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HomeTravel9 Greatest Nationwide Parks to Go to in December » Native Adventurer

9 Greatest Nationwide Parks to Go to in December » Native Adventurer


Searching for the most effective nationwide parks to go to in December?

Since we dwell within the Southwest, December is the right time to discover close by Nationwide Parks. Some parks within the US flip into winter wonderlands, whereas others are lastly bearable with cooler temps. Minus the vacations, you additionally get to benefit from the parks with fewer crowds.

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Final Up to date: November 10, 2022

Earlier than we get into it, we need to remind everybody to discover the parks responsibly utilizing the 7 Depart no Hint Rules. Have a plan, keep on established trails, perform something you carry in, go away what you discover, reduce campfire affect, respect wildlife, and be thoughtful of others.

In regards to the Nationwide Park by month Collection

To place collectively this listing, we’ve mixed our private experiences and ideas we gathered from locals and cross-referenced them with the climate, accessibility, native boards, seasonal sights like fall foliage or wildflowers, and particular occasions taking place within the space. We additionally thought-about any distinctive adventures solely provided at sure occasions of the yr to search out probably the most optimum months to go to every Nationwide Park. Phew! that was loads!

It took me a complete week of analysis, however since I’m a maximizer, it was price having a year-round calendar of adventures (publishing that quickly!). Additionally, take a look at our full listing of all of the nationwide parks and nationwide park items that embrace soon-to-be nationwide parks.

We additionally selected to go away out the hardest-to-access nationwide parks on this sequence.

Nationwide Parks By Month – Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | Might | Jun | Jul

Is December a Good Time to Go to Nationwide Parks?

Sure! Although summer time is the preferred time to journey, and fall often has the right temps, sure nationwide parks are perfect for visiting in December.

Plan on visiting greater than two nationwide parks this yr? Decide up an America the Stunning annual go to save cash (entrance charges to every park are, on common, $30-35 per car). Plus, you’re serving to help the Parks that all the time want funding.

19 Greatest Nationwide Parks to Go to in December

To Escape the Chilly

1. Biscayne Nationwide Park, Florida

9700 SW 328th St, Homestead, FL 33033, map

Common Temperatures: 68°F / 62°F

Why Go to: The perfect climate in Biscayne Nationwide Park begins in December, which can make it busier, however the delicate temperatures are price it. Since 95% of the park is within the water, get able to spend time in a ship or the water. Don’t neglect to look out for manatees!

Greatest For / Prime Actions: Swimming, Snorkeling, Fishing, Mountaineering

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Boca Chita Key, Fowey Rocks Lighthouse, Snorkeling, Jones Lagoon
  • Wildlife – Sea Turtles, Manatees, Spiny Lobster, Snapper, Grouper
  • What number of days do you want? 2-3

Professional Tip: 90% of tourists enter the park by way of boat, so plan accordingly!

See Associated – 7 Outstanding Issues to Do in Key West Florida

Biscayne National Parks in FloridaPin
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2. Everglades Nationwide Park, Florida

40001 State Hwy 9336, Homestead, FL 33034, map

Common Temperatures: 78°F / 60°F

Why Go to: December is the dry season in Everglades Nationwide Park. You get cooler temps, and also you’ll discover fewer mosquitos, and wildlife might be extra energetic and plentiful.

Greatest For / Prime Actions: Boating, Tenting, Kayaking, Bicycling, Fishing, Mountaineering, Excursions

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Shark Valley, Anhinga Path, Eco Pond, Snake Bight, 9 Mile Pond
  • Wildlife – Alligators, Raccoons, Opossums, Bobcats, Grey Fox, Leopard Frogs, Roseate Spoonbill, Manatee
  • What number of days do you want? 2-3

Professional Tip: Since visiting throughout the dry season is in style, make superior reservations for tenting, lodging, and excursions.

See Associated – 7 Enjoyable Issues to Do in Sarasota Florida

things to do in everglades national parkPin
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For the Cooler Temps

3. Dying Valley Nationwide Park, California

36.4799715,-118.1707461, map

Common Temperatures: 65°F / 39°F

Why Go to: Possibly it’s as a result of we get sufficient of the scorching warmth in Vegas, however I cannot contact Dying Valley till winter. December is among the finest occasions to go to Dying Valley, with heat temperatures throughout the day for hikes. At night time, temperatures drop considerably, so pack layers. It’s the desert approach.

Greatest For / Prime Actions: Hikers, Backpackers, Scenic Drive, Pictures

Don’t Miss:

Professional Tip: The park is gigantic. We had been stunned at how lengthy it took to drive from one spot to the following. Give your self loads of journey time. Additionally, take into account that the times are shorter in December.

