Let's be honest - all national parks in the USA are dreamy year-round, but there’s no better time than summer to find your wild with a good outdoorsy escape.
If you’re into thrilling wildlife encounters, views of mountains as far as the eye can see, and jaw-dropping glacier vistas, a holiday spent exploring some of the best national parks in the United States is pretty much a dream come true.
If you’re currently plotting your next summer vacation, here are some of the best national parks to visit during the summer for your bucket list!
Grand Canyon, Arizona
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Starting on the list is the ever-alluring Grand Canyon National Park, which has probably been on your bucket list for ages already if you haven’t had the chance to visit it yet!
Even though the Grand Canyon is huge, you can easily tick off some of the major sights in just a couple of days. If you're keen to go on easy hikes and explore some of the best-known landmarks of the park, head over to the South Rim section for the most quintessential views of the canyon.
If you're keen to go on longer hikes and avoid the crowds that summer brings in, then the North Rim will do the trick! Not only does the North Rim offer some of the least-visited sights in the Grand Canyon, but you can also go on more challenging hikes or opt for a backpacking adventure if you are up for the test!
Yellowstone National Park
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Yellowstone is another amazing national park everyone should visit at least once in their life. With its beautiful tapestry of alluring landscapes, Yellowstone National Park boasts some of the most mesmerizing natural spots in the entire world. There are so many scenic hiking trails to choose from, but the Yellowstone Lake and Mammoth Hot Springs are two great options to get started with if you're a first-timer.
Summer is the best time to visit Yellowstone as there are a lot of festivals going on in the neighboring towns, which makes for a fun mix of nature and social outings.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
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Into wildlife and exceptional views? Then the Rocky Mountain National Park should be next on your summer bucket list.
Located in northern Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is home to mountains, forests, and alpine tundra, which means it is bound to please no matter what landscape you're after.
A few of the most-loved hiking trails are the Bear Lake, Trail Ridge Road, and the Old Fall River Road. If you’re up for breaking a sweat, though, you can do the Keyhole Route, where you’ll climb across vertical rocks before getting to Longs Peak, the tallest mountain in the park and one of the most beautiful ones in the entire state!
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
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More of a beach person? If that's the case, then a visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan might just be the perfect summer destination for you!
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is one of the most exciting places to visit if you're in the mood for a mix of beach and outdoor experiences. Plus, you can have lots of fun rolling down the dunes!
Several trails like the Leenalu State Park Trail and North Manitou Island Trail allow you to get a closer look at the summertime flora and fauna of the region. Moreover, you can choose to spend your days relaxing on the shores of Lake Michigan if you're more in the mood for a relaxing time spent in nature.
Glacier National Park, Montana
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Often dubbed the “Crown of the Continent”, Glacier Lake National Park is one of the dreamiest destinations in the United States. While exploring, you'll get to experience unparalleled views of cliffs touching the clouds, stunning lakes, fields of wildflowers, and jaw-dropping glaciers.
The park’s highlights can be seen through the Famous Going to the Sun Road, so it's a great place to get started if you're up for an adventure of a lifetime.
Denali National Park, Alaska
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Rivers, snow, glaciers, wildlife… you name it!
Denali National Park is the whole package when it comes to outdoor adventures. The area spans over lower forests, tundra regions, and higher elevation rocks, so there’s a whole lot of different things to do here depending on your mood.
If you happen to be a wildlife enthusiast, you’ll probably never want to leave. You can easily land upon a moose feeding by a swamp here, or randomly cross paths with a Grizzly bear while on a hike. Other animals that call Denali their home are foxes, grey wolves, and beavers, all of which are easier to spot during the summer months.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
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Ever seen a beautiful painting with a chromatic sunset spread across the sky? Because that’s exactly what this national park looks like!
The great smokies offer some of the most enchanting forests in the country because more than 1500 species of flowering plants are naturally found in the mountains. Think orchids, lilies, and cardinal flowers to name just a few!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
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Grand Teton is the real deal when it comes to nature. If you’re in for an assortment of different landscapes, you’re bound to find lots of those here. Think views of lakes, glaciers, mountains, and rivers, all spread throughout the vast region it covers. Two musts while visiting are the Snake River and the famous Jackson Lake.
The camping or lodging experience is amazing as well, especially during the summer. Moreover, the area springs with life during the summer, with flora and wildlife thriving every step of the way.
Visiting national parks in the USA is one of the best ways to explore the nature this beautiful country has to offer. Even though summers tend to be some of the crowdest months to go on an outdoorsy getaway, they also provide for some of the best views and accessible hiking trails where you can easily find a spot to have the views all to yourself.