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These US national parks are incredible spring break destinations – Lonely Planet

A person stands under Delicate Arch watching the Milky Way, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah, USA

Spring break brings opportunities for outdoors-loving road-trippers to cross a few national parks off their list. As the weather warms, wildlife reappears and temperatures are perfect for long hikes and backpacking treks.

The USA’s national parks showcase the very best of the country’s wide-ranging beauty, and hiking is one of the best ways to take it all in at your own pace. Whether you’re scrambling up rock formations in of Moab or descending into the depths of the Grand Canyon, don’t pass up the opportunity to linger longer and meander through the great expanses of these majestic parks this spring. 

Here’s a shortlist of our favorite national parks (and one state park we couldn’t resist including), all of which beckon this spring break. 

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Canyonlands and Arches National Parks have the magical southwestern landscapes and adventure opportunities you’re looking for on an early spring road trip © Carlos Fernandez / Getty Images

1. Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, Utah

Best for mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, boating, car camping
March weather: 60° F (high) / 34° F (low)

Skip the crowds at Zion and head north to experience what puts Moab on every adventurer’s map: close proximity to the striking red rocks at both Arches and Canyonlands. Whether you’re looking to tear up the trails on a mountain-biking tour; hike through vast, rust-colored mesas and tablelands; or squeeze through slot canyons, this slice of eastern Utah is not for the faint of heart.

Both Arches and Canyonlands have well-positioned roadside campgrounds within their boundaries – yet intrepid tourists who trek off the beaten path at Canyonlands will be rewarded with one of the most extensive backcountry camping programs in the entire National Parks System. Permits for biking, backpacking or four-wheel adventuring along the famous White Rim Rd are a phenomenal way to nab panoramic views of the high desert and Green River. (Be aware that these permits are in high demand, and need to reserved well in advance.)

Not looking to sleep in the dirt? The town of Moab offers everything you could hope for from a mountain town, from name-brand hotels to quirky, family-owned ranch houses to microbreweries serving up juicy burgers and fries.

An underwater shot of a man diving next to a motorboat, Biscayne National Park, Florida, USA
Since most of Biscayne National Park is open ocean, spring breakers will want to hop on (then off of) a…

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