Looking to take a winter national parks trip? These warmest national parks to visit in winter all have average daytime temps above 60 degrees for you to enjoy.
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Warm Winter National Parks
A visit to the national parks in winter can be a great nature escape. Why not take advantage of fewer crowds, no park reservations needed, and mild weather?
While it would be beautiful to view cold-weather national parks as a winter wonderland, many travelers would rather leave the cold at home and enjoy some warmth.
As a family from the Midwest, I can tell you we would always pick national parks to escape winter. That’s exactly why we picked the national park’s on this list.
Let’s plan your winter national parks getaway!
1) Biscayne National Park: Florida – Best National Park To Visit In Winter
Biscayne National Park is a lesser-known national park that definitely deserves a visit.
With average winter daytime highs of 74-78 degrees, it is the perfect warm national parks in winter getaway.
This park is unique in that 95% of the park is underwater. This water park outside of Miami protects a large coral reef that spans all the way south past the Florida Keys.
Biscayne National Park is one of the best national parks to visit in winter for snorkeling. In fact, you will find the best national parks to get out on the water in winter are all in Florida.
A winter visit provides an escape from the Florida heat, humidity, and bugs that are present in this park the rest of the year.
It is one of the top national parks to visit in December. Biscayne National Park is busy in the winter, but spring is the peak visitation.
Popular park winter activities include snorkeling and diving the reef, boat lighthouse tours, glass-bottom boat tours, and kayaking/paddleboarding through the mangroves. This park is on the list of the best snorkeling and diving locations in the US.
Be sure to reserve tours ahead of time to guarantee a spot. This area is a perfect national parks winter getaway.
2) Everglades National Park: Florida – Warmest National Parks To Visit In Winter
We love the Everglades, but the bugs, heat, and humidity can make it hard to enjoy. The winter months in Florida are the dry season with a dramatic drop in humidity and bugs.
With daytime high temperatures in the 70s and lows in the 50s, Florida’s Everglades National Park is one of the warmest national parks in winter.
There are occasional cold snaps that can get close to freezing, but they do not last long.
The Everglades are a warmest national park in December.
Everglades National Park offers many unique park activities. The most exciting activity is the airboat tours. This was our favorite part of the park.
There is also a tram tour, boat tours, hiking, boardwalk trails, paddling, biking, camping, and Eco Tent rentals. Everglades National Park encompasses over a million and a half acres so you will never run out of spaces to explore.
All of the activities are so much more enjoyable with less humidity and bugs. Florida is one of the warmest states in winter, with perfect outdoor activity weather which makes this season the best time to visit.
Adventure Tip: Winter is the peak season for this park. It is more crowded, and you will want to reserve camping and activities ahead of time.
3) Dry Tortugas National Park: Florida – A Best National Park In Winter
Dry Tortugas is another rarely visited gem in the national park system. This top national park in winter is a less crowded national parks experience.
With average daytime highs of 65-78 degrees and fewer crowds, winter is a great time to visit. In fact, it’s one of the few warm national parks in December.
Dry Tortugas National Park is an island, historic Fort Jefferson, and coral reef that is only accessible via boat or seaplane from Key West.
Dry Tortugas is one of the best national parks warm in winter for water exploration.
Snorkeling, diving, fort, and beach exploring, and camping are popular activities in this winter national park. Being able to enjoy being in the water even in winter makes Dry Tortugas one of the best national parks to escape the cold.
A fall national park visit beginning in October – December is less crowded but windier with less water visibility.
January – April is peak season but has the calmest water and best visibility. Dry Tortugas is one of the best national parks to visit in January.
Adventure Tip: The boat ride is 2 1/2 hours each way and known to be rough seas at times. Bring motion sickness medication if you are usually affected on boats.
I don’t have our own photo of this park, so here is a photo from the beautiful nearby Florida Keys. Looking for a warm national park adventure with a tropical island feeling, you definitely want to consider visiting the Keys.
