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Planning a trip to the US national parks in August and don’t know which ones to visit? August is a busy time to visit the national parks, but crowd levels aren’t quite at their peak (that typically happens in July for many parks). In this guide, we list some popular summertime parks to visit plus a few quieter parks where you can escape the crowds.

About this National Park Series

This article is part of a series about the best national parks to visit each month. In this series, every national park is listed at least once and many are listed multiple times. It is a series of 12 articles, one for each month of the year. More popular parks, like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, may show up in as many as four of these articles, but lesser known parks like Gates of the Arctic may only show up once.

These articles take into account weather, crowd levels, the best time to go hiking, special events, road closures, and our personal experiences in the parks. Based on these factors, we picked out what we think are the optimal times to visit each park.

For an overview of the best time to visit each national park, check out our Best National Parks by Season guide. This guide has graphs that list each park and the optimal time to plan your visit. And at the end of this article, we have links to the other articles in our Best National Parks by Month series.

Visiting the National Parks in August

Like July, August is a very busy time to visit the US national parks. The combination of great weather and summer vacations makes August one of the most popular times of the year for travel in the USA. Fortunately, in many places, crowd levels aren’t quite as large as they were in July. And the later in August you go, the quieter the parks will be.

If you only have the summer to plan a trip to the national parks, either because of your kid’s school schedule or your own work schedule, June and August tend to be quieter than July. There are some exceptions to this rule, but in general, you’re better off waiting until August, and even the end of August, for lower crowds in the park.

A few very popular parks make it onto our August list. These include Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier. If you only have the summer to visit these parks, and can’t delay your trip to September or October, August is the next best time to go.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information we provide for each national park does not include temporary road closures, since these dates are constantly changing. Roads can close in the national parks at any time, so I recommend getting updates on the National Park Service website while planning your trip. 

Best National Parks in August

1. Mount Rainier National Park

From late July into early August, Mount Rainier National Park is carpeted with wildflowers. Hiking trails and the park roads circle around Mount Rainier, crystal-clear rivers flow through old growth forests, and picturesque alpine lakes make wonderful picnic spots.

Mount Rainier is one of the most beautiful national parks we have visited and it’s also one of our favorite hiking destinations in the USA. This park has a wonderful mix of short easy trails to jaw-dropping viewpoints and longer, more challenging trails that lead deeper into the park.

Why Visit Mount Rainier in August: Early to mid-August is the best time to see the wildflowers in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s also a great time to go hiking, with warm weather and clear skies.
 
Weather: The average high is 75°F (24°C) and the average low is 46°F (8°C). August is one of the driest months of the year. During periods of warmer than average weather, it can get up into the 90’s.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6 am and sunset is at 8:15 pm.

Things to Do in Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park | Best National Parks in August

 

Hike Mount Rainier

Hiking the Skyline Trail. Even in the summer, snow can remain on the trails.

Location: Washington

Top Experiences: Hike the Skyline Trail, visit Sunrise and hike the Sourdough Ridge Trail, see Myrtle Falls, visit the Grove of the Patriarchs, ride the Mount Rainer Gondola to Crystal Mountain, and hike to a fire lookout tower.

Ultimate Adventure: Hike the Wonderland Trail, a 93-mile trail that circumnavigates around Mount Rainier. On average, this takes between 9 and 13 days. Or, climb to the summit of Mount Rainier. It takes 2 to 3 days to reach the summit and this is best done with an experienced guide.

How Many Days Do You Need? I recommend spending at least three days in Mount Rainier National Park (one day for Sunrise, one day for Paradise, and the third day to go hiking or visit another section of the park). Extra days gives you more time for hiking, for exploring quiet corners of the park, and gives you some contingency time just in case you get bad weather.

2. Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake is what remains of Mount Mazama, a volcano that erupted almost 8,000 years ago, and then collapsed. The remaining caldera filled with water, forming the deepest lake in the United States.

Due to the location of this park, combined with its high elevation, the park is snow-covered for much of the year. On average, it gets about 40 feet of snow each year. Depending on snowfall, roads may not open until mid-July. If you want full access to the park, it’s best to wait until late July or even August.

Why Visit Crater Lake in August: To visit the park when all of the roads are open and the weather is warm.
 
Weather: The average high is 70°F (21°C) and the average low is 41°F (5°C). August is one of the driest months of the year, with less than 1 inch of rainfall.
 
Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:15 am and sunset is at 8:10 pm.

Crater Lake

photo credit: shutterstock.com/pung

Location: Oregon

Top Experiences: Drive Rim Drive around Crater Lake, take a boat tour of Crater Lake, visit Wizard Island, hike the trails along the rim, and go camping.

How Many Days Do You Need? With one day, you can drive Rim Drive and go on a boat tour of the lake. More time allows you to hike the trails in the park.

Plan Your Visit

Crater Lake National Park is one of the last parks on our to-do list. For more information to help you plan your trip, visit the National Park Service website.

3. North Cascades National Park

Wild, rugged, remote…North Cascades National Park is highly underrated park, especially for hikers and backpackers. The scenic drives and overlooks give you a glimpse of the beauty of this place, but to truly discover the majesty of the North Cascades, you’ll have to hit the hiking trails.

August is one of the best months to visit this park, since the weather is warm and crowds are low. If you are looking for a beautiful park to visit in August without the crowds, North Cascades is one of our top picks. This national park is one of the least visited in the USA and it typically gets less than 10,000 visitors per month (that is an extremely low number for August). Plus, it is just a short drive from Seattle, Mount Rainier, and Olympic National Parks.

Why Visit North Cascades in August: July and August are the warmest, driest times to visit the park. Visitation is at its peak, but since so few people visit this park, it feels wonderfully empty.
 
Weather: The average high is 78°F (25°C) and the average low is 53°F (11°C). August is one of the driest months of the year.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6 am and sunset is at 8:20 pm.

Maple Pass Loop

Maple Pass Loop | Best National Parks in August

 

Sahale Arm

View from Sahale Arm | Best National Parks in August

Location: Washington

Top Experiences: Go for a scenic drive along North Cascades Highway, hike to Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm, enjoy the views from the Washington Pass Overlook and the Diablo Lake Vista Point, hike the Maple Pass Loop, and visit Stehekin.

Ultimate Adventure: Hike a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. 18 miles of the PCT travels through the park. You will need a backcountry permit if you plan to camp overnight along the trail.

How Many Days Do You Need? At a bare minimum, you need one full day. This gives you enough time to drive North Cascades Highway, visit the overlooks, and do one or two hikes. With more time, you can add on more hikes or visit Stehekin.

4 & 5. Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks

Kings Canyon preserves Grant Grove, which is home to General Grant, the second largest tree in the world and Kings Canyon, which is a glacially carved valley.

Sitting right beside Kings Canyon is Sequoia National Park. It is here that you will walk among towering sequoia trees and see the largest tree in the world, the General Sherman.

These two national parks can be visited together in one busy but memorable day. It’s a great add-on to a California road trip.

Why Visit Kings Canyon & Sequoia in August: The weather is fantastic and this park makes a great addition to a California road trip. Summer is a busy time to visit these two parks, but August typically gets fewer visitors than July.
 
Weather: The average high is 80°F (27°C) and the average low is 53°F (11°C). Rainfall is very low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is 6:15 am and sunset is 7:45 pm.

General Grant Grove

General Grant Grove | Best National Parks in August

 Sequoia NP

General Sherman Tree

Location: California

Top Experiences: Visit Grant Grove, drive the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway and visit Zumwalt Meadows, see the General Sherman Tree, hike Moro Rock, and visit Crescent Meadows.

