The 15 Best National Parks to Visit in November

November is a fantastic time to explore our National Parks. The weather has cooled, crowds dispersed, and fall colors are alive. I’ve visited a handful of these in the fall and loved it.

If you need a TL;DR, any of the southern states with National Parks are those you’d want to visit. While there are some that are great in the snow, many spots in November may not have enough snow to make it count – so come back to those in January (like Mt. Rainier).

For these National Parks to visit in November, I know you’ll have a fantastic time and experience the best it offers!

Guide to the National Parks to Visit In November

Is November a Good Time to Visit National Parks

Most definitely! While you won’t get long days like over the summer months, you also won’t have to deal with crazy crowds. Plus, you may have some good fall colors if you pick your parks right and have good luck with timing.

I think November is a great time for many drier climates as the weather is perfect, and you can fully explore them without becoming a raisin.

Skyline Drive Shenandoah National Park Virginia

Tips for Visiting the Best National Parks in November

When you visit the National Parks in November, remember that the weather could be cruddy. I would always bring a rain jacket, warm clothes, and a headlamp. Furthermore, the sun will set in most places by 5:30 p.m., so come prepared if you want to stay out later.

Additionally, some animals may be having difficulty finding food with winter approaching. Be extra cautious around them and never feed wildlife or entice them.

15 of the Best National Parks to Visit in November

Grand Canyon National Park

My favorite of the National Parks to visit in November is the Grand Canyon. The summer crowds have dispersed, leaving you with an intimate connection to this geological marvel. Crisp air enhances visibility, revealing the canyon’s intricate details and breathtaking vistas.

Hiking the rim trails or embarking on more challenging backcountry adventures becomes a joy in the cooler weather.

Whether you’re capturing stunning photographs, camping beneath the stars, or simply absorbing the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, November promises an unforgettable experience in this iconic national park.

Arches National Park

November transforms Arches National Park into a mesmerizing desert wonderland with cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. The soft autumn light accentuates the iconic red rock arches, spires, and fins, making it an ideal time for photography enthusiasts.

With comfortable daytime temperatures for hiking, you can explore the park’s numerous trails, each leading to breathtaking geological formations.

Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, and Balanced Rock are just a few of the park’s famous landmarks waiting to be discovered. As the sun sets, the fiery hues of the desert sky provide a stunning backdrop for your adventures.

With fewer visitors, you’ll have a chance to immerse yourself in the park’s unique landscapes and witness the stars glittering in the dark desert sky. November offers a tranquil and magical experience in Arches National Park that will not be missed.

Saguaro National Park

best views in arizona superstitions sunset

November invites you to witness the captivating beauty of Saguaro National Park at a leisurely pace. The oppressive summer heat gives way to pleasant temperatures, perfect for exploring the unique saguaro cacti landscape.

As the desert’s flora and fauna thrive in the cooler weather, you’ll encounter a vibrant tapestry of life. Whether hiking the park’s scenic trails, enjoying a sunset picnic, or stargazing beneath clear desert skies, Saguaro National Park offers a serene escape from the bustling world.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Photo Credit: Adam and Kathryn of Adventures of A+K

The Hawaiian Islands are beautiful year-round, so while the rest of the country is starting to get cold, Hawaii stays at a perfect 80°F. While on the islands, you must visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see the extraordinary landscape left behind by two of the world’s most active volcanoes.

The park is located in Hawaii, also known as The Big Island. The park costs $25 per car to enter or is free with the America the Beautiful Pass. Plan to spend at least one full day here, if not two! Stay nearby in the nearby town of Hilo, or camp inside the park at one of their two campgrounds!

During November, the weather will be perfect for exploring the park. And if you’re lucky, you might even see some lava flow! There are so many great things to do at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, whether the lava is actively flowing.

One of the best things to do inside the park is visit the crater floor. This requires hiking the Kilauea Iki Trail, a 3-mile round trip hike out and back, with 688 feet of elevation gain. It’s a little workout but not too hard!

Just bring sunscreen, as the Kilauea Iki Trail doesn’t have much shade, even in November!