4) Big Bend National Park: Texas – Best National Parks Winter
Big Bend is one of the least visited national parks that are warm in the winter.
The daily winter high temperatures are comfortable at 61-70 degrees with lows of 37-47. You will be the most comfortable by dressing in warm layers for when temps begin to drop in the evening.
Winter months means it is cooler, with possible snow at higher elevations. Rare light snow is possible in the rest of the park.
Big Bend National Park is over 100 degrees for the average summer daytime high, which makes it hard to enjoy outdoor warm national parks activities. Winter is just perfect!
Unlike the rest of the parks on our list, Big Bend is one of the lesser-visited national parks, so it is never extremely crowded in any season.
The only crowded time in winter when you may not want to visit is during the holidays. Big Bend is the perfect national park to visit in winter!
The winter weather is perfect for enjoying hiking, floating, camping, 4-wheeling, and stargazing. Big Bend is an International Dark Sky Park with the best night sky viewing on our list due to it’s rural location.
Adventure Tip: Check out the hot springs, which sound amazing in the winter months.
I don’t have our own photo of Big Bend, so here is one from another park on our list Death Valley National Park.
5) Saguaro National Park: Arizona – Best National Parks To Visit In The Winter
Seeing the giant saguaro cacti are a thrill, especially in the depths of winter with comfortable average daytime high temps of 65-75 degrees.
Saguaro is one of the most unique national parks. In fact, our family loves to go around and pose with cacti near the trails that almost resemble the silhouettes of people. It’s silly fun but helps to keep kiddos interested in the visit.
Summer highs in this park average 95-110 degrees daily which makes winter the perfect time to visit.
The winter season is a comfortable season to hike, drive the scenic park loop, camp, and backpack. And if you are already Arizona-bound, then Saguaro is the perfect choice for visiting national parks in winter.
Because of the pleasant weather, this is also the peak season for Saguaro National Park. Despite having more crowds than other parks on our list, it’s still one of the best national parks warm in winter.
Because this park is in its peak season, you can check out the best guided park activities, like ranger walks and other programs that are only offered this time of year. Saguaro is one of the best national parks to visit in December.
The weather was great during our November visit. It wasn’t crowded on a weekday, and we enjoyed seeing all the massive cactus formations.
6) Channel Islands National Park: California – Top National Parks In Winter
The Channel Islands are a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Even though you are right off the coast of California, it feels like you have entered another world.
While the Channel Islands are a national park that’s probably not currently on your travel bucket list, it should be. It’s one of our favorite national parks, and none compare to the islands’ unique stunning national park beauty.
With average daytime highs of 61-66 degrees, Channel Islands National Park is comfortable to visit in winter.
A perk of visiting in the winter is also less fog and a chance to view migrating whales. It’s one of the best winter national parks.
We had the thrill of viewing our first-ever whale on our boat ride to the islands! Dolphins also played in the surf from our boat.
Popular park activities include camping, hiking, and paddling the sea caves.
The winter is windier than other times of the year though, so check water conditions if you wish to paddle.
The Channel Islands are one of the least popular national parks and also the least crowded warm weather national parks.
Adventure Tip: January and February are the wettest months for this park. To avoid the rain, this is a best national park to visit in December. Bring rain gear and also motion sickness medication for the boat ride.
7) Pinnacles National Park: California – Warmest National Parks To Visit In Winter
Pinnacles National Park is a hidden gem in the national park system.
This less crowded national park is in a very rural area of Central California, and most people simply don’t know that it is a part of the national park service.
The average daily highs are 60-70 degrees, perfect for outdoor exploring. While there may be snow in higher elevations, it is rare in the park.
Year-round, this is one of the least-visited national parks in warm climates. It’s just right for a winter visit.
We loved this park, and although it isn’t one of the more crowded parks, it is extremely hot in the summer. The average summer temps are 90-100 degrees.
