Last Updated on: 13th January 2023, 11:12 am
There is a new travel craze sweeping independent senior living communities across America! Because of our size and the many climate zones our country boasts, the US has some of the most breathtaking national parks on the planet.
In these precarious times, the only trick is knowing the best time to visit so that you don’t find yourself in an overcrowded situation or bad weather and not have all the fun you desire.
This post considers accessibility and amenities so that you are never far from food, shelter, and aid if you need it. Below are some of the best national parks that you can explore in your golden years.
Note: This guide to the best US National Parks for seniors comes to us from Jennifer Bell, a writer with a passion for helping seniors live their best lives.
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These are my favorite companies that I use on my own travels.
Protect Your Trip via Safety Wing
Find the best city tours, day tours, bus tours, & skip-the-line tickets on GetYourGuide and Viator.
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For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.
Book an affordable family or romantic photography session on your trip through Flytographer (Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 10% off your first photoshoot).
For travel guidebooks to have with you during your trip, I always pick one or two from Rick Steves and Lonely Planet.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon has been listed as one of the most visited parks amongst seniors in the US. It hosts millions of visitors each year due to the scenic view of the ridges and gorges in the North and South Rim. However, we suggest visiting the South Rim as it is more exciting and has lots to see.
As a senior, hiking the Grand Canyon will not be your best option. However, with the help of a tour guide, you can enjoy a comfy 4.5-hour drive bus tour to cover those miles as you enjoy the view of the wildlife and monuments from the window. If you are up for a sleepover, you can also enjoy the sunrise over the canyon the following morning.
Best Time to Visit: The months of April and June so that you can avoid the scorching summer heat.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Most people have heard of this park since it was one of the first, and it is open all year round. It would take you two to three days to travel through the whole park to view all the natural beauty that surrounds it.
On the trip, you’ll enjoy the scenic view of the mountains, diverse landscapes, and wildlife. Furthermore, you can also choose to enjoy rafting in the river and fishing. You’ll definitely enjoy the cool mountain breeze! Be sure to stick around for the Wyoming sunset.
Best Time to Visit: The best times to visit are in Late April to May or better still in September to early October. The place is not overcrowded during these months, and the weather is good enough to stroll around.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
As the name suggests, this park is famous for its rugged hiking trails. If you want to enjoy everything the park offers, you’ll need at least two to three days. However, many seniors enjoy visiting this park due to the breathtaking view of the beautiful mountains and the lakes.
Since this park has been ranked as a top wildlife destination, you will also get to enjoy a variety of wildlife, including birds, elk, or bighorn sheep, amongst others. You can also go fishing in any fishing stream you want since there are over 50 of them.
Considered one of the best US national parks in Colorado, it never disappoints!
Best Time to Visit: The winter seasons are not the best to visit since most attractions are not accessible. Therefore, July to September is ideal for visiting since the weather is better and the attractions are all open.
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Unlike other parks in Alaska, this one is easily accessible. You will need two full days to enjoy the magnificence of the park and for an unforgettable experience.
The park is graced with mountains, lakes, sea otters, glaciers, and wildlife that you will undoubtedly want to see. If you take a boat ride, you may get lucky to watch some incredible marine life such as whales, sea lions, seals, amongst others.
Best Time to Visit: The end of May would be the best month to visit this Park.
Acadia National Park, Maine
The Acacia National Park draws the attention of many since it is the only park in the northeastern part of the US. It has received much praise and referrals over the years from fellow birdwatchers who enjoy the view of the falcons, eagles, raptors, amongst others.
You can also take your stroll through the splendid coastline. Above all, you can also enjoy a tour around the carriage roads to enjoy the coastal view. Plus, it is easily accessible. Two to three days are enough.
Best Time to Visit: The fall would be the best time to visit.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Most seniors would undoubtedly enjoy exploring this Park since it holds some of the most admirable fossil beds in the world. If you want to enjoy the most out of your drive, two days would be enough. Apart from that, you will also enjoy the wilderness area filled with wildlife like buffalo and bighorn sheep.
Best Time to Visit: The spring and fall seasons are the best times to visit.
Zion National Park, Utah
Zion ranks as the most popular Park in Utah, and it steadily increases visitors over the years. Seniors can enjoy a beautiful road trip to enjoy the pink landscape and the desert plants around it. You won’t have to step out of the car. You should also carry your best pair of binoculars to enjoy the birds and the wildlife in the Park. You can enjoy the beautiful view from the comfort of your car.
Best Time to Visit: Springtime is the best time to visit since you can spot the colorful wildflowers like the desert marigolds get to bloom.
Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
This Park is a perfect choice for seniors due to its calmness. You can enjoy your beautiful ride around the Island, which is covered entirely with wildlife.
Best Time to Visit: For the safety of the visitors, the Park is fully closed during the winter season from November to April. However, it is fully accessible from May to October as the temperatures are friendly and the Island is fully accessible.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah is one of the famous beautiful parks in the US, located approximately 75 miles away south of Washington DC. It covers the Blue Ridge Mountains and gives seniors spectacular views of the waterfalls at every turn. Plus, you can take the scenic highway through it!
Best Time to Visit: During the Fall in October.
Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
If you are a history lover, this will be a perfect spot for you. The park is not only a historical spot but also the ideal nature spot for most seniors. Here, you can make the experience memorable by getting yourself a Gettysburg tour via a horse-drawn carriage down to the Gettysburg battlefield. You can also enjoy taking those soldier walks for free with the guidance of a ranger who will also tell you all the stories Gettysburg has to offer. Even stick around for some ghost tours!
Best Time to Visit: During the fall season or the first few days of July will have all the fun as, during this time, the US holds commemorative independence events.
Get Out and See the Sites!
Are you a senior who enjoys traveling? This list gives you some of the best places to begin your adventurous journey, so do not limit yourself. Get yourself ready, and you’ll enjoy every bit of it.
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.