These thrilling reasons are why it’s one of the best National Parks to visit in November.

Recommended by Adam and Kathryn of Adventures of A+K

Yosemite National Park

November bestows Yosemite National Park with quiet grace, offering a unique perspective on this iconic destination. As the fall colors adorn the valley and the crowds thin out, you can appreciate the park’s natural wonders in relative solitude.

The waterfalls may have slowed, but their beauty endures, framed by the changing leaves. Hiking trails remain accessible, allowing for exploration without the summer heat. November also provides excellent opportunities for wildlife watching, as animals become more active in preparation for winter.

Whether capturing the enchanting scenery with your camera or simply seeking solace in nature, Yosemite in November is a serene and beautiful experience that reveals the park’s timeless allure.

Haleakala National Park

haleakala national park maui hawaii

November brings a sense of tranquility to Haleakalā National Park, making it an ideal time to explore the stunning landscapes of Maui’s dormant volcano. As autumn’s chill sets in, the crisp mountain air greets visitors, and the crowds thin out, allowing you to savor the park’s natural beauty in peace.

The summit area of Haleakalā is known for its otherworldly landscapes, with sweeping vistas that stretch across the crater and out to the Pacific Ocean. The clear November skies make sunrise and sunset viewing genuinely magical experiences.

Hiking through the volcanic terrain reveals unique flora and fauna, including the endemic silversword plant. Moreover, the park’s high elevation provides excellent stargazing opportunities, with the Milky Way and celestial wonders on display.

Whether you’re captivated by the sunrise, the stargazing, or the serenity of the volcanic landscape, Haleakalā in November offers an unforgettable journey into the heart of Maui’s natural wonders.

Sequoia National Park

November transforms Sequoia National Park into a place of quiet contemplation and stunning natural beauty. The towering giant sequoias stand sentinel beneath a dusting of snow, creating a magical atmosphere.

With the summer crowds long gone, you can explore the park’s famous General Sherman Tree and Moro Rock at your own pace. Hiking trails remain open, allowing you to enjoy crisp mountain air and breathtaking vistas. Wildlife is also more active as animals prepare for winter.

November’s peaceful ambiance and the chance to witness these majestic trees in a serene, snow-kissed setting make Sequoia National Park a must-visit destination.

Channel Islands National Park

channel islands kayak adventure

Fall casts a serene spell over Channel Islands National Park, making it an excellent time to explore this coastal gem. The islands’ unique ecosystems come to life with milder temperatures and fewer visitors. It’s a big reason why I’ve included it on this list of National Parks to visit in November.

You can embark on hiking trails that lead to secluded coves, observe diverse wildlife, and immerse yourself in the rich marine environment. Kayaking and snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters reveal the park’s underwater wonders. November offers a chance to witness migrating whales and nesting seabirds, adding more surprise to your visit.

Whether seeking tranquility or outdoor adventure, Channel Islands National Park in November provides a captivating and peaceful escape.

Everglades National Park

Photo Credit: Megan Starr

If you visit Everglades National Park in November, you hit the park at the ideal time! November starts the dry, more excellent season, where temperatures top out around 77F; there are fewer mosquitoes than in summer, and the wildlife is more active, giving you better chances to spot some fascinating animals! It is one of the most accessible day trips from Miami and should be on every traveler’s itinerary.

Check out what ranger-led programs are offered in November, where you can speak with experts and learn about the park’s unique wildlife and ecosystem. Take an airboat tour of the park’s marshland and keep your eyes peeled for alligators, turtles, panthers, peacocks, and other native birds.

There are some great hiking trails through forests, like Pinelands Trail or Mahogany Hammock Trail, or on a boardwalk over marshy areas like Anhinga Trail and Pa-hay-okee Trail.

If you want to get on the water yourself, consider taking a kayak tour through the Everglades’ rivers, lakes, and swampy areas, where a Master Naturalist guide will give you exciting information about the world you are paddling through. 

If you like camping, going in November is an excellent option due to the generally good weather! Long Pine Key and Flamingo campgrounds are open in November and backcountry camp areas, so make sure to make a reservation.

