In the spring, the US National Parks start to put on a show with incredible blooming trees and wildflowers, rushing streams and waterfalls, wildlife, and beauty. While some parks are still closed, the ones that are open offer great springtime activities. Check with the National Park Service before you make plans to visit any National Park.

What are the best parks to visit this spring?

Yosemite National Park, California 

Yosemite National Park is a must-see destination if you’re on the West Coast. With Yosemite Falls thundering through the Valley, you shouldn’t miss this beautiful National Park. Bridalveil Falls is spectacular, and you can see Ribbon Falls and Horsetail Falls only in the spring. The dogwoods are blooming, and the wildflowers are dotting the hillsides. The weather is pleasant. There is no better time to see Yosemite.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

The Smokies have over 1500 species of flowering plants. In the spring, they call the park the ‘Wildflower Park.’ The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage runs April 11-15, and the park will be packed. Another week might be better. But the mountain laurel, dogwoods, redbuds, rhododendrons, magnolias, tulip trees, and a thousand wildflowers are waiting for you.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado 

Despite an eerie landscape with some of the tallest sand dunes in the country, up to 700 feet high, this park is not generally crowded. Yet, it is full of adventure and excitement. There is sandboarding and sledding, hiking on the dunes or through forests, playing in the water of Medano Creek, staring at a night sky as you’ve never seen before. And it’s one of the best parks for dogs!

Big Bend National Park, Texas

On the Mexican border, where the Rio Grande makes a huge turn, lie the 800,000 acres of wilderness known as Big Bend National Park. Limestone canyons, cut by rivers, soar above you as you hike through deserts or mountains or kayak along the river. One of the best birding destinations, the park hosts 450 bird species. Sit out at night to watch the amazing Milky Way and listen to the coyotes serenade you. You can get away from everything here, finding solitude and peace.

No matter which park you choose, be sure to call the National Park Service first for updates. Enjoy this spring.