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11 Best National Parks to Visit in November

Looking for the best national parks to visit in November? You should start by visiting these parks.

November is an ideal month to visit the many National Parks that are stupid hot during the summer. Plus, it is typically quieter if you avoid the holidays and leaf-peeping season.

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Last Updated: October 12, 2022


Before we get into it, we want to remind everyone to explore the parks responsibly using the 7 Leave no Trace Principles. Have a plan, stay on established trails, carry out anything you carry in, leave what you find, minimize campfire impact, respect wildlife, and be considerate of others.

About the National Park by month Series

To put together this list, we’ve combined our personal experiences and tips we gathered from locals and cross-referenced them with the weather, accessibility, local forums, seasonal attractions like fall foliage or wildflowers, and special events happening in the area. We also took into account any unique adventures only offered at certain times of the year to find the most optimal months to visit each National Park. Phew! that was a lot!

It took me a whole week of research, but since I’m a maximizer, it was completely worth having a year-round calendar of adventures (publishing that soon!). Also, check out our complete list of all the national parks and all national park units that include soon-to-be national parks.

We also chose not to include the hardest-to-access national parks in Alaska and U.S. territories in this series.

National Parks By Month – Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul

Is November a Good Time to Visit National Parks?

Yes! It’s the best month for many national parks that are typically too hot to visit during the summer.


Plan on visiting more than two national parks this year? Pick up an America the Beautiful annual pass to save money (entrance fees to each park are, on average, $30-35 per vehicle). Plus, you are helping support the Parks that always need funding.

11 Best National Parks to Visit in November

1. Death Valley National Park, California

36.4799715,-118.1707461, map

Average Temperatures: 77°F / 48°F

Why Visit: I won’t even touch Death Valley Valley National Park until November. It’s one of the best times to visit, with warm temperatures during the day for your long hikes. At night, temperatures drop significantly, but it’s not as freezing like December and January. It’s still a good idea to pack layers, especially if you run cold like me.

Best For / Top Activities: Hikers, Backpackers, Scenic Drive, Photography

Don’t Miss:

Pro Tip: The park is big, so give yourself plenty of time traveling from one spot to the next.

See Related – 15 Incredible Things to Do in Death Valley National Park

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death ValleyPin

2. Everglades National Park, Florida

40001 State Hwy 9336, Homestead, FL 33034, map

Average Temperatures: 82°F / 64°F

Why Visit: November is the start of the dry season in Everglades National Park. Not only are the temperatures cooler, but there are fewer mosquitos and wildlife will be more active and abundant.

Best For / Top Activities: Boating, Camping, Kayaking, Bicycling, Fishing, Hiking, Tours

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Shark Valley, Anhinga Trail, Eco Pond, Snake Bight, Nine Mile Pond
  • Wildlife – Alligators, Raccoons, Opossums, Bobcats, Gray Fox, Leopard Frogs, Roseate Spoonbill, Manatee
  • How many days do you need? 2-3

Pro Tip: Since visiting during the dry season is popular, make advanced reservations for camping, lodging, and tours.

See Related – Your List of All National Parks in the US

things to do in everglades national parkPin

3. Joshua Tree National Park, California

6554 Park Blvd, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, map

Average Temperatures: 72°F / 44°F

Why Visit: It’s finally climbing season again! That’s why we love Joshua Tree in November. For those of you who don’t climb, it may not be the most fun or scenic national park, but it’s still a great time to see Joshua trees, rock piles, and epic sunsets. The sun is warm during the day and the temps drop at night, making it fun to cozy up next to a campfire.

Best For / Top Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Stargazing, Camping, Scenic Drives, Climbing

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Arch Rock, Cholla Cactus Garden, Halls of Horror, Skull Rock
  • Wildlife – Bobcat, Mountain Lion, Coyote, Gray Fox, Desert Kit Fox, Black Bear, Bighorn Sheep, Desert Cottontail
  • How many days do you need? 1 or 2-3 if you climb

Pro Tip: The park gets busier during the cooler seasons so if you’re hoping to camp, book your site early.

See Related – 11 Amazing Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park

Belle Campground Joshua TreePin

4. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

37.1879181,-86.1028107, map

Average Temperatures: 59°F / 38°F

Why Visit: November is on the tail end of fall colors, but you still might catch some! Since it’s later in the season, the leaf-peeping crowds should have thinned already so the park will be quieter. Fall is also the driest season in the park.

Best For / Top Activities: Hiking, Bicycling, Cave Tours, Kayaking

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Mammoth Cave, Doyel Valley Overlook, Sunset Point, Green River
  • Wildlife – Bats, White-Tailed Deer, Coyote, Black Bear
  • How many days do you need? 1-3

Local Tip: They offer fewer cave tours during shoulder season so check their current schedule when planning.

See Related – Complete National Parks List by State

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5. New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia

162 Visitor Center Rd, Lansing, WV 25862, map

Average Temperatures: 77°F / 48°F

Why Visit: As one of the newest National Parks, it has quickly earned a spot as one of the best parks for fall foliage. It typically peaks mid to late October, but you might still catch it in early November. Even if you miss it, the cool temps are perfect for hiking and climbing, which is more our priority.

Best For / Top Activities: Camping, Whitewater Rafting, Hiking, Biking, Climbing, Scenic Drives, Fishing

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – New River Gorge Bridge, Grandview, Sandstone Falls, Nuttallburg
  • Wildlife – Groundhogs, Coyotes, Red Foxes, Gray Foxes, Black Bears, Bobcats, White-Tailed Deer
  • How many days do you need? 1-3
new river gorge national park fall foliagePin

6. White Sands National Park, New Mexico

19955 US-70, Alamogordo, NM 88310, map

Average Temperatures: 66°F / 29°F

Why Visit: November is one of the quieter months at White Sands National Park. It’s a great time to explore the dunes with no one in sight. If you can bear really cold weather, you can even camp and enjoy the stars.

Best For / Top Activities: Hiking, Bicycling, Backcountry Camping, Photography, Stargazing, Sledding

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Sledding, Dune Life Nature Trail, Alkali Flat Trail, Playa Trail
  • Wildlife – American Badger, Apache Pocket Mouse, Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Bobcat, Coyote, Kit Fox
  • How many days do you need? 1-2

Local Tip: Since you are hiking on dunes, you need to check for trail markers. It can get disorienting very quickly. We got turned around when trying to find out way back to our car but found our way by looking at the direction of the sunset. Also, you can download an offline version of google maps of the area.

See Related – 5 Incredible Things to Do at White Sands National Park

Popular White Sands in New MexicoPin

7. Zion National Park, Utah

1 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767, map

Average Temperatures: 56°F / 30°F

Why Visit: Zion National Park has exploded in popularity, so late fall is a great time to visit for fewer crowds and cooler temperatures. You can often still catch fall leaves at lower elevations too!

Best For / Top Activities: Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Stargazing

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Angels Landing, Canyon Overlook Trail, Emerald Pools, Observation Point, Riverside Walk
  • Wildlife – Ringtail, Mountain Lion, American Pika, Desert Cottontail, Coyote, Kit Fox, Bighorn Sheep, Elk
  • How many days do you need? 1-3

Pro Tip: The Narrows will be cold to hike, but you can always rent dry suits in town if you still want to check it out.

See Related – 15 Incredible Things to Do in Zion National Park

Angels Landing in Zion National Park Utah + Your Ultimate USA Bucket List // Local Adventurer #bucketlist #usa #zionPin

8. Yosemite National Park, California

9035 Village Dr, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, map

Average Temperatures: 57°F / 32°F

Why Visit: November is one of the quietest times to visit Yosemite National Park. You’ll get cool nights and sunny days. Most of the park is still open before the higher elevations shut down for winter. Plus you may even catch the first snow of the season making it extra magical.

Best For / Top Activities: Hiking and Backpacking, Tours, Photography, Scenic Drives

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Taft Point, Glacier Point, Half Dome, Tunnel View
  • Wildlife – Bears, Mule Deer, Big Horn Sheep, Great Gray Owl, Bighorn Sheep, Bobcats, Porcupines, Red Foxes
  • How many days do you need? 2-4

Pro Tip: Remember that elevation varies a lot within the park, which means temperatures vary quite a bit. Be sure to check the weather in the areas you plan on visiting.

See Related – 15 Breathtaking Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California + Your Ultimate USA Bucket List // Local Adventurer #usa #yosemitePin

9. Pinnacles National Park, California

5000 CA-146, Paicines, CA 95043, map

Average Temperatures: 68°F / 34°F

Why Visit: Pinnacles National Park is much more popular during the cooler months since summer is so hot. November is a great time to hike, rock climb, and see wildlife, and although it’s a busier time, the overall park visitation is manageable since it’s one of the lesser-known National Parks in the US.

Best For / Top Activities: Hiking, Climbing, Wildlife Viewing, Camping

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Talus Cave, Bear Guild, Balconies Cave, Rim Trail Loop, High Peaks Loop
  • Wildlife – Canyon Bats, Mountain Lions, Condors, Feral Pig, Bobcat, Gray Fox, Ringtail
  • How many days do you need? 1-3

Pro Tip: Pinnacles National Park has two separate entrances that are far from each other. Plan accordingly based on what you want to see!

Pinnacles National Park TrailsPin

10. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

400 Pine Canyon Dr, Salt Flat, TX 79847, map

Average Temperatures: 52°F / 37°F

Why Visit: The park’s busiest time is mid-October to mid-November for good reason. The weather is cool and you’ll get to enjoy the fall colors. Since the park is one of the least visited National Parks, even when it’s crowded, it won’t feel like Zion or Yellowstone. Plus, it’s a wilderness park so you’ll have to get on rugged trails to see some of the best spots, which means no crowds! It’s amazing how getting off the main road will deter people.