There are so many things to enjoy and explore in this fascinating park, and November is the perfect time to make Everglades memories!

Submitted by Megan Starr

Big Bend National Park

Photo Credit: Caitlin Dismore // Twin Family Travels

Big Bend National Park, located in southwest Texas, is an ecological marvel known for its diverse terrain and stunning views. From the Rio Grande River winding through the Chihuahuan Desert to the spectacular mountain views from the Chisos Basin, this park provides a diverse landscape to explore.

Big Bend National Park is huge, covering 801,163 acres. There are multiple areas of the park worth exploring. Panther Junction is the Park’s Headquarters. It is worth stopping to see the exhibits and watch the park film. Don’t miss the nearby Fossil Discovery Exhibit that takes you back to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

The Chisos Mountains in the center of the park offer numerous mountain hikes. There is an abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities in the area as well.

Rio Grand Village in the southeast region of the park contains Hot Springs, views of Boquillas Canyon, and the Port of Entry Crossing to cross the Rio Grande into Mexico.

On the far western side of the park is the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive that leads to Santa Elena Canyon. This is an entirely different landscape than the rest of the park and a must-see during a visit.

With the significant elevation change within the park, temperatures can vary widely. The weather is typically mild in November, with temperatures between 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit. During this time, all areas of the park and visitor centers are open.

This makes November the perfect time for exploring all that Big Bend National Park offers. 

Via Caitlin Dismore // Twin Family Travels

Biscayne National Park

Photo Credit: Victoria Heinz

Visiting Biscayne National Park in November promises a truly memorable experience. As the fall season takes hold, this coastal gem in southern Florida comes alive with unique attractions and mild weather.

November offers a perfect blend of comfortable temperatures and reduced humidity, making outdoor activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking more enjoyable.

One of the main highlights is the chance to witness the park’s diverse marine life. November marks the start of the dry season, leading to crystal-clear waters that unveil a vibrant underwater world. Snorkelers and divers can explore thriving coral reefs teeming with colorful fish, making for unforgettable aquatic encounters.

Moreover, November is a prime time for birdwatching as migratory birds flock to the park’s mangrove forests and shorelines. The tranquil ambiance and reduced crowds enhance the sense of solitude and connection with nature, creating lasting memories of this hidden paradise.

Via Victoria Heinz

Dry Tortugas

Photo Credit: Amanda Williams

There are lots of national parks that are great to visit in November, but one you might not think about is one of the least-visited national parks in the US: Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida.

The Dry Tortugas are a collection of 7 small coral islands in the Gulf of Mexico, located roughly 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. And while the national park covers roughly 100 square miles, there’s only a small fraction of it you can visit – and you can only get there by boat or seaplane, which is why it’s one of the least-visited US national parks.

This is a great park to visit in November because it’s low season in the Florida Keys. It’s the end of hurricane season (which officially ends on November 30), meaning the hurricane risk is pretty low, but you won’t experience any of the crowds that descend upon the Keys beginning in December and continuing through the winter.

The journey to Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas is half the fun of visiting. If you go by boat, it’s a full-day trip from Key West, while going by seaplane turns it into a half-day adventure.

Garden Key is home to Fort Jefferson, a massive (and unfinished) masonry fort built with 16 million individual bricks. You can take a tour of the fort, and then spend time swimming/snorkeling around the fort walls. In November, you can also walk out to Bush Key, which is closed to visitors from March to September due to thousands of nesting seabirds.

Taking a day trip to the Dry Tortugas is unique and unforgettable, and a perfect thing to add to your national park bucket list.

Submitted by Amanda from A Dangerous Business Travel Blog

Congaree National Park

Photo Credit: Soumya of Stories by Soumya

Congaree National Park in South Carolina is one of the best National Parks to visit in November because of its beautiful fall colors and perfect hiking weather.

The Congaree National Park is truly one of the most incredible natural wonders in the world. With an enormous swathe of ancient hardwood forests and fascinating biodiversity, including the mighty champion trees, Congaree is a hidden gem to explore.

