These 5 U.S. National Parks Are Perfect For A November Visit (2023)

Traveling In Focus disclaimer

Oh, hello there, fellow park enthusiast.

Are you itching to know where to park yourself this November? Well, you’ve stumbled into the right campsite!

You see, we’re practically part of the furniture in national parks. Seriously, park rangers have tried to clean us up and out more than once.

But we’re as stubborn as a boulder and just keep rolling back. All so we can share the lowdown on the best parks to visit in November with wonderful wanderers like you.

Trust us, we’ve done the legwork—or should we say trail work?

So, stick with us, and we’ll guide you to that perfect November park experience you crave. Can you smell the pine-scented adventure already?

National Parks To See This November

These parks have been carefully selected because they’re not just pretty faces. Oh no, they’ve got substance too!

And November brings cooler weather and fewer folks jostling for that perfect selfie.

Just imagine vast expanses of wilderness where the only photobomber is a curious squirrel. Sound like your cup of tea? Us too.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Big Bend National Park

a view of a rocky mountaintop rising above the green and cactus ground in big bend national park
© traveling in focus

Let us introduce you to the larger-than-life Big Bend National Park. It’s like Texas decided to show off, and bam. It gave us this gem.

This park is not just big, it’s HUGE! We’re talking 801,163 acres of wild, untamed beauty. This place is so massive you could lose Delaware in here somewhere.

Did you know it’s home to more types of birds than any other national park? Yep, bird watchers, you might just reach bird nirvana here.

And if you watch for movement along the ground, you just might spot the famous roadrunner like we did (meep meep!).

For all you history buffs, did you know Big Bend was once a volcanic field? It’s true. You’ll find ancient lava flows, volcanic dikes, and the exposed remains of a massive ancient volcano.

So basically, it’s like a geology textbook but without any boring parts.

Now for the fun stuff – what to put on your to-do list?

  • Hike the South Rim: It’s no easy stroll, but trust us, the panoramic views from the top are worth every step.
  • Visit Santa Elena Canyon: The sheer cliffs on either side of the Rio Grande – it’s like nature’s version of Times Square, just less crowded and more beautiful.
  • Star Gazing at the Chisos Basin: On a clear night, you can see about 2,000 stars. No kidding.

Our tip: If you love wildlife watching, get up at dawn and take a drive. The park is quiet at this time, and we had great luck spotting javelina and tons of different bird species.

2. Mammoth Cave National Park

a stairwell leads down into the cave structure at mammoth cave national park
© zrfphoto | depositphotos

Up next, let’s peel back the layers of Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.

First off, the name ain’t no joke. This place is seriously mammoth.

In fact, it’s the world’s longest-known cave system. It makes you wonder if there’s an end at all or if it just leads to the center of the Earth.

Did you know this place is older than the Mammoth? Yep. It’s thought to be over 10 million years old. If those walls could talk, huh?

And while we’re on the subject of old, archaeologists have found artifacts dating back over 5,000 years. So, you’re walking in the footsteps of ancient people. No biggie.

What should you do when you get there?

  • Go Cave Touring: It’s not every day you’re in the world’s longest cave system, so you might as well make the most of it. Just remember, if you get lost, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
  • Hike the Green River Bluffs Trail: It’s a moderate 1.3 miles, and the view from the top? Let’s just say your followers are about to get super jealous.
  • Canoeing on the Green River: Canoeing on a river that winds through a national park beats a day at the gym any day. Plus, who knows, you might spot a few river otters. Just don’t challenge them to a swimming race. You’ll definitely lose.

3. Grand Canyon National Park

the grand canyon seen as the sun sets, making the rock face appear especially red, the colorado river can be seen down below
© jose1983 | depositphotos

Grand Canyon National Park, where Mother Nature went all Picasso with a chisel.

It’s not just a big hole in the ground in Arizona. It’s a whopping 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep.

We know, that sounds big, but when you stand at the edge and look as far as the eye can see, and it is still going, you know it is truly GRAND. Trust us; we have been on that edge with our jaws dropping to our belly buttons as we look over the expanse.

