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Which are the best national parks to visit in July? In this guide, we list 15 great parks to visit in the USA. Go hiking in Mount Rainier and Glacier National Parks, go whale watching in the Channel Islands, and venture into Alaska for some amazing adventures.

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 July

July is the busiest month of the year to visit the US national parks. The weather is warm, the days are long, and many people are hitting the road for summer vacation.

By July, all of the national parks are fully open, with the last high mountain roads opening by early July. So, you can pretty much visit any park you want. However, some parks are very hot this time of year (particularly across the south and into the American Southwest) and some are extremely crowded (Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, and Great Smoky Mountains make this list). You won’t see these parks on our list for July, but there are some parks with lower crowds and great weather that make excellent picks this month.

For the month of July, the national parks in Alaska dominate the list. If you want warm weather, there are only a few months during the year that you can visit the parks in Alaska (typically the end of June into early September). July is a good month to visit the Alaskan national parks, since visitation tends to be lower here, then in the parks in the lower 48 states.

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 July

1. Denali National Park

Denali National Park, one of the largest national parks in the USA, is home to millions of acres of remote, rugged wilderness. It is named for Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, and catching a view of this mountain peak is one of the best things to do in Denali National Park. Denali is the cover photo for this guide.

There are many wonderful adventures you can have in Denali. Ride the park shuttle or cycle to end of Denali Park Road, take a flightseeing tour, hike one of many trails throughout the park, see Alaska’s Big Five, or leave the trails behind and venture into the vast wilderness.

Why Visit Denali in July: The weather is about as warm as it gets and the days are very long. We visited Denali in July and had a great experience. However, like many national parks, July is the busiest month to visit Denali, so make your hotel, flightseeing, and shuttle bus arrangements in advance.
 
Weather: The average high is 67°F (19°C) and the average low is 45°F (7°C). Rainfall is highest during the summer months and in July, Denali gets 3 inches of rain.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is 4:30 am and sunset is at 11:45 pm.

Best Denali Hikes

View of Denali from Eielson | Best National Parks in July

 

Denali Park Road Moose

Moose along Denali Park Road

 

Denali Flightseeing

Flightseeing in Denali | Best National Parks in July

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.

2. Wrangell – St. Elias National Park

Wrangell-St. Elias is the largest national park in the United States. It’s bigger than Switzerland! And in its massive 13 million acres, there is only a grand total of 101 miles of roads.

The best way to explore this park is through a combination of driving, hiking, and flying. If you were to ever take a flightseeing tour in a national park, Wrangell-St. Elias is the one I recommend. There’s no better way to appreciate the size of this park, and to see its countless mountain peaks and glaciers, than by airplane.

This is one of the most underrated parks in the United States. In July, while other parks are swamped with visitors, Wrangell-St. Elias remains a relatively quiet place to visit. So, leave the crowds behind and explore one of the best national parks in the USA.

Why Visit Wrangell-St. Elias in July: This is the warmest month of the year and the time when hiking tours and flightseeing tours are in full swing. July is the busiest month to visit Wrangell-St. Elias, but since this is such a quiet park to begin with, the “high crowds” in July are nothing compared to what you would see in places like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.
 
Weather: In July, the average high is 71°F (22°C) and the average low is 43°F (6°C). July is one of the wettest months of the year, with almost 3 inches of rain.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 4:20 am and sunset is at 10:50 pm.

Mt St Elias

Mount St. Eilas | Best National Parks in July

 

Wrangell St Elias Hike

Bonanza Mine Trail

 

Kennicott Alaska

Kennicott, Alaska | Best National Parks in July

Location: Alaska

Top Experiences: Visit McCarthy and Kennecott, hike on the Root Glacier, take a flightseeing tour, visit the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark, hike to an abandoned mine, and drive Nabesna Road.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, explore the backcountry. Take a bush flight to a remote airstrip and explore the park from here. You can also take rafting trips or go mountaineering. For days, you might not see another person.

How Many Days Do You Need? For the best experience, we recommend spending at least three days in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This gives you enough time to visit the highlights of the park. With more time, you can extend your time in McCarthy and Kennicott, add on Nabesna Road, or explore the backcountry.

3. Kenai Fjords National Park

Hike to one of the largest icefields in North America, spot humpback whales and orcas on a wildlife cruise, kayak in front of glaciers, go ice climbing or glacier hiking, and soar over the fjords in a helicopter…these are all things that you can do in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Why Visit Kenai Fjords in July: This is the warmest month of the year, making it the best time to go kayaking, hiking, and ice climbing. Crowds are at their peak in July, but even so, crowds don’t come close to what you see in other parks this month. For reference, in 2021, about 120,000 people visited Kenai Fjords in July. Compare that to 450,000 visitors in Mount Rainier and 1,000,000 visitors in Yellowstone. And as a bonus in July, you can race to the top of Mount Marathon, a mountain that looms over Seward, Alaska.
 
Weather: The average high is 67°F (19°C) and the average low is 43°F (6°C).
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 5 am and sunset is at 11 pm.

Kenai Fjords National Park Photo

Sea stacks in Kenai Fjords National Park

 

Kayaking Kenai Fjords

Glacier Kayaking at the Aialik Glacier

 

Harding Icefield and Exit Glacier

The Exit Glacier | Best National Parks in July

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.

4. Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier is a glacier-capped, active volcano that can be seen from hundreds of miles away. In the summer months, the lower slopes are carpeted with wildflowers. With its old growth forests and network of hiking trails, this is an outdoor paradise for many travelers.

We loved every minute that we spent in this national park. The hikes are spectacular and you really don’t have to go far to get some truly amazing views. There are many short, relatively easy trails that offer jaw-dropping views of Mount Rainier. But there are also short trails that lead to hidden waterfalls and subalpine lakes, making this is a great place to visit for those who want to hike, but not too far.

And for those craving more adventure, there are plenty of longer, more strenuous hikes that take you to extraordinary viewpoints of Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range.

Why Visit Mount Rainier in July: Sunrise Road, one of the main park roads, does not open until the end of June or early July. If you want full access to the park, July is the first month that this is possible. Wildflowers start blooming in mid-July and this lasts through mid-August. So, if you want to see the park blanketed with colorful blooms, plan your visit from the end of July into early August. Just be aware that July is the busiest month of the year to visit Mount Rainier National Park.
 
Weather: The average high is 75°F (24°C) and the average low is 46°F (8°C). July is one of the driest months of the year. During periods of warmer than average weather, it can get up into the 80’s, and even the 90’s.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 5:30 am and sunset is at 9 pm.

How to Visit Mount Rainier

The Skyline Trail | Best National Parks in July

 

Best View of Mount Rainier

View of Mount Rainier from Crystal Mountain

 

Kara in Mount Rainier

Silver Falls Trail | Best National Parks in July

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.

US National Parks Guide

5. Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse national parks in the United States. In just one national park, you can climb peaks as high as 8,000 feet, walk through old growth temperate rainforests, and stroll along beaches littered with driftwood.

Due to its large size and geography, you can’t zip through this park in one day. For the best experience, plan on spending at least three days in Olympic National Park, going on a road trip around the park perimeter and visiting overlooks and hiking trails along the way.

Why Visit Olympic in July: For the warmest, driest weather of the year. However, this is also one of the busiest months of the year, but visitation is not quite at its peak yet. For Olympic National Park, August tends to have the highest number of visitors.
 
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 less than 1 inch of rainfall, this is the driest month to visit the park.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 5:30 am and sunset is at 9:10 pm.

Olympic National Park in July

Olympic National Park in July

 

Olympic Hiking Trail

Hiking to Marymere Falls

 

Storm King

View from Mount Storm King | Best National Parks in July

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.

6. North Cascades National Park

I am amazed that this is one of the least visited parks in the United States. North Cascades National Park is just a short drive from Seattle, Washington. It makes a great road trip with Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks, which are also located in Washington. And one day is all you need, to drive through the park and hike a trail or two.

With jagged, snow-capped mountain peaks stretching as far as the eye can see, North Cascades is also called “The American Alps.” At times, it really does look like you are standing in Switzerland.

This is one of the most wild, rugged, and remote areas in the lower 48 states. The North Cascades Range, which runs through the park, is the largest glacial system in the United States outside of Alaska. In fact, there are an estimated 300+ glaciers here.

400 miles of trails criss-cross their way across this mountainous landscape, making it an outdoor paradise for hikers and bikers. It is a beautiful park to explore.

Why Visit North Cascades in July: July is the warmest, driest time to visit the park. Visitation is at its peak, but since so few people visit this park, it feels delightfully empty. For reference, North Cascades had 7,000 visitors in July 2021. That same month of that same year, Mount Rainier had 450,000 visitors and Olympic had 530,000 visitors.
 
Weather: The average high is 78°F (25°C) and the average low is 53°F (11°C). July is one of the driest months of the year.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 5:15 am and sunset is at 9 pm.

North Cascades National Park photo

Diablo Lake | Best National Parks in July

 

Hiking in North Cascades | Best National Parks in July

Best things to do North Cascades | Best National Parks in July

View from Sahale Arm | Best National Parks in July

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.

7. Katmai National Park

Katmai is one of the best national parks for wildlife viewing. This is the place to watch brown bears feasting on salmon.

Every July, the salmon make a run up the Brooks River. Hundreds of brown bears arrive at Brooks Falls to fatten up on these fish, in preparation for the upcoming winter hibernation season. Watching this in action is one of the most unique national park experiences.

While you are here, you can also day trip out to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, the site of the largest volcanic eruption in the 20th century and one of the top five largest eruptions in recorded history.

Why Visit Katmai in July: July is the best month of the year to watch brown bears feasting on salmon at Brooks Falls. The bear start arriving to Brooks Falls at the end of June and the salmon usually arrive at the end of June or early July. The feeding ends in late July to early August, once all the salmon made it upstream.
 
Weather: The average high is 64°F (18°C) and the average low is 50°F (10°C). July is one of the wettest months of the year with 2 inches of rainfall.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 5:30 am and sunset is at 11:15 pm.

Brooks Falls | Best National Parks in July

Brown Bear at Brooks Falls | Best National Parks in July

 

Brooks Falls | Best National Parks in July

Brooks Falls | Best National Parks in July

 

Brooks Falls Trail | Best National Parks in July

Brown bears on the Brooks Falls Trail

Location: Alaska

Top Experiences: Bear watching at Brooks Falls, day trip to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, go fishing, take a flightseeing tour, visit Naknek Lake, hike to the top of Dumpling Mountain.

Ultimate Adventure: This is one of the most remote US national parks so just getting here feels like an adventure. Most people fly into Brooks Camp on a float plane from King Salmon, but you can also get here by boat.

How Many Days Do You Need? One day is all you need to day trip to Brooks Camp to watch the brown bears in action. For the best experience, plan to spend a few nights here. The best time to watch the bears is in the morning and late afternoon, when Brooks Falls is free of day trippers.

8. Great Basin National Park

Despite its location in eastern Nevada, not far from Utah’s Mighty 5, Great Basin is one of the least visited national parks in the USA.

This park preserves the Lehman Caves and Wheeler Peak, the second highest peak in Nevada. Also found in the park are groves of bristlecone pines, which are some of the oldest species on the planet.

Why Visit Great Basin in July: By July, the park roads are open, so you have full access to the park.
 
Weather: The average high is 85°F (29°C) and the average low is 58°F (15°C). Rainfall is low. During periods of unusually hot weather, the temperature can get into the 90’s.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 5:20 am and sunset is at 8 pm.

Great Basin

Bristlecone Pine | photo credit: istockphoto.com/AvatarKnowmad

Location: Nevada

Top Experiences: Take a tour of Lehman Caves, drive Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, hike the Bristlecone Trail, go star gazing, and hike the Alpine Lakes Loop Trail.

Ultimate Adventure: Hike to the top of Wheeler Peak. This hike is 8 miles round trip with 3,000 feet of elevation, so it is a challenging hike, but from the top you have panoramic views over the park.

How Many Days Do You Need? With one busy day you can visit the highlights. Add more time to go hiking and thoroughly explore the park.

Plan Your Visit

Great Basin 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.

9. Gates of the Arctic National Park

Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve is the least visited national park in the USA. Located in Alaska, this wild, remote national park is home to one of the most untouched wilderness areas in the country.

No roads lead into Gates of the Arctic. There aren’t even any maintained hiking trails.

Most of the travelers who visit this park do so on a guided tour, either kayaking or hiking through the park. For those who love the idea of exploring a remote wilderness, filled with wildlife and beautiful landscapes, this a park that belongs on the top of your list.

Why Visit Gates of the Arctic in July: This is one of the few months that you can visit Gates of the Arctic that it isn’t covered in snow. If you are planning a trip to Alaska in July, set aside several days to a week to visit this park.
 
Weather: In July, the average high is 70°F (21°C) and the average low is 50°F (10°C). July is one of the wettest months of the year, with 2 inches of rainfall.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: There are 24 hours of daylight in early July. Sunrise is at 2:30 am and sunset is at 2 am. That’s twenty-three and a half hours of daylight.