There are many amazing things to do at the Congaree National Park, including hiking through its numerous trails, kayaking, fishing, paddling, or simply strolling through its 2.6-mile-long boardwalk, and the best month to do all this in November.

Congaree experiences mild weather throughout the fall season. Temperatures hover in the early 70’s in November. November is also the least rainy month in Congaree, allowing you to go canoeing and paddling.

Fall colors start to peak in early November, making it the perfect time to explore Congaree’s colorful hiking and walking trails.

The best part about Congaree National Park is that it is only a few hours away from Charleston, South Carolina’s Holy City, and a popular tourist destination. Therefore, it is an easy addition to your Charleston itinerary if you want to add a healthy dose of nature to your trip.

Recommended by Soumya of Stories by Soumya

Mesa Verde National Park

November transforms Mesa Verde National Park into a tranquil wonderland devoid of crowds and blessed with crisp, cool weather. The gentle autumn sun illuminated the park’s ancient cliff dwellings and archaeological treasures, allowing for awe-inspiring exploration.

With fewer visitors, you can savor the solitude of these ancestral Puebloan sites and immerse yourself in their rich history. Hiking Mesa Top Loop and visiting Cliff Palace have become even more enchanting experiences in the mild November climate.

Zion National Park

As autumn leaves paint the landscape in warm hues, Zion National Park emerges as a serene haven in November. The scorching summer heat retreats allow for pleasant hikes and stunning vistas.

The Virgin River, with its crystalline waters, invites you to explore the world-famous Narrows, where towering sandstone walls create a breathtaking natural corridor. November’s mild temperatures make it an ideal time for outdoor adventures, whether tackling the challenging Angel’s Landing or simply savoring the beauty of Zion Canyon.

Campfires under starry skies add a touch of magic to your evenings in this red rock wonderland. All of these are why it’s one of the best National Parks to visit in November.

White Sands

Photo Credit: Monica from This Rare Earth

Anyone planning a New Mexico road trip in November cannot miss visiting White Sands National Park. November is a great time to visit White Sands, located in the southwestern state of New Mexico.

The late fall weather provides comfortable temperatures, with an average high of 64°F and a low of 35°F, making it perfect for hiking and exploring as opposed to the hot summer months.

The park’s white sand dunes create a unique landscape where you can explore the trails, sled down the steep dunes, or enjoy the brilliant stargazing. This park is a photographer’s dream, with vast stretches of sand and a mountainous backdrop. The sunrises and sunsets wash vibrant colors across the sand.

The park will cost $25 per vehicle to enter, and the park can easily be driven and explored in one day.

Visitors can stay in several nearby towns overnight or explore, such as Alamogordo, just 20 minutes outside of the park, or Las Cruces, known as the “City of the Crosses.”

Overall, visiting White Sands National Park in November is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoor sights and trails!

Whether looking for a peaceful stroll through nature or an exciting adventure sledding downhill, White Sands National Park is a unique and fun choice for the National Parks to visit in November.

Monica from This Rare Earth

FAQ: National Parks to Visit In November

Which national park is best in November?

While the days are much shorter, I really enjoyed checking out Yosemite and Sequoia during November (Thanksgiving, actually), as there were no crowds, and we could still do almost all the hikes. They had closed the high country in Yosemite.

These two spots are perfect National parks to visit in November.

Which national parks are open in November?

All of them should technically be open. However, some will not have any amenities or services. Do your due diligence to see what will be open.

Where should I stay away from?

I would stay away from the Northern USA National Parks until December or January. It could be downright cold and miserable without snow, which is never a good combo. Wait a bit for more snow to accumulate before revisiting the chillier spots.

Final Thoughts on the Best National Parks to Visit in November

November is an ideal time to explore the beauty and serenity of national parks.

The crisp autumn air, vibrant fall foliage, and smaller crowds create a perfect setting for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Whether you choose to hike through the picturesque trails of Zion National Park or marvel at the awe-inspiring granite walls of Yosemite, there is no shortage of breathtaking experiences waiting to be discovered.

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and embark on a memorable journey through these incredible National Parks to Visit in November.

Until next time, adventurers, take care and be safe.

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