Did you know you can hide the whole of Manhattan in there and still have room to spare?

But it’s not just about size; there’s history too. This ol’ canyon reveals nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history.

Bet your history class didn’t cover that, huh?

Let’s get to the goodies. What’s on the menu for an action-packed adventure?

  • Go River Rafting on the Colorado River: Do you want thrills, spills, and a chance to sport your fashionable life vest? This is your gig. Just don’t drop your phone in the water.
  • Hiking the Bright Angel Trail: 9.5 miles of pure joy, or pain, depending on your fitness level. Either way, the views are worth the sweat.
  • Sunset at Hopi Point: Bring a picnic (or your Thanksgiving meal!), enjoy the view, and remember: sunsets are still free, at least for now.

Our tip: Head down into the canyon, even if you only do part of a trail. Most visitors (95%!) never even step foot below the rim. But it is a great way to get a different perspective…and a bit more solitude.

4. Wind Cave National Park

the boxwork cave formation is on display in this image of inside wind cave national park
© cherialguire | depositphotos

Welcome to Wind Cave National Park, the first cave designated as a national park in the world.

But hey, no biggie. It’s only home to 95% of the world’s discovered boxwork cave formations, which makes it the poster child for geological beauty.

This park in South Dakota is also home to one of the longest and most complex caves in the world, with well over 140 miles of passages explored and who knows how many unexplored.

Just remember that the park’s wind is so strong it can blow your hat off (and your toupee, too, if you’re rocking one; no judgment here).

So, what’s on the to-do list?

  • Tour the Cave: We mean, it’s in the name. Don’t just stand at the entrance, though. Get in there and experience the fascinating underground maze of corridors. And don’t worry, we won’t let you get lost. Probably.
  • Hiking in Rankin Ridge: A short trail with a big payoff. The highest point in the park offers views that will make your heart skip a beat. And not just because of the altitude.
  • Wildlife Spotting at Elk Mountain: It’s like a live version of your favorite nature documentary, minus the dramatic commentary. Grab your binoculars and keep your eyes peeled for bison, elk, and prairie dogs. Just remember, they’re wild animals, not pets. We repeat, not pets!

5. Zion National Park

the rocky cliffs of zion national park reach high towards the clouds seen from a bugs eye perspective far below
© traveling in focus

Let’s wrap up our list with the popular Zion National Park.

It’s not like it’s the most popular and oldest national park in Utah or anything. Oh wait, it is!

This 229 square-mile park, which is totally not daunting at all, houses the tallest sandstone cliffs in the world. Because who doesn’t love a good world record, right?

And that’s not all; it’s also got a diverse range of plant and animal species that would make Noah’s Ark look like a kiddie petting zoo.

Curious about what to do when you are down gawking at those epic cliffs?

  • Hike Angel’s Landing: It’s a no-brainer. Brace yourself for a heart-pumping, thigh-burning hike that even your Fitbit will high-five you for. The views at the top? Indescribable. But let’s just say your ex’s ‘amazing’ vacation pics will pale in comparison.
  • Cool Off In The Narrows: It’s time to get your feet wet, quite literally. Wade through the Virgin River and feast your eyes on the towering canyon walls. Just remember, it’s not a swimming pool. No cannonballs, please.
  • Weeping Rock: A rock that weeps? Sounds like a rejected superhero, but it’s actually a pretty cool natural phenomenon. A short walk will take you to a dripping spring and a pretty sweet view. So pack your waterproof mascara.

To Finish- National Parks Perfect For To Visit This November

Is there a better way to spend November than exploring these natural wonders that make your backyard garden look like a preschool playground?

Whether you enjoy Big Bend’s star-studded skies or Zion’s record-breaking cliffs, each park is begging to be your next social post.

Sure, Netflix and chill is tempting this time of year, but trust us, your couch isn’t going anywhere.

So, chuck on those hiking boots, slap on some sunscreen (yes, even in November), and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Did the Grand Canyon catch your eye? Check out our 2-day itinerary to find out how to spend your time.

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