14 Western National Parks to Visit in April

April is home to the weird middle ground of climate and tourism. Some epic places are a bit too cold or still full of snow, and others might warm up too fast. It’s a game of cat and mouse, but when you visit these National Parks in April, you still witness stunning views and an amazing adventure.

These National Parks offer a variety of activities. From stunning waterfalls to snowshoeing treks, snorkeling, and exploring historical ruins, there’s an abundance of fun to be had! In the end, just don’t miss these National Parks to visit in April.

Rocky Mountain National Park

While the high country is still too snowed in for many adventures, the lower levels offer fantastic snowshoeing opportunities without the crowds Rocky Mountain National Park is known for during summer. When I visited in April, we hit the trails around Bear Lake, hiked to the top of Deer Mountain, and enjoyed our time in nearby Estes Park.

Saguaro National Park

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Spread out on both sides of Tucson, Arizona, Saguaro National Park is one of the most diverse in the entire US. On the west side, it’s your traditional Saguaro, spending miles and miles across the Sonoran Desert. Then, on the east side, the park rises from the desert floor to the top of the Wasson Peak at 4,700 feet. It’s truly one of the epic National Parks to visit in April.

Grand Canyon National Park

April is perfect for exploring the Grand Canyon. Winter has moved on, which means the top of the rim won’t be too chilly or snowy. However, it is also not summer yet, so hiking down below is still safe and doable. Make sure to bring plenty of water when you hike and enjoy the stunning views wherever you look.

Yosemite National Park

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

If you’re itching for epic waterfalls, April is the best time to visit Yosemite. Thanks to snowmelt rushing down from the mountains, the waterfalls in Yosemite are out of this world. I was here in April 2022 and couldn’t believe how much water was flowing through the park.

Channel Islands National Park

channel islands kayak adventure
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Springtime on the central coast is magical, and a trip to the Channel Islands is one of the best moves you can make. Catch a ferry and step foot onto another world with plants and animals unique to these islands. And best of all, you might even see some whales on the boat ride out! So, book this awesome National Park to visit in April

Petrified Forest National Park

If you’re in the area, Petrified Forest NP is a pretty cool place to explore for an afternoon. The road is relatively short, and you can do short hikes at different pull-offs to see the famous “wood,” which is really just rocks.

Olympic National Park

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

One of the nice parts about Olympic National Park is that it’s accessible year-round. But in April, the days are getting longer and warming up. I did a three-day trek out here from Seattle last year and loved exploring up and down the coast. It’s a majestic landscape and one you’ll love to check out! It is easily in the upper echelon of National Parks to visit in April.

Pinnacles National Park

high peaks trail pinnacles

California’s newest national park is a fun place to explore, though it’s on a different tier than most of its brothers and sisters. The High Peaks Trail is easily the top hike in the area, offering awesome views and a chance to see the California Condor. April is a perfect time to visit before the summer heat arrives and makes the place a scorcher!

Haleakala National Park

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Haleakala rises over 10,000 feet from the sandy beaches of Maui to offer incredible views, hiking, and a chance to feel “cold” while in Hawaii. While permits are needed to watch sunrise here, anyone is allowed up for sunset. I highly recommend venturing up to this volcano while you visit Maui and see what life is like on the ‘top of the world.’

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

One of my absolute favorite national parks, Redwood National Park, is one of the best national parks to visit in April. With mild temperatures and few crowds before the summer rush, April is an epic time for the Redwoods. Just know that with cooler temperatures, the classic fog views are less likely. If that’s on your bucket list, come in June or July.

Zion National Park

a view of zion canyon with angels landing in the middle
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch/@alecoutside

One of the most popular National Parks in the US, thanks to its proximity to Vegas (only two hours). Make sure to book at least a long weekend to Zion to take advantage of the great April weather and fewer crowds to tackle Angels Landing (permit required), The Narrows, and Observation Point.

Canyonlands National Park

Mesa Arch Canyonlands National Park Utah
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

By April, the weather has warmed up and you’ll have amazing scenery and weather while exploring Canyonlands. Plus, most people still visit Arches but skip this gem, meaning you’ll get to explore without big crowds. One thing to note is the Island in the Sky area doesn’t have long hikes. A lot of them are short walks to an overlook. Still, it’s 100% worth it and one of the top National Parks to visit in April.

Mesa Verde National Park

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

One of the most historically significant national parks in the US, this one is all about Native American heritage, and all Americans should visit and learn about it. All you need is 4-6 hours to get a good idea of what makes this place special. (PS: Book a tour if available.)

Arches National Park

Another Utah National Park (and the last – though feel free to also visit Capital Reef), and you’ll love your time here! There are a handful of must-see places, such as Delicate Arch, Double Arch, Fiery Furnace (permit required), Landscape Arch, and Double-O Arch. Aim for at least one full day, but two will guarantee you a chance to see it all.

Glacier National Park Photos

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

My favorite photos from Glacier National Park.

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Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on ExploreWithAlec.com. Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside