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8 Ways to Experience America's National Parks After Dark

Condé Nast Traveler Logo By Jacqueline Kehoe of Condé Nast Traveler | Slide 1 of 9: With national park visitation up some 60 million since 2020, there are fewer and fewer ways to get some quiet time with nature in America’s most venerated public lands. That goes double for big-ticket names like Yellowstone, Zion, and Yosemite—the country’s 25 most-popular parks receive over 50 percent of all visitors. (That’s 150 million people.) In other words, to avoid crowds, traffic jams, reservation mix-ups, and hiking in lines, visitors have to get creative. One of the simplest ways? Experiencing these protected landscapes come nightfall. “Half the park is after dark,” as the National Park Service (NPS) slogan goes—and with the dusk-to-dawn adventures below, a whole other world awaits. Read on for the best ways to experience America's national parks after dark.  All products featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

With national park visitation up some 60 million since 2020, there are fewer and fewer ways to get some quiet time with nature in America’s most venerated public lands. That goes double for big-ticket names like Yellowstone, Zion, and Yosemite—the country’s 25 most-popular parks receive over 50 percent of all visitors. (That’s 150 million people.)

In other words, to avoid crowds, traffic jams, reservation mix-ups, and hiking in lines, visitors have to get creative. One of the simplest ways? Experiencing these protected landscapes come nightfall. “Half the park is after dark,” as the National Park Service (NPS) slogan goes—and with the dusk-to-dawn adventures below, a whole other world awaits.

Read on for the best ways to experience America's national parks after dark. 

All products featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

© Josh Gordon/Unsplash

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