people visit before entering the Big Bend security gates.
If you forget to pack something or need to stock up on snacks, several convenience stores are located in the following areas – Rio Grande Village, the Chisos Basin, and Castolon.
Big Bend Lodgings
There are three NPS campgrounds in Big Bend that you have to reserve in advance – Chisos Basin, Rio Grande and Cottonwood.
If you struggle to get into the official campsites, consider Stillwell Store RV Park, 20 minutes from the Persimmon Gap Visitors Center.
Chisos Mountain Lodge is the only hotel in the park, but most non-camping visitors drive out of the park at night and stay in Terlingua at accommodations such as Lajitas Golf Resort.
Big Bend does get busy around Spring Break so make sure you book all accommodation in advance.
Big Bend in March Temperatures and Bugs
Big Bend’s maximum average temperature is 75.2 F and the minimum is 47.9 F.
It is cooler in the morning pack, so layers and if you are camping, pack a decent sleeping bag to take the chill off at night.
Since Big Bend is mostly arid, mosquitos are not an issue in March, but you do need to look out for snakes and spiders!
Things to at Big Bend National Park
- Hike the 201 miles of trails
- Take a dip at Boquillas Hot Spring (free)
- Hop aboard the 2-minute boat ride over to Boquillas in Mexico for lunch; remember your passport, no joke!
- Canoe through Santa Elena Canyon
- Watch the sunset through the mountains
- Stargaze at night, taking advantage of no light pollution
- Day trip to Terlingua Ghost Town
By Gemma, owner of Two Scots Abroad Travel Guides