See Associated – 15 Unimaginable Issues to Do in Dying Valley Nationwide Park

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death ValleyPin
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4. Joshua Tree Nationwide Park, California

6554 Park Blvd, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, map

Common Temperatures: 61°F / 37°F

Why Go to: We love Joshua Tree in December for the climbing. For individuals who don’t climb, it’s nonetheless a good time to get images of Joshua timber, rock piles, and epic sunsets. There isn’t as a lot to do on this park in the event you’re not into climbing, nevertheless it’s price visiting at the very least as soon as. When the temps drop at night time, it’s good for sitting across the campfire in case you are fortunate sufficient to get a tenting spot.

Greatest For / Prime Actions: Mountaineering, Backpacking, Stargazing, Tenting, Scenic Drives, Climbing

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Arch Rock, Cholla Cactus Backyard, Halls of Horror, Cranium Rock
  • Wildlife – Bobcat, Mountain Lion, Coyote, Grey Fox, Desert Equipment Fox, Black Bear, Bighorn Sheep, Desert Cottontail
  • What number of days do you want? 1 or 2-3 in the event you climb

Professional Tip: The park will get busier throughout the cooler seasons, so guide your web site early in the event you’re hoping to camp.

See Associated – 11 Superb Issues to Do in Joshua Tree Nationwide Park

Belle Campground Joshua TreePin
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5. Mammoth Cave Nationwide Park, Kentucky

37.1879181,-86.1028107, map

Common Temperatures: 49°F / 38°F

Why Go to: Winter is the off-season at Mammoth Cave, making December the most effective time to keep away from crowds. The cave stays the identical temperature year-round (54° F or 12 °C). You’ll get to discover the caves in smaller teams. It will likely be chilly in the event you plan on exploring any floor trails, however you probably have the suitable gear, you’ll be good to go.

Greatest For / Prime Actions: Mountaineering, Bicycling, Cave Excursions, Kayaking

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Mammoth Cave, Doyel Valley Overlook, Sundown Level, Inexperienced River
  • Wildlife – Bats, White-Tailed Deer, Coyote, Black Bear
  • What number of days do you want? 1-3

Native Tip: They provide fewer cave excursions throughout the winter however don’t guide up shortly like they do in the summertime.

See Associated – Full Nationwide Parks Record by State

mammoth cave entrancePin
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6. Saguaro Nationwide Park, Arizona

2700 N Kinney Rd, Tucson, AZ 85743, map

Common Temperatures: 65°F / 39°F

Why Go to: Cool days make December probably the greatest occasions to discover Saguaro Nationwide Park. In case you go to in early December, the crowds are manageable, however the park’s busiest time is between Christmas and New Yr.

Greatest For / Prime Actions: Mountaineering, Scenic Drive, Pictures, Tenting, Ranger Packages

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Valley View Overlook Path, Cactus Forest Drive, Bajada Loop Drive, Sign Hill Path, Desert Museum
  • Wildlife – Bats, Bobcats, Javelina, Mountain Lions, Grey Fox, Coyotes, Ringtail
  • What number of days do you want? 1-3

Native Tip: The park has an East and West portion separated by town (roughly 30-45 minutes). Once you plan your journey, take into consideration the place every path is.

See Associated – 11 Stunning Issues to Do in Saguaro Nationwide Park

Saguaro Cactus in Sunset + 11 Beautiful Things to Do in Saguaro National Park ArizonaPin
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7. White Sands Nationwide Park, New Mexico

19955 US-70, Alamogordo, NM 88310, map

Common Temperatures: 57°F / 22°F

Why Go to: December is a good time to go to White Sands Nationwide Park because it’s a a lot quieter time of yr. You’ll be able to even camp beneath the celebs however be ready with cold-weather tenting gear since temperatures are freezing at night time.

Greatest For / Prime Actions: Mountaineering, Bicycling, Backcountry Tenting, Pictures, Stargazing, Sledding

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Sledding, Dune Life Nature Path, Alkali Flat Path, Playa Path
  • Wildlife – American Badger, Apache Pocket Mouse, Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Bobcat, Coyote, Equipment Fox
  • What number of days do you want? 1-2

Native Tip: Maintain your eye on path markers once you’re climbing. It will possibly get disorienting in a short time. We discovered our approach again utilizing the course of the solar setting. It additionally helps to obtain an offline model of google maps of the world.

See Associated – 5 Unimaginable Issues to Do at White Sands Nationwide Park

Popular White Sands in New MexicoPin
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For Winter Actions

8. Nice Sand Dunes Nationwide Park, Colorado

11999 CO-150, Mosca, CO 81146, map

Common Temperatures: 36°F / 12°F

Why Go to: We have to return to see the good dunes lined in snow throughout the winter. The park utterly transforms, and as an alternative of sandboarding, you’ll be able to sled or snowboard on the dunes. Snow usually falls as soon as per week on the dunes and mountains in December.

Greatest For / Prime Actions: Mountaineering, Sand Boarding, Off-Roading, Stargazing, Pictures

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Excessive Dune, Sand Boarding, Medano Creek, Zapata Falls
  • Wildlife – Mule Deer, Ord’s Kangaroo Rats, Black Bears, Abert’s Squirrels, Pronghorn, Pikas, Elk
  • What number of days do you want? 1-3

Professional Tip: Although it snows as soon as per week, they clear the roads shortly. Plan your visits throughout the afternoon for the warmest climate.

See Associated – 9 Issues You Can’t Miss at Nice Sand Dunes Nationwide Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park SandboardingPin
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9. Acadia Nationwide Park, Maine

25 Customer Middle Rd, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, map

Common Temperatures: 34°F / 14°F

Why Go to: In case you love having a Nationwide Park to your self, December is the time to go. The frigid climate retains individuals away, however so long as you gown appropriately, it’s a implausible time to discover. You can also get pleasure from winter actions like snowshoeing or cross-country snowboarding.

Greatest For / Prime Actions: Scenic Drive, Mountaineering, Snowshoeing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Ocean Drive, Jordan Pond Highway, Thunder Gap, Sand Seaside, Beehive, Cadillac North Ridge Path
  • Wildlife – Moose, Whitetail Deer, Beavers, Seals, Harbor Porpoises
  • What number of days do you want? 1-3

Professional Tip: Customer Facilities might be closed throughout the winter, however they do share customer hours with the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. Examine what’s open earlier than visiting for the reason that park is extra restricted.

See Associated – 15 Breathtaking Issues to Do in Acadia Nationwide Park

Acadia National Park Things to DoPin
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Map of the Greatest Nationwide Parks to Go to in December

Wish to See Extra NATIONAL Parks to Go to in December?

In case you’re a nationwide park lover like us and have completed lots of the above, listed here are some extra concepts for Nationwide Parks to go to in December. Whereas December might not be probably the most preferrred month of the yr to go to these parks, it’s nonetheless worthwhile.

Ideas for Visiting the Greatest Nationwide Parks in December

  • Discover the parks responsibly utilizing Depart no Hint rules. Keep on established trails, perform something you carry in, and many others.
  • Decide up the Nationwide Park Annual Cross in the event you plan on visiting a number of parks throughout the yr. It saves you some huge cash.
  • It’s all the time a good suggestion to pack layers wherever you go. Some parks are heat throughout the day and funky at night time. Take note of the elevation change too! Some parks might be heat on the valley ground and chilly at greater elevations.
  • It’s possible you’ll want a reservation. See nationwide parks that now require reservations right here.
  • At all times verify the park’s web site and Guests Middle for probably the most up-to-date data on closures.
  • Keep in mind that wildlife is wild. Be acquainted with how you can work together with animals and the way a lot area it’s best to have between you and them.
Balcony House Tour, Mesa Verde National Park COPin
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What to Pack

How you’ll pack is determined by which park you go to and the actions you propose, however here’s a normal information on objects we all the time attempt to pack.

Wanna know what to put on on the airport? These are my airport outfits.

FAQs

Are nationwide parks crowded in December?

December is among the finest occasions to go to a majority of Nationwide Parks as a result of they’re much less crowded than in the summertime, however a choose few get busier in the event that they’re unbearably sizzling in the summertime.

What time of yr is finest to go to nationwide parks?

September and October are usually the most effective occasions to go to since most parks are much less crowded, however this is determined by the area or particular actions like leaf-peeping. Plus, it’s often cheaper, the climate is delicate, and the animals are extra energetic.

What nationwide park is finest to go to in December?

We simply made an inventory of this! Test it out right here.

What’s the finest nationwide park to go to within the winter?

All of the parks on this listing are good for one purpose or one other, however our vote goes to Dying Valley Nationwide Park for its variety within the panorama and climate.

What’s Zion like in December?

Chilly and moist! Temperatures are usually 50-60°F throughout the day and properly under freezing at night time. Half of the annual precipitation in Zion falls between December and March.

How is Yellowstone in December?

Yellowstone in December is chilly and snowy. The park additionally has restricted entry, which takes extra planning.

What’s Yosemite like in December?

The excessive nation is closed for the winter, however you’ll be able to nonetheless go to Yosemite Valley. It’s usually chilly and snowy, however sunny and hotter days occur too.

Is Glacier park open in December?

Glacier Nationwide Park is open all yr, however some trails and parts of the park are closed, together with Going-to-the-Solar Highway and Logan Cross.

How sizzling is Grand Canyon in December?

On the South Rim, the highs are often round 45 levels Fahrenheit, and the lows are about 18.

Are you able to consider others that belong on this listing of finest nationwide parks to go to in December? Which of them are we lacking?

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“Discovery consists not of in search of new lands however in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

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