Ultimate Experience: Explore the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park. 77 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail/John Muir Trail runs through Kings Canyon National Park, making this a top backpacking destination in the USA.

How Many Days Do You Need? To see the highlights of both parks, one day is all you need.

6. Yellowstone National Park

With technicolor hot springs, scenic drives, bubbling mud pots and steaming thermal pools, canyons to explore, landscapes to photograph, and some of the best wildlife spotting in the United States, Yellowstone is one of the most popular US national parks.

In 2021, 5 million people visited this park, putting it 3rd on the most visited list. The majority of those people were here in June, July, and August.

Like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, Yellowstone is the kind of place that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. This was the park that started it all. In 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park in the world, starting a trend that spread around the world and led to the conservation of our wild places and spaces.

The sheer size of this park, with the landscapes and the animals that it protects, is astonishing. Colorful hot springs, herds of bison and elk, geysers and bubbling mud pits, waterfalls and canyons…Yellowstone is a spectacular park.

Why Visit Yellowstone in August: August is one of the busiest months of year to visit Yellowstone, but crowds are lower than what you would see here in July. If you only have the summer months to visit Yellowstone, August is a good choice, since crowds are lower than July. The later in August you go, the lower the crowds. But if you don’t have to plan your trip for summer, we recommend the end of September into early October.
 
Weather:In August, the average high is 77°F (25°C) and the average low is 37°F (3°C). August is one of the driest months of the year.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:30 am and sunset is at 8:30 pm.

Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley in August | Best National Parks in August

 

Old Faithful

Old Faithful | Best National Parks in August

 

Midway Geyser Basin

Midway Geyser Basin | Best National Parks in August

Location: Wyoming and Montana

Top Experiences: Visit Old Faithful, see the Grand Prismatic Spring, spot wildlife in Lamar and Hayden Valleys, visit the North and South Rims of Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, hike the short trails in Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris Geyser Basin.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure in Yellowstone, venture into the backcountry on a backpacking trip.

How Many Days Do You Need? It’s possible to race through Yellowstone in one day, but for the best experience, plan on spending three or more days here. Yellowstone is massive and it takes at least three days to just get to the highlights of this park.

7. Grand Teton National Park

Jagged mountain peaks, lush meadows, scenic lakes, the winding Snake River, wildlife, historical sites, and miles and miles of hiking trails…this is Grand Teton National Park.

If you like hiking, Grand Teton is one of top parks to visit in the USA. Hiking trails lead deep into the Teton Range, to some of the highest peaks in the park, and to beautiful lakes.

Grand Teton is also a top pick for photographers. Ansel Adams was a frequent visitor here, photographing the Teton Range and the Snake River. Oxbow Bend is a great place to photograph wildlife and Mormon Row makes a prime sunrise photography spot.

Why Visit Grand Teton in August: Like Yellowstone, August is one of the busiest months of year to visit Grand Teton, but crowds are lower than what you would see here in July. If you only have the summer months to visit Grand Teton, August is a good choice, since crowds are lower than July.
 
Weather: The average high is 81°F (27°C) and the average low is 42°F (5°C). The high temperature can get into the 90’s on warmer than average days. Rainfall is low.
 
Sunrise and sunset: Sunrise is at 6:30 and sunset is at 8:30 pm.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park | Best National Parks in August

 

Grand Teton National Park photo

Cascade Canyon | Best National Parks in August

 

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing | Best National Parks in August

Location: Wyoming

Top Experiences: Visit Jenny Lake, hike to Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls, visit Mormon Row and Schwabacher Landing, visit Oxbow Bend at sunrise, visit the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, and hike the trails that run in and along the Teton Range.

Ultimate Adventure: Hike the Teton Crest Trail. This point-to-point trail traverses the Teton Range and is typically done as a multi-day backpacking trip. For most of the hike, you will be at or above 8,000 feet.

How Many Days Do You Need? If you just want to see the main highlights, one day is really all that you need in Grand Teton National Park. But for those who want to dive deeper into the park, by exploring the hundreds of miles that criss-cross the Teton Range, then you can spend days, weeks even, and never run out of things to do.

8. Glacier National Park

With glacier-capped mountains, dazzling aquamarine lakes, and some of the most exciting hiking trails in the country, it’s no wonder that Glacier National Park is called the “Crown of the Continent.”

Drive Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the best scenic drives in the United States. Along the way, you get jaw-dropping views from the overlooks as the road twists and turns through the mountains. You can also take your pick from a long list of hiking trails, go kayaking, and count how many mountain goats you spot.

Why Visit Glacier in August: Like Yellowstone and Grand Teton, August is one of the busiest months of year to visit Glacier, but crowds are lower than what you would see here in July. But if you can delay your visit to September, this is a better month to visit Glacier and have lower crowds.
 
Weather: The average high is 80°F (27°C) and the average low is 48°F (9°C). On some days, the high temperatures can reach the mid to high-90’s. August is the driest month of the year.
 
Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:30 am and sunset is at 8:50 pm.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park | Best National Parks in August

 

Hiking Glacier National Park

Wildflowers in August

Location: Montana

Top Experiences: Drive Going-to-the-Sun Road, visit Many Glacier, hike to Grinnell Glacier and Hidden Lake, visit Logan Pass, visit Two Medicine, see Wild Goose Island, and spend some time at Lake McDonald.

Ultimate Adventure: Hike the Highline Trail. This 12-mile trail takes hikers high above Going-to-the-Sun Road, and along the way, you can see glaciers, wildflowers, wildlife, and great views of the park.

How Many Days Do You Need? Ideally, plan on spending at least two days in Glacier National Park. This gives you enough time to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road, hike one or two trails, and visit the Many Glacier or Two Medicine areas.

US National Parks Guide

9. Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Located in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico sits an underground fantasy land of limestone chambers, stalactites and stalagmites, and long, twisting tunnels.

From late May through October, you can watch the Bat Flight program. At the Bat Flight Amphitheater, grab a seat and watch as the bats emerge by the thousands from the natural entrance of the cave. The best time to see the bats is in August and September, when the baby bats join the show. The Bat Flight Program takes place every evening and it is weather dependent.

Why Visit Carlsbad Caverns in August: To watch the Bat Flight Program, when bats emerge by the thousands from the natural entrance of the cave.
 
Weather: In August, the average high is 90°F (32°C) and the average low is 66°F (19°C). August is one of the wettest months of the year, with 2 inches (50 mm) of rainfall.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:20 am and sunset is at 7:40 pm.

Carlsbad Caverns Natural Entrance

Natural Entrance to Carlsbad Caverns

 

Carlsbad Stalactites | Best National Parks in August

Location: New Mexico

Top Experiences: Tour the caverns on your own or on a ranger-guided tour. You can also go star gazing, hike a surface trail, or go on a scenic drive. 

How Much Time Do You Need? A half to a full day is all you need to explore the caverns on your own and/or take a ranger-guided tour.

10. Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale is an archipelago of over 400 islands. It’s remote location in northern Michigan makes in one of the least visited national parks in the USA. Top experiences include backpacking and camping, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

Isle Royale National Park is not open all year. The only time that you can visit this park is from mid-April through late October. The weather is chilly until July and August, and even then, high temperatures only get up into the low 60’s. If you want “warm weather,” July and August are the best months to plan your visit.

Why Visit Isle Royale in August: August is one of the warmest months of the year to visit the park. July is also a good pick.
 
Weather: The average high is 61°F (16°C) and the average low is 51°F (10°C). With 3 inches of rain, this is one of the wettest months of the year.
 
Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:50 am and sunset is at 9 pm.

Isle Royale

photo credit: shutterstock.com/Steven Schremp

Location: Michigan

Top Experiences: Ride the ferry to Isle Royale (the main island in the park), hike the 150+ miles in the park, go on a multi-day backpacking trip, go canoeing or kayaking, go fishing, and keep an eye out for moose.

How Many Days Do You Need? With one day, you can ride the ferry and spend some time on Isle Royale. With more time, go on a backpacking trip or spend a few days hiking the trails.

Plan Your Visit

Isle Royale National Park is one of the last parks on our to-do list. For more information to help you plan your trip, visit the National Park Service website.

11. Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park, which is located in Alaska, preserves and protects the Harding Icefield, which is the largest icefield that is located entirely within the United States. This icefield is what “feeds” the glaciers on the Kenai Peninsula and there are at least 38 glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Hiking and ice climbing on the Exit Glacier is a popular thing to do in this park, but Kenai Fjord is also one of the best US national parks for wildlife spotting. On land, you can see moose, black bears, brown bears, and wolves. Sea lions, seals, dolphins, humpback whales, orcas, sea otters, and fin whales can be spotted in the sea. In the sky, look for bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and tufted and horned puffins.

Why Visit Kenai Fjords in August: August is slightly less crowded than July, so if you have plans to visit Alaska in the summer months, this is a better time to go for lower crowds.
 
Weather: The average high is 65°F (18°C) and the average low is 40°F (5°C).
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:15 am and sunset is at 9:50 pm.

Alaska Itinerary with Kenai Fjords

Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail | Best National Parks in August

 

Kenai Fjords Cruise | Best National Parks in August

Northwestern Fjord Cruise | Best National Parks in August

Location: Alaska

Top Experiences:Hike the Harding Icefield Trail, go ice climbing or glacier hiking on the Exit Glacier, take a wildlife cruise, walk the Glacier Overlook Trail, go glacier kayaking, go fishing, or take a flightseeing tour.

Ultimate Adventure: Go on a backcountry helicopter hiking trip. Fly into a remote area of Kenai Fjords National Park and spend a few hours hiking with an experienced guide.

How Many Days Do You Need? I recommend spending at least two full days in Kenai Fjords National Park. This gives you enough time to take a fjord cruise and hike the trails near Exit Glacier or go ice climbing or glacier hiking.

12. Yosemite National Park

With its iconic landmarks such as Half Dome and El Capitan, its beautiful valley, and long list of hiking trails, Yosemite is one of the top national parks in the USA to visit.

If you like hiking, there are a long list of trails to choose from. Hiking the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls is a popular hike, but you can also hike to Yosemite Point, Glacier Point, Clouds Rest, and tackle the challenging hike to Half Dome.

But you don’t have to be a big hiker to have a great experience here. Take a stroll through Yosemite Valley, drive to the popular viewpoints like Glacier Point and Tunnel View, and go for a scenic drive on Tioga Road.

Why Visit Yosemite in August: If you can only visit Yosemite in the summer, August typically has lower crowds then June and July.
 
Weather: The average high is 88°F (31°C) and the average low is 60°F (16°C). Rainfall is low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:15 am and sunset is at 7:50 pm.

Yosemite | Best National Parks in August

Yosemite National Park | Best National Parks in August

 

Yosemite Falls Hike | Best National Parks in August

Yosemite Falls Trail

Location: California

Top Experiences: See Bridalveil Falls, hike the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls, visit Tuolomne Meadows, enjoy the view from Glacier Point and Tunnel View, hike the Yosemite Falls Trail, visit Taft Point, and visit Mariposa Grove.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, hike to the top of Half Dome. This is a massive day hike that only fit, experienced hikers should attempt, but it is one of the best hikes in the US national parks. To stand on top of Half Dome and gaze across Yosemite National Park is an unforgettable experience. However, if this is something you want to do, it’s best to wait until June, when the Half Dome cables are up.

How Many Days Do You Need? Plan on spending two to three days in Yosemite National Park. This gives you enough time to hike a few trails, visit Glacier Point, drive Tioga Road, and explore Yosemite Valley.

13. Lassen Volcanic National Park

This national park protects Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world. In Lassen Volcanic, you’ll see steaming fumaroles, pretty lakes, colorful landscapes, and Lassen Peak.

Why Visit Lassen Volcanic in August: The weather is great for hiking and crowds are a bit lower than those in July.
 
Weather: In July, the average high is 70°F (21°C) and the average low is 40°F (4°C). Rainfall is low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:15 am and sunset is at 8 pm.

Lassen Volcanic

photo credit: shutterstock.com/H Peter Ji Photographer

Location: California

Top Experiences: Walk Bumpass Hell Trail (isn’t that the best name for a hiking trail? 🤣), capture the reflection of Lassen Peak in Manzanita Lake, go for a scenic drive on Lassen Park Highway, visit Kings Creek Falls and Mill Creek Falls, visit Devils Kitchen and hike to the top of Lassen Peak.

Ultimate Adventure: Hike to the summit of Brokeoff Mountain for panoramic views of the park. Note, this hike is best attempted in late summer to early fall, when the trail is free of snow.

How Many Days Do You Need? One day is just enough time to see the highlights, but plan on spending two to three days here, to hike several more trails and thoroughly explore the park.

Plan Your Visit

Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the last parks on our to-do list. For more information to help you plan your trip, visit the National Park Service website.

14. Denali National Park

Denali is one of the most popular parks to visit in Alaska. It’s also one of the few national parks in this state that you can drive to.

Denali is a massive national park and only one road leads into the center of the park. Called Denali Park Road, private vehicles are only permitted on the first 15 miles, except for rare circumstances. Beyond this point, you will have to ride a park shuttle.

Shuttle buses run up and down Denali Park Road throughout the summer months. This is the best way to see the park, spot Alaska’s Big 5, and get the best views of Denali. Currently, a road closure blocks Denali Park Road at about the halfway point, so you can only visit the first part of this road. However, you can still see Denali on a flightseeing tour or by flying into Kantishna.

Why Visit Denali in August: The weather is warm (for Alaska) and the days are long. August tends to be slightly less busier than July.
 
Weather: The average high is 61°F (16°C) and the average low is 41°F (5°C). Rainfall is highest during the summer months and in August, Denali gets 3 inches of rain.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is 6 am and sunset is at 10:15 pm.

Best Hikes in Denali | Best National Parks in August

Hiking in Eielson | Best National Parks in August

 

Best Hikes in Denali

Savage Alpine Trail | Best National Parks in August

 

Polychrome Mountains | Best National Parks in August

Polychrome Mountains

Location: Alaska

Top Experiences: Ride one of the park shuttles to the end of Denali Park Road, take a flightseeing tour, go hiking in the Savage River area of the park, visit the sled dog kennels, hike into the backcountry, visit Eielson, spend some time in Kantishna, and take your pick from of many hiking trails in the park.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, climb to the summit of Denali. To do this, a high level of physical fitness, prior mountaineering experience, and experience hiking and ice climbing on glacier are a necessity.

How Many Days Do You Need? There is a statistic that only 30% of people who visit Denali National Park, actually get to see Denali. This mountain is so large that it creates its own weather and it is frequently hidden behind the clouds. In order to increase your chances to see Denali, plan on spending several days here. We recommend spending three days in the park.

15. Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.

There are four main areas to Olympic National Park: the Pacific coastline, the alpine region in the center of the peninsula, the temperate rainforest, and the mountains on the east side of the park. The sheer diversity of landscapes and wildlife that this park protects is astonishing.

In just one park, you can go to the beach, explore a rainforest, and hike up into the mountains.

Why Visit Olympic in August: August is the busiest time of the year to visit Olympic National Park, but if you have plans to road trip through Washington and visit Mount Rainer and North Cascades, it’s well worth joining the crowds at this park.
 
