U.S. Best National Parks to Visit in the Summertime

Yosemite National Park

The clock tediously ticks towards 3 p.m. on the last day of school. You wait in anticipation as you visualize all the things you have planned for the summer. As the bell finally rings, students flood the halls, cheering in celebration of their long-awaited freedom.

What’s the first thing you want to do? Hit the beach? Go out with friends? Take a long nap?

For me, it’s visiting the country’s beautiful national parks. Here I’ve chosen the highest-rated summertime natural sites in the United States. 

     4. Yosemite National Park

Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California lies Yosemite National Park. At 1,189 square miles, the park is roughly the size of Rhode Island and includes hundreds of miles of hiking trails. The park is known for its expansive streams, cliffs, meadows, glaciers and sequoia groves, as well as the famous Yosemite valley, where most visitors spend their time (but represents only one percent of the entire park). 

Yosemite is also known for having very consistent weather conditions in the summertime; the average temperature in July reaching 73 degrees fahrenheit. It also includes the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, which rises to 14,505 feet (4,421 m) above sea level.

     3. Crater Lake National Park

July, August and September are prime months to visit this jaw-dropping park in southern Oregon. Explosive eruptions about 7,700 years ago created the basin known as Crater lake, with a depth of 594 m (1,949 ft), making it the deepest lake in the United States. 

The park consists of over 90 miles of trails, wandering through diverse forests and blooming wildlife. In the summer, wildflowers flourish throughout the park, painting the landscape with bright reds and purples.

     2. Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a 1,583 square-foot wilderness area among Montana’s rocky mountains. The park offers over 700 miles of hiking trails, as well as routes for mountain biking, perfect lakes for canoeing or kayaking, and countless spots to relax and breathe in the park’s peaceful serenity. 

Glacier National Park also has a load of historical significance, as it is a part of the world’s first international peace park. It was established in 1932 as a recreational area meant to celebrate peaceful ties between Canada and the United States. 

  1. Sequoia National Park

Deep caverns, massive mountains, and astonishing Sequoia foothills are just a few of the wonders you’ll experience at Sequoia National Park. Also located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, the park attracts well over a million visitors each year. 

The park is especially known for its impressive backpacking trails and diverse wildlife. Giant sequoia trees intermix in a lively conifer forest with cedars, sugar pines, ponderosa pines and many others. It also includes the largest tree in the world, giant sequoia General Sherman, at 52,508 cubic feet. 

Prime months to visit Sequoia National park are July and August, so plan your trip accordingly!