Visiting this park in the winter allows you to enjoy the popular park activities of camping, hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing in comfort.
January and February are the wet season months for Pinnacles, so pack layers and rain gear. This is one of the perfect national parks to visit in December.
Adventure Tip: Don’t miss exploring the rock talus caves that the park is known for!
8) Death Valley National Park: California & Nevada – Incredible Winter National Parks
Winter in Death Valley is less windy with comfortable average daily high temps of 65-75 degrees.
Winter is the perfect time for comfortable outdoor exploring like hiking, climbing, mountain biking, camping, and horseback riding. Death Valley is one of the must-see national parks to visit in the winter.
Death Valley National Park is the hottest place in North America, so it makes sense to visit this national park in winter.
We visited in late October, and the temperatures were still over 100. It felt almost hard to breathe. The average summer temps are 115 degrees, making it the hottest national park in the US!
The winter also provides snow-capped mountains, better-angled light for photography, and wildflowers starting in late February.
Winter is not less crowded, though. The least crowded time to visit is after Thanksgiving and before Christmas.
The most crowded is during the holidays. Death Valley is one of the best national parks to visit in February and January.
Adventure Tip: Ask the rangers about the Racetrack sliding rock phenomenon.
Death Valley National Park is best visited in the winter to have a chance at viewing this. This area is very remote, and a high-clearance vehicle is recommended.
9) Joshua Tree National Park: California – Best National Parks In Winter
California’s Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most perfect warm weather national parks to explore.
The average daytime temperatures are comfortable at 61-74 degrees. It is rare but possible to get a beautiful dusting of snow which would make this an even more stunning national park in the winter.
Joshua Tree National Park is another desert park that averages close to 100 degrees in the summer. It is tough to enjoy the beauty of this park in that kind of heat so it’s best to visit during the winter months.
Winter in the park is lovely, though. Joshua Tree is one of the best winter national parks!
The weather is perfect for hiking, biking, camping, and rock climbing. The clear winter skies are perfect for stargazing in this International Dark Sky Park.
This is the peak season for this park, so although the weather is great, there may be crowds. Be sure to reserve camping ahead of time.
Adventure Tip: There is limited cell phone service in the park. Be sure to download park and hiking maps ahead of time.
Non-Contiguous United States Warm National Park Winter Paradises
Looking to really go on an adventure this winter? Why not consider one of the US’s island national parks this winter? Talk about unforgettable!
10) Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park – One Of The Best National Parks To Escape Winter
Winter is a great time to visit Volcanoes National Park. This park, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, has daytime high temperatures, which are typically in the upper 60s or low 70s.
Nighttime temperatures can drop to the 50s, so it’s recommended to bring a jacket or sweatshirt for cooler evenings.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in the park during the winter months.
Hiking is a popular activity, and there are many trails to explore, including the Kilauea Iki Trail, which takes hikers through a rainforest and across a crater floor.
The Crater Rim Drive is a scenic drive that offers views of the park’s volcanic features, including steam vents, lava fields, and craters.
The Chain of Craters Road is another scenic drive that takes visitors to the coast and offers views of lava cliffs and arches.
In addition to hiking and driving, visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park can also attend ranger-led programs and learn about the park’s geology and history.
The Kahuku Unit, located on the southern end of the park, offers additional hiking trails and ranger-led programs.
Overall, this best national parks in winter is the perfect getaway. Volcanoes National Park has some of the warmest mountains in the US during the winter months.
While this isn’t a national park in the contiguous United States, it’s worth the trek to visit. There are plenty of activities for your national park winter adventure!
11) Haleakalā National Park – Warm Weather Paradise
Winter is an excellent time to visit Haleakala National Park, located on the island of Maui, Hawaii. (Check current conditions and openings when planning a trip here, as the area was damaged heavily in the 2023 fires.)
Winter in Haleakala National Park offers a unique experience with cooler temperatures ranging from 40-60°F.