Best For / Top Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Scenic Drives, Horseback Riding

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Smith Spring Trail, Devil’s Hall Trail, McKittrick Canyon, Guadalupe Peak Trail
  • Wildlife – Coyote, Mountain Lion, Bobcat, Badger, Texas Banded Gecko, Bats, Javelinas, Jackrabbits, Rattlesnake
  • How many days do you need? 1-3

Pro Tip: Be prepared to hike; otherwise you’ll miss out on the best spots in the park.

See Related – 15 Least Visited National Parks You Need to Explore Next

things to do in guadalupe mountains national parkPin

11. Badlands National park, South Dakota

25216 SD-240, Interior, SD 57750, map

Average Temperatures: 47°F / 28°F

Why Visit: Fall is one of the best times to see the park’s wildlife, like bison, prairie dogs, and bighorn sheep. In November, you’re usually clear of any large snow dumps (although they can still happen, so plan ahead).

Best For / Top Activities: Scenic Drives, Wildlife Viewing, Stargazing, Hiking

Don’t Miss:

  • To Do – Badlands Loop Road, Fossil Preparation Lab, Sage Creek Rim Road
  • Wildlife – Bison, Prairie Dogs, Bighorn Sheep, Black-Footed Ferret
  • How many days do you need? 1-3

Pro Tip: Most of the highlights can be seen from the scenic drives, but hop out for some easy hikes (most are 1.25 miles or less).

See Related – 9 Amazing Things to Do in Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park South DakotaPin

Map of the Best National Parks to Visit in November

Want to See More NATIONAL Parks to Visit in November?

If you’re a national park lover like us and have done many of the above, here are some more ideas for National Parks to visit in November. While November may not be the top two months of the year to visit these parks, it’s also not the worst time.

Tips for Visiting the Best National Parks in November

  • Explore the parks responsibly using Leave no Trace principles. Have a plan, stay on established trails, carry out anything you carry in, leave what you find, minimize campfire impact, respect wildlife, and be considerate of others.
  • Pick up the National Park Annual Pass if you plan on visiting multiple parks within the year. It saves you a lot of money.
  • Want to see the fall foliage? Climate change and droughts this year will make timing more unpredictable. We typically go onto the geotag on Instagram or Tiktok and scroll through all the recent posts to see what it’s looking like. Keep in mind that people post older content, so I like to look at the grid or ones that non-influencers are posting. You can also leave a comment and ask when they went.
  • It’s always a good idea to pack layers wherever you go. Some parks are warm during the day and cool at night. Pay attention to the elevation change too! Some parks will be warm on the valley floor and cold at higher elevations.
  • You may need a reservation. See national parks that now require reservations here.
  • Always check the park’s site and Visitors Center for the most up-to-date information on closures.
  • Remember that wildlife is wild. Be familiar with how to interact with animals and how much space you should have between you and them.
Balcony House Tour, Mesa Verde National Park COPin

What to Pack

How you will pack depends on which park you visit and the activities you plan, but here is a general guide on items we always try to pack.

Looking for what to wear to the airport? These are our ideal airport fits and our carry-on essentials for every flight.

FAQs

Are national parks crowded in November?

For the most part, parks are less crowded in November. Although some of the parks will be busier during this time for fall foliage or at parks that are unbearable in the summer.

What time of year is best to visit national parks?

This depends on the region, but September and October are generally the best times to visit since most parks are less crowded. Plus, it’s usually cheaper, you have mild weather, and the animals are more active.

What national park is best to visit in November?

We just made a list of this! Go check it out here. But my top pick is Death Valley National Park.

What is Zion like in November?

Temperatures with a high of 63 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 37. It’s great hiking weather, especially for the exposed trails like Angels Landing.

How is Yellowstone in November?

Yellowstone in November is cold and often times there will be snow. Temperatures are cold, with average highs around 39 and lows around 20. Southern portions of the park are closed to all traffic.

What is Yosemite like in November?

The weather is cool and sunny, with a high of around 56 and a low of around 33. At higher elevations, temperatures can drop to 17 degrees. It’s the last month you can explore the higher elevations before they close for the season.

Is Glacier park open in November?

November is the start of the wintry season in Glacier National Park and the visitor centers and lodges are closed. Going-to-the-Sun-Road and Many Glacier Road are also closed for the season. For this reason, I would only visit during July and August.

How hot is Grand Canyon in November?

On the South Rim, the highs are usually around 52 degrees Fahrenheit, and the lows are around 24.

Recap of the 11 Best National Parks to Visit in November

November is a wonderful time to explore the National Parks. You get to take advantage of good weather, and most schools have started back up, so it will be a bit less crowded than in the height of summer. Here is the list of parks we recommend visiting.

  1. Death Valley National Park
  2. Everglades National Park (post coming soon!)
  3. Joshua Tree National Park
  4. Mammoth Cave National Park
  5. New River Gorge National Park
  6. White Sands National Park
  7. Zion National Park
  8. Yosemite National Park
  9. Pinnacles National Park (coming soon!)
  10. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  11. Badlands National Park (coming soon!)

Can you think of others that belong on this list of best national parks to visit in November? Which ones are we missing?

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