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The Best National Parks to Visit for Spring Wildflowers

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These national parks really show off how beautiful the colors of nature can be in the spring.

Flowers and mountain, glacier national parkPete Lomchid/Getty Images

Glacier National Park, Montana

At Logan Pass, Clements Mountain towers above a swath of Lewis’ monkey flowers. About mid-July, the wildflowers move in as snow recedes in the Pass. The Hidden Lake and Highline trails lead to breathtaking views. Psst—if you love nature, don’t miss these spectacular national park birding sites.

USA, Washington, Mt. Rainier National Park, wildflowers and hikerRene Frederick/Getty Images

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Gorgeous patches of Arctic lupine, paintbrush and beargrass decorate many meadows in the park’s Paradise area beginning in mid-July. To see this iconic scene, follow the High Lakes Trail to Mazama Ridge. Check out these awesome facts about national parks.

Acadia National Park field of lupineCourtesy Karen Christman/Country

Acadia National Park, Maine

Though not native to Maine, lupines are a favorite in the park. In late spring, these flowers carpet meadows and roadsides. They are a favorite subject of photographers and painters alike.

Grand TetonsCourtesy Anne Duvall/Country

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

“Nothing compared with the beauty and majesty of the Grand Tetons,” says Anne Duvall. “Though snow remains on the mountains, the bright yellow flowers are a vivid reminder of spring and the new life that accompanies it.” If you love hiking and birding, spring is also a good time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.

Kenai National ParkCourtesy Sharon Gilbert/Country

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

“I took this picture in Seward when visiting Kenai Fjords National Park,” says Sharon Gilbert. “What an amazing experience to get on the water and see porpoise, whales, otters, sea lions, eagles and glaciers.” Check out some great birding hotspots in lesser-known national parks.

Olympic National ParkCourtesy Sally Slotterback/Country

Olympic National Park, Washington

“In the middle of July, a friend and I drove a road less traveled in Olympic National Park,” says Sally Slotterback. “Rounding a bend, a vast expanse of avalanche lilies spread out before us. The snow had just melted, and each little beauty was smiling in peak radiance.

San Juan Island National Historical ParkCourtesy Sally Slotterback/Country

San Juan Island National Historic Park, Washington

“Upon moving to the Pacific Northwest, I discovered the pleasure of taking a ferry to San Juan Island and cycling to San Juan Island National Historical Park,” says Sally Slotterback. “Pedaling down Cattle Point Road in spring, a divine feast meets the eye as acres of California poppies blanket the bluffs above the sea.”

Canyonland National ParkCourtesy Jim Evershed/Country

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

“During a vacation to Canyonlands National Park in Utah, we took a short hiking trail off the main road,” says Jim Evershed. “It opened into a small canyon that was full of color, from blooming flowers to the green shrubby trees that lined the canyon floor. It was almost as if Mother Nature had saved this wonderful display for our special viewing.”

Big Bend National ParkCourtesy Dana Hardy/Country

Big Bend National Park, Texas

“This spark of beautiful color captured my eye as I was hiking along a trail in Big Bend National Park,” says Dana Hardy. “Seems simple, but to me, it is a symbol of the beauty that is around us every day if only we take the time to open our eyes to see it.”

Super Bloom in Death ValleyCourtesy Hannah Henry/Country

Death Valley National Park, California

“This picture shows the Super Bloom in Death Valley,” says Hannah Henry. “The yellow flowers pop against the painted hills in the background and the bright blue of the sky.”

Driving Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in VirginiaCourtesy Anne Duvall/Country

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

“A trip along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park is always a highlight each spring,” says Anne Duvall. “On this day, the skies were clear and the yellow wildflowers were blowing in the breeze.

This Elk in YellowstoneCourtesy Christopher Cybulski/Country

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

“This elk walked right into our camp at Yellowstone for a little dinner,” says Christopher Cybulski. “His sheer size and power contrasted with the meadow full of delicate wildflowers.”

Great Smoky Mountains National ParkCourtesy Paul Bay/Birds & Blooms

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

“I was walking through Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park when I saw these swallowtails enjoying Joe Pye weed,” says Paul Bay. “Their wings were beautiful against the pink and purple flowers.”

California Desert not far from Joshua Tree National ParkCourtesy Melody Marks/Birds & Blooms

Joshua Tree National Park, California

“I live in the California desert not far from Joshua Tree National Park,” says Melody Marks. “Springtime brings many beautiful varieties of wildflowers. People come for all over the world to view the colorful blooms, like this hedgehog cactus, in the park and in surrounding areas.”

Originally Published in Country

Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor's degree in agricultural and environmental communications from the University of Illinois. Lori is certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener and is also a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.