National Parks: Yosemite & Yellowstone

Along with a new year comes new travel goals, bucket lists, and opportunities to explore the world starting here in the United States. And, now that we’ve toasted the new year, and entered 2023, many families are already starting to think about their spring break travels. While National Parks are a popular choice in summer, they also make a great destination in spring too! Here we take a look at …


Voted #2 in Best Spring Break Family Destinations by USNews Travel. 

1,200 square miles of deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, and a vast wilderness area. The government’s National Park site refers to it as a shrine to human foresight, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra.

The scenic mountain region is located in east central California, about 140 miles east of San Francisco and 100 miles southwest of Sacramento. 


Best time to visit Yosemite: Spring 

Sure, this is subjective, but if you want to catch waterfalls at their peak and miss the heavier summer crowd, this is your window. The average high in March is around 58 degrees. 

Looking for a gorgeous array of wildflowers? According to Yosemitehikes.com, the season starts as early as late February and early March in Hite Cove and continues to blossom to higher elevations like the Gaylor Lakes basin as late as August. 

You can see one of the biggest trees in the world—The Grizzly Giant.

Yosemite is also home to a slew of wildlife, including 90 mammal species and 262 birds. Not to mention 11 native amphibians and 22 reptiles, which include 13 snakes. 


Coming in at 3,472 square miles, Yellowstone is larger than both Delaware and Rhode Island combined. While its official address is Wyoming, 3% of the Northern border of Yellowstone sits in Montana and 1% of the western border is in Idaho. 

It became the first national park in 1872 and is home to about half of the world’s active geysers, the Grand Canyon (not the Arizona one … who knew there was a second one! Check out the picture below) and the Yellowstone River.

Photo of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from Tripadvisor.com.

Best Times to Visit Yellowstone: Spring or Fall 

For the mildest temps, plan your trip in late April and May or September through early October. While it’s still considered chilly, (for example the highs in May are just 52 degrees,  you’ll experience fewer road closures and fewer crowds than in the peak summer season.  

Want to see elk bugling? Visit Yellowstone in the fall for what is known as the rut season, when elk vye for the attention of females through loud, then high-pitched sounds. 

67 different mammals live in Yellowstone, including bighorn sheep, bison, elk, moose, mountain goats, black bears, Canada lynx, coyotes, grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolves, red fox, badgers, coyotes, river otters, wolverines, 13 species of bats and more. You have the opportunity to see mammals in their natural habitat from the safety of your car. 


Explore More National Parks

With over 63 National Parks in the US, this is just the tip of the iceberg—or should we say glacier? And while only 63 sites have the term National Park in their proper name, the National Park system is actually much, much bigger, and includes 423 National Park sites in the US spanning over 84 million acres which extend into different territories.

Want to explore all 423 National Park Sites across the country? Download the National Park Service App to your smartphone. With interactive maps, tours of park places, and more, it’s a handy FREE tool that also allows you to download content ahead of time and use it offline.



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