Five National Parks to Visit in 2023, Tips of The Trail, When to Visit

Looking to explore a national park in 2023 or add a few destinations to your bucket list? We got you covered with a 'top five' park guide along with tips & tricks of the trail, and the best season to visit each park. Time to get that pack ready and hit the road.

Javier at Grand Canyon, MuskOx Flannels Javier DeLeon at the Grand Canyon

MuskOx Herd member, Javier DeLeon lives for the climb. He’s a digital nomad who’s a ‘full week warrior’, one who balances work and adventure all seven days of the week, not only on the weekend. Javier has been to over 20 national parks, and got the itch at a very young age through his love for being on top of the mountain. Javier’s adventures are not slowing down, and he’s leveraged his work as a day trader to live a life outdoors, on the road, and on the trail.

Looking to get to a few national parks in the second half of 2023? Javier was excited to share his top 5 national parks for the MuskOx Herd to visit this year. He tossed in a few special spots, stories and tips with each location. Enjoy!

1. Zion National Park

When’s the best season to visit?

The best season to visit Zion National Park is the winter. There are a couple reasons to visit in the winter. First, the cooler weather and snow tend to keep the swarming crowds at bay and second, if you have ever seen any photos of Zion or have been yourself, you know that it has red rock. Add a dusting of snow to the already picturesque views and the palette really pops. As an added bonus, the winter landscape also includes icicles clinging to canyon walls, frozen waterfalls, and snow-capped mountains. Ultimately, the tranquility and peace found during a winter visit to Zion National Park allow you to have a near private showing of the park.

Zion Nation Park, MuskOx FlannelsPhoto of Zion National Park, Angels Landing

Trail Tip

If you like adventure, search no further than Angels Landing! While Angels Landing does require a permit, if you are unable to score one, you will find there is still a bounty of beautiful views throughout the rest of the park.

What makes Zion stand out from other parks?

Two main things make Zion stand out when compared to many other national parks. First, its accessibility. For a park with such a wide array of hikes and adventures and in such a rugged and remote place, it not only includes terrain for all skill levels, but it is just a few hours away from both Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

2. Bryce Canyon

When’s the best season to visit?

You may have already guessed it, but winter is the best time to visit Bryce Canyon, which turns 100 years old this year! Here is how I planned my trip: I had been in Zion monitoring a storm that was rolling through both Zion and Bryce. The first half of the storm I spent in Zion, but I wanted to be sure to sneak into Bryce, so when the weather broke, I zipped over to Bryce and hit the trails covered in fresh powder. Luckily only a few other people had the same idea, so everyone there was able to soak in the beauty of snow covered arches and hoodoos. This made for some of the more dramatic photos and videos, not to mention the memories.

Photo of Bryce Canyon, MuskOx FlannelsPhoto of Bryce Canyon, MuskOx FlannelsPhotos of Bryce Canyon

What’s a ‘must hike’ trail at Bryce Canyon?

While there are numerous magical trails, one of the best is the Fairyland Loop. There are numerous beautiful trails and it's best to be creative when you visit in the winter as some trails or sections of the park may be closed down. And as always, when you are traveling, camping, and hiking, remember to adhere to the principles of “Leave No Trace.”

3. Yellowstone National Park

When’s the best season to visit?

The best season to visit Yellowstone has to be spring. The bears are beginning to emerge from hibernation with their cubs, massive herds of bison are also migrating back to the park, while flocks of birds can be seen all throughout the skies. With spring, comes all the new life in the park. While the weather can be unpredictable and some roads still may be closed, the chance to see the newest creatures in the park make it a worthwhile trip. Be sure to check in with the park prior to your trip to see what the conditions are.

Photo of Yellowstone National Park, MuskOx FlannelsPhoto of Yellowstone National Park

Any tips when visiting Yellowstone?

In my latest trip to Yellowstone, I opted for a self-guided driving tour rather than a particular backpacking trip due to the vastness of the park. If you want to get a wide exposure to the park, I’d recommend doing a driving tour where you stop along the way to take in the views of all the park has to offer. With that being said, I will certainly be back for future hikes and backpacking trips.

4. Grand Canyon National Park

When’s the best season to visit?

The Grand Canyon is situated in the high desert of Arizona. One of the most underrated seasons to visit is in winter. While visiting in the winter will limit where you can go, the south side of the park still provides spectacular views and you almost feel like you have the entire park to yourself.

Photo of Grand Canyon, MuskOx FlannelsPhoto of Grand Canyon, MuskOx Flannels Photo of Grand Canyon, MuskOx FlannelsPhotos of Grand Canyon National Park

Any trail tips at the Grand Canyon?

One of the best challenges the Grand Canyon offers is the Rim to Rim backpacking trip, which includes more than a 5,000 foot hike to the bottom of the canyon and then a 5,000 trek back out. While I’ve never completed a Rim to Rim route, there are a multitude of other exquisite hikes, including the Bright Angel Trail, which is one of, if not the most popular hike throughout the entire canyon. The one trail on my bucket list is on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, but make sure you apply for permits and give yourself flexibility if approved!

5. Grand Teton National Park

When’s the best season to visit, and any planning tips?

Grand Teton National Park is a beautiful destination to visit throughout the year, each season bringing unique experiences and activities.

Spring, from March to May, is a time of renewal in the park, with melting snow and new growth. The wildlife becomes more active, and it's a great time for bird watching. The weather can be unpredictable, with snowstorms and rain, but there are fewer crowds, and the prices are lower.

Summer, from June to August, is the most popular season to visit Grand Teton National Park, as the weather is warm and sunny, and all the park facilities are open. The days are long, providing ample time for hiking, camping, boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing. However, this is also the busiest time, with high crowds and prices.

Photo of Grand Teton, MuskOx FlannelsPhoto of Grand Teton National Park

What about visiting Grand Teton in the colder seasons?

Fall, from September to October, is a quieter time to visit with cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and stunning fall colors. Wildlife is also more active during this time, making it an excellent season for wildlife photography. Winter, from December to February, is a beautiful time to visit Grand Teton National Park, especially for those who love winter sports. The park offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and even snowmobiling tours. The landscapes are transformed into a winter wonderland, and there are fewer crowds and lower prices.




Shop MuskOx Flannels