The higher altitude regions, including the park’s summit, can be cooler and extremely windy, so you will want to dress warmly.
The crisp air quality is often clearer during this season, making it an ideal time for stargazing and one of the best national parks for winter.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in the park during the winter months.
Hiking is a popular activity, and there are many trails to explore, including the Pipiwai Trail, which takes hikers through a bamboo forest and past waterfalls.
The Halemau’u Trail is another popular trail that offers views of the park’s volcanic landscape.
In addition to hiking, visitors can also attend ranger-led programs to learn about the park’s geology and history.
Adventurers can also attend stargazing programs offered by the park.
12) National Park Of American Samoa – Best Winter National Parks
The US winter months are actually summer in American Samoa! It’s a very warm and wet time of year to visit.
The average daytime temperature in the park is around 85°F, while nighttime temperatures can drop to around 77°F. Expect wet conditions and bring along rain gear.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in the park, including hiking, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing.
The park has several hiking trails, including the popular Ofu Beach Trail, which takes visitors through a tropical rainforest and past secluded beaches.
You can also explore the park’s coral reefs by snorkeling or scuba diving, with a variety of marine life to see, including sea turtles and colorful fish.
In addition to hiking and snorkeling, visitors can also learn about the park’s cultural and natural history by attending ranger-led programs.
The park has a strong Samoan cultural presence, and visitors can learn about Samoan traditions and customs by attending cultural demonstrations and talks.
FAQs Warm National Parks In Winter
What national park is warm in winter?
Dry Tortugas National Park is warm in winter. In fact, it is the warmest winter island national park that is just perfect for a winter national parks getaway.
Are any national parks warm in the winter?
National parks warm in the winter include desert parks like Joshua Tree and Florida National Parks like the Everglades. They are perfect for a winter trip.
What is the best national park to visit in winter?
Death Valley is the best national park to visit in winter. This hottest national park can be unbearable, but it is just right during the winter months. Also consider visiting a Utah National Park such as Zion National Park, Arches National Park, or Bryce Canyon National Park in winter for fewer crowds. Don’t miss the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival during your visit!
What is the only national park to close in the winter?
The only national park to close in the winter is Isle Royale National Park. This remote island national park located in Lake Superior is difficult to access and is therefore closed in the winter. The North Rim Of The Grand Canyon closes in winter, however the South Rim remains open and is perfect for a winter in Grand Canyon adventure.
What is the warmest national park in winter?
National Park Of American Somoa is the warmest national park in winter. While the US is in the winter months, it’s actually the summer season for American Somoa, with average daytime highs around 85 degrees and lots of rain.
Where is the best place to camp in the winter?
The best place to camp in the winter may just be national parks located in warm winter locations. Consider Everglades National Park or Death Valley for many unique winter activities and warm camping weather.
Which national parks are open in winter?
All of the major national parks are open in winter except for Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. There are some parks that close sections during the winter season. For example, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon closes during the winter months.
Which Warmest National Parks To Visit In Winter Are Top On Your Travel List?
The outdoor adventures don’t have to stop just because winter is here. Even camping in a national park during the winter can be a peaceful nature experience. I hope this inspires you to get out and enjoy one of the national parks during winter!
Want to know my secrets for booking hard-to-get national park campsites? Check out: How To Score Sold-Out National Park Campsites.
Looking for more national park inspiration? Check these out:
Have you visited any of these parks in winter? Please leave me a comment!
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Enjoy your adventure detour!
Scott and Van of The Adventure Detour are travel writers focusing on RV travel, family outdoor travel, national parks travel, and hiking. They have been full-time RV living and traveling across the US since 2015. In 8 years of full-time RVing, they have visited 38 national parks so far with the ultimate goal to see them all. They work as digital nomads while roadschooling their daughter nicknamed Sissy. On the way to all 50 states, they have visited and hiked through 42 states so far. The travel bucket list is forever growing!