Are you wondering where to travel this festive season for an amazing Christmas vacation with your friends and family? Well, look no further as we will share the top 9 US national parks to visit. Many US national parks have fewer crowds in December, this will allow you to explore many activities and have a great adventure.
Located in the sunny state of Florida and known as the most visited park in Florida, Everglades National Park is one of the longest national parks in the United States, west of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The national park is a world heritage site with about 1,508,976 acres and is an amazing option for those who love outdoor activities, where the best attraction to see is Theater of the Sea.
There are many hiking trails at the park to choose from and activities to participate in. You can take a wild ride in an airboat, go birdwatching, participate in water activities such as snorkeling and sailing, and watch the wildlife show. The best time to visit the park is in December as it is the dry season and humidity levels are lower. During your visit, you can stay in Miami and visit the park on a day tour.
Zion National Park is one of the most popular parks to visit in the United States, December is the best time to visit for a breath-taking experience. Daytime temperatures range from 50℉ to 70℉, and the park is less crowded in December, giving you the perfect opportunity to enjoy the park all by yourself and participate in different activities.
You can take part in activities such as hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, photography, and many more. You can drive to Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and make use of your own car in December; private vehicles are not permitted on this road for most of the year. The park is usually cold in December with an average high of 53°F (11°C) and an average low of 30°F (1°C). So, grab your warm clothes and embark on this amazing festive journey.
Further reading: Best places to visit during Winter
Located on the ancestral homeland of 11 Associated Tribes, Grand Canyon National Park is home to one of the most iconic landscapes in the United States. It is most popular for its interesting views, and amazing hiking trails, and it makes a great road trip destination. The national park is also one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
The park receives about 4.5 million visitors annually to take in the views and enjoy a bit of outdoor recreation in the desert. The park is also famous for its hiking, backpacking, and, due to the amazing vistas, photography, and sightseeing.
There are a lot of interesting things to do at the park, such as watching the sunset, hiking below the rim on the Bright Angel or South Kaibab Trail, rafting the Colorado River, taking a flightseeing tour, and many more. December is the best time to visit the park for those who love nature and don’t mind colder weather and since it is the festive season, the hotels and lodges nearby are beautifully decorated, which will make your stay amazing and one to remember.
Rocky Mountain National Park is known for its 355 miles of hiking trails and is home to 76 mountains, each of which is more than 10,000 feet high. The park receives about 4.4 million visitors annually to experience the park’s amazing features. If you want to go on a winter festive vacation this December with great outdoor activities, then Rocky Mountains National Park is the place to be.
The two popular activities for a rewarding view of the park are Mountaineering and rock climbing, and you can also ride along Trail Ridge Road which is a scenic drive on the country’s highest paved road. You can also take part in activities such as snowshoeing, sledding, and skiing.
The park is also home to an amazing diversity of wildlife such as elk, moose, bighorn sheep, beaver, deer, black bear, eagles, marmots, mountain lions, and many more. One of the best places to stay while visiting the Rocky Mountains National Park is Estes Park.
Further reading: Top 10 biggest US national parks
Another amazing national park to visit this December is Joshua Tree National Park. The park has high temperatures in December with fewer crowds, which makes it the ideal place to be. It is a desert park that settles on two deserts: the Mojave and the Colorado.
There are many things to do in Joshua Tree National Park this festive season, such as exploring the Arch Rock, Cholla Cactus Garden, Halls of Horror, Skull Rock, and many more. You can also participate in hiking, backpacking, stargazing, camping, scenic drives, rock climbing, and bouldering. If you are interested in wildlife, the park is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including 250 bird species, 46 reptile species, and 52 mammal species. There is plenty more to enjoy during your visit.
Yellowstone National Park is known as the first national park in the world, and one of the best national parks in the USA. It has many geological features you’ll find nowhere else in the world, such as colorful hot springs, herds of bison and elk, geysers and bubbling mud pits, waterfalls and canyons, and the largest high-elevation lake in North America. For an amazing white Christmas, Yellowstone National Park is the perfect place for your festive vacation as it sparkles with Christmas beauty.
Location: Wyoming, Montana and Idaho
Number of visitors: 4.9 million visitors annually, making it the 3rd most visited park.
Things to do: Visit Old Faithful, spot wildlife in Lamar and Hayden Valleys, see the Grand Prismatic Spring, visit the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and hike the short trails in Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris Geyser Basin.
With about 12.1 million visitors annually, the Great Smoky Mountains has been the most-visited U.S. national park for many years in a row. The park set another record in 2021 when 14.1 million people visited the park which once again makes it qualify as America’s most-visited national park. Visiting the park this December is a great option because you will have easy access to the most popular places without crowds.
The park is every hiker’s dream with a mountainous landscape for an outdoor adventure and has more than 800 miles of hiking trails. It gets many tourists arriving for recreation or sightseeing. Another reason the park receives so many visitors is that it is an easy drive from Atlanta, Charlotte, Asheville, Knoxville, Nashville, and Washington, D.C. The park is usually cold in December so you might get lucky and experience a white Christmas with the snow.
Further reading: Top 10 most visited US national parks
Known as One of California’s most-visited national parks, Yosemite national park is one of the best national parks in the USA to visit. The park stands out for its amazing waterfalls, such as Vernal Fall and Bridalveil Fall, as well as unique granite rock formations like Half Dome and El Capitan.
Number of visitors: About 3.3 million annually, making it the 8th most visited national park.
Things to do: Hike to the top of Half Dome, which is a 17 miles round trip with 5,500 feet of elevation gain.
Yosemite National Park is less crowded in December, meaning that you can explore all the winter festive activities like cross-country skiing and ice skating. The park also has breathtaking hiking trails for all hiking lovers and is home to diverse species of animals like mountain lions, black bears, skunks, and coyotes. So, start planning your trip to this amazing destination this festive season.
Death Valley National Park is located along the California and Nevada border and is known for being the driest and hottest national park in the country. There are amazing views that visitors can experience, such as snow-capped mountains, colorful rock layers, water-fluted canyons, never-ending dunes, and many more. If you want to explore the whole park to the fullest without crowds, then December is the best time to visit the park.
The park is a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve, and it is located between different valleys and deserts, like the Panamint, Eureka, and Saline valleys as well as the Great Arid Basin and the Mojave Desert.
You can take part in many activities during your visit to the park, such as scenic drives, hikes, camping, and many more. This festive season, you can also explore the Badwater Basin, the 9-mile scenic road Artists Drive and amazing views from Zabriskie Point and Dantes View.
As listed above, there is a perfect national park for everybody, filled with scenic drives, miles of hiking trails, wildlife, historic sites, and many opportunities for adventure.
Don’t forget to get your cost control USA travel SIM card at travSIM before embarking on the journey. This will help you save roaming fees while you are on your vacation and enjoy communicating with your loved ones as many times as you want.
What is the best US national park to visit at Christmas?
The best national park to visit in Christmas is Yellowstone national Park.
Is December a good time to visit national parks in the US.
Yes, December is a good time because many national parks are less crowded.
Which US national park is the most beautiful?
The most beautiful national park is Zion National Park, Yosemite National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and many more.