Weather: The average high is 74°F (23°C) and the average low is 50°F (10°C). On warmer than average days, the high temperature can get up into the high 80’s or even the 90’s. With just over 1 inch of rainfall, this is one of the driest months to visit the park.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6:10 am and sunset is at 8:30 pm.

Olympic Rainforest | Best National Parks in August

Hiking the Staircase Loop | Best National Parks in August

 

Olympic National Park | Best National Parks in August

Hurricane Ridge | Best National Parks in August

Location: Washington

Top Experiences: Go hiking on Hurricane Ridge, photograph the moss dripping from the trees in the Hoh Rainforest, stroll along Rialto Beach until you get to Hole-in-the-Wall, hike to Mount Storm King, see lovely Sol Duc Falls and Marymere Falls, and hike along Shi Shi Beach.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, go backpacking in the Enchanted Valley or spend the night camping on Shi Shi Beach.

How Many Days Do You Need? At a minimum, you need three full days in Olympic National Park, if you want to visit Hurricane Ridge, the Pacific Coastline, and the temperate rainforests. However, more time is better, as it allows you to hike more trails and it gives you some contingency time should it rain, which is entirely possible.

Bonus! 3 More Great Parks to Visit

Channel Islands

The weather is great this time of year and water conditions are ideal for water sports such as kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The days are warm and now that it’s later into the summer, crowds are beginning to thin out. This is a great time to visit the South and North Rims and hike into the inner canyon of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The weather is warm and the trails at the higher elevations are free of snow, making this a great time to go hiking. However, crowds are still very high in August, which is why Rocky Mountain National Park does not make the list above. And if you only have the summer months to visit this park, June tends to be the least crowded month.

August Road Trip Ideas

Washington National Parks Road Trip

On this 10-day Washington road trip, visit three national parks: Olympic, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades. You can also add on the Bavarian town of Leavenworth and go hiking in the Enchantments.

Grand Teton, Yellowstone & Glacier

With 10 days, you can visit these three parks on one epic road trip. This is done point-to-point, starting at Grand Teton and ending at Glacier (or you can do it in the opposite direction). It’s one of our favorite summertime road trips in the USA.

If you don’t have a full 1o days, you can visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton in 7 to 8 days. In our Grand Teton and Yellowstone itinerary, we list several different ways to do this road trip and provide lots of important planning tips.


If you have any questions about the best national parks to visit in August, or if you want to share your favorite national parks to visit this month, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information about the US National Parks:

NATIONAL PARKS: In our Guide to the US National Parks, get the full list of national parks with important travel planning information, such as things to do in the parks and sample itineraries.

NATIONAL PARK ITINERARIES:For ideas on how to plan a national parks road trip, visit our National Parks Itinerary page. This has lots of road trip ideas and sample itineraries for many of the US national parks.

BEST US NATIONAL PARKS:Looking for your next big adventure? Read our post Best National Parks in the USA, where we narrow down the long list into 15 must-see parks.

MORE GREAT HIKES IN THE NATIONAL PARKS: From hikes to the tallest peaks to beautiful coast trails, read our Guide to the Best Day Hikes in the US National Parks. If you prefer to keep your hikes short and sweet, read our guide to the Best Short Hikes in the National Parks.

Best National Parks to Visit by Month:

JANUARY: Best National Parks to Visit in January
FEBRUARY: Best National Parks to Visit in February
MARCH:  Best National Parks to Visit in March
APRIL: Best National Parks to Visit in April
MAY: Best National Parks to Visit in May
JUNE: Best National Parks to Visit in June
JULY: Best National Parks to Visit in July
SEPTEMBER: Best National Parks to Visit in September
OCTOBER: Best National Parks to Visit in October
NOVEMBER: Best National Parks to Visit in November
DECEMBER: Best National Parks to Visit in December

 

Best US National Parks August

 

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