Gates of the Arctic

photo credit: shutterstock.com/BlueBarronPhoto

Location: Alaska

Top Experiences: Go hiking, take a float trip, go canoeing or rafting on the Kobuk and Noatak Rivers, go fishing, and go backpacking.

How Many Days Do You Need? It’s possible to visit the park in one day, but for the best experience, plan on spending at least three days here. You can go on guided expeditions that last anywhere from 5 to 14 days, sometimes including nearby Kobuk Valley National Park.

Plan Your Visit

Gates of the Arctic National Park is one of the last parks on our to-do list (we are planning a visit here for summer 2023). For more information to help you plan your trip, visit the National Park Service website.

10. Kobuk Valley National Park

Kobuk Valley National Park is located to the west of Gates of the Arctic. This national park preserves the enormous Great Kobuk Sand Dunes and caribou migration routes.

This park is located within the Arctic Circle, so like Gates of the Arctic, in early July, you can see the midnight sun. No roads lead into the park, so to get here, you will take a flight from a nearby town. It’s one of the least visited national parks in the USA, getting just a handful more visitors than Gates of the Artic.

Why Visit Kobuk Valley in July: July has the warmest weather of the year and makes a great add-on to Gates of the Arctic and a summer trip to Alaska.
 
Weather: In July, the average high is 70°F (21°C) and the average low is 50°F (10°C). On unusually warm days, the high temperature can get up into the 90’s. July is one of the wettest months of the year, with 3 inches of rainfall.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: There are 24 hours of daylight in early July. By mid-July, sunrise is at 3:15 am and sunset is at 2:15 am.

Kobuk Dunes

photo credit: istockphoto.com/46travels

Location: Alaska

Top Experiences: Go backpacking, boating, hiking, flightseeing, and wildlife watching in the summer months. You can also go hiking on the sand dunes.

How Many Days Do You Need? One day is all you need, if you plan to take a flightseeing tour and spend a few hours in the park. With more time, go deeper into the park on a backpacking trip or a float trip on the Kobuk River.

Plan Your Visit

Kobuk Valley National Park is one of the last parks on our to-do list (we are planning a visit here for summer 2023). For more information to help you plan your trip, visit the National Park Service website.

11. Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park preserves five of the eight Channel Islands. This archipelago sits off the California coast, not far from Los Angeles.

The islands can be visited all year. Weather conditions and animal migration patterns make a winter visit a much different experience than a summer visit. Summer is the best time to visit the park if you want to participate in water sports like kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. This is also the busiest time to visit the park.

Why Visit Channel Islands in July: The weather is warm and the conditions are just right to go snorkeling and kayaking. The foggy conditions that occur in early summer have ended and this is a great time for whale watching.
 
Weather: The average high is 70°F (20°C) and the average low is 54°F (12°C). On warmer than average days, the high temperature can get up into the 80’s. Rainfall is extremely low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6 am and sunset is at 8 pm.

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park | photo credit: istockphoto.com/benedek

Location: California

Top Experiences: Go snorkeling, whale watching, hiking, kayaking, swimming, wildlife watching, and sailing.

How Many Days Do You Need? To fully explore all of the islands, plan on spending 2 to 3 days in Channel Islands National Park.

Plan Your Visit

Channel Islands 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.

12. Glacier National Park

If you want to see waterfalls, wildlife, and mountain slopes covered in a blanket of wildflowers, put Glacier National Park on your list.

This is the type of national park that just begs you to get out of the car and go exploring. Take a boat ride across Lake McDonald, paddle a kayak on Swiftcurrent Lake, or take your pick from epic hiking trails scattered throughout the park.

Why Visit Glacier in July: Going-to-the-Sun Road, the main road that runs through the heart of the park, typically opens in mid to late-June. In rare years, it does not open until early July. If you want to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road, July is your first opportunity of the year. Just be aware that this is also the busiest month of the year to visit Glacier National Park.
 
Weather: The average high is 80°F (27°C) and the average low is 50°F (10°C). On some days, the high temperatures can reach the mid to high-90’s. July is one of the driest months of the year.
 
Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 5:50 am and sunset is at 9:30 pm.

Wild Goose Island | Best National Parks in July

Wild Goose Island | Best National Parks in July

 

Many Glacier National Park Itinerary

Many Glacier | Best National Parks in July

 

Avalanche Gorge | Best National Parks in July

Avalanche Gorge

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.

13. Lake Clark National Park

Lake Clark National Park protects an area of land that is almost 3 million acres. The park is named for Lake Clark, but this park also contains four active volcanoes, a temperate rainforest, numerous lakes and rivers, three mountain ranges, and a tundra plateau.

Like most national parks in Alaska, no roads lead into Lake Clark. To get here, you will need to fly or take a boat trip. This park is home to a large population of brown bears and spotting them on a flightseeing tour or a day trip into the park is one of the park’s most popular experiences.

Why Visit Lake Clark in July: With warm weather, July is one of the best months to visit Lake Clark. It also makes a great addition to a trip to Alaska, with day trip tours leaving from Anchorage and Homer.
 
Weather: The average high is 66°F (19°C) and the average low is 50°F (10°C). July is one of the wettest months of the year with 2 inches of rainfall.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 5:15 am and sunset is at 11:20 pm.

Lake Clark | Best National Parks in July

photo credit: istockphoto.com/Gerald Corsi

Location: Alaska

Top Experiences: Take a flightseeing tour, go fishing, rafting, hiking, kayaking, and camping. Visiting Proenneke’s Cabin on Upper Twin Lake is another popular activity.

How Many Days Do You Need? One day is all you need to take a day trip into Lake Clark. With more time, you can go on multi-day backpacking expeditions.

Plan Your Visit

Lake Clark National Park is one of the last parks on our to-do list (we are planning a visit here for summer 2023). For more information to help you plan your trip, visit the National Park Service website.

14. 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.

Snow lingers on the roads and trails at the higher elevation of the park into June, and sometimes into early July. If you want to hike to Lassen Peak and have full access to the park, July is the earliest time of the year when this is possible.

Cool Fact: Lassen Volcanic National Park one of the only places in the world where you can see all four types of volcanoes: shield, stratovolcano, cinder cone, and plug.

Why Visit Lassen Volcanic in July: By early July, the roads and trails in the higher elevations of the park open, so this is about the earliest you can visit Lassen Volcanic and have full access to the park. Plus, the weather is pretty much perfect this time of year.
 
Weather: In July, the average high is 72°F (22°C) and the average low is 40°F (4°C). Rainfall is low.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 5:30 am and sunset is at 8:40 pm.

Lassen Volcanic | Best National Parks in July

Painted Dunes at Lassen Volcanic | photo credit: shutterstock.com/Allard One

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.

15. Redwood National and State Parks

This complex of parks is comprised of Redwood National Park plus three state parks: Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek. Together, these four parks protect 45% of the remaining coastal redwood old-growth forests.

Some of the trees in these parks are the tallest and the oldest living creatures on Earth.

In this park, you can also go on scenic drives along the coastline, take your pick from a long list of hikes, and go whale watching.

Why Visit Redwood in July: The days are the warmest and driest of the year. July is one of the busiest months to visit Redwood National Park, but even so, crowd levels are much smaller than other California national parks like Yosemite and Sequoia.
 
Weather: In July, the average high temperature is 65°F (18°C) and the average low is 50°F (10°C). July is the driest month of the year to visit Redwood National Park.
 
Sunrise & Sunset: Sunrise is at 6 am and sunset is at 8:45 pm.

Redwood Park | Best National Parks in July

Redwood National Park | photo credit: istockphoto.com/miroslav_1

Location: California

Top Experiences: Hike Tall Trees Grove, hike through Lady Bird Johnson grove, go for a scenic drive on Newton B. Drury Scenic Byway or Bald Hills Road, visit Fern Canyon, hike the Prairie Creek and Foothill Loop, and go whale watching (November, December, March, April).

How Many Days Do You Need? Plan on spending two to three days in the park. With four different parks to visit, you need a minimum of two days to see the highlights. Three days gives you enough time to venture deeper into the park or visit it at a more leisurely pace.

Plan Your Visit

Redwood 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.

Bonus! More Parks to Visit in July

Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain & Yosemite

The weather is pretty much perfect this time of year. However, crowds are at their peak. About 1,000,000 people visit Yellowstone and 900,000 people visit Rocky Mountain in July, and you can be one of them, but for the best experience, plan your visit for June, late summer, or early fall, when visitation is lower.

Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks

July is the busiest month of the year to visit Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks, which is why we did not list them above. But the weather is great and if you are road tripping through California, this duo of parks makes a great addition to your road trip.

July Road Trip Ideas

Alaska Road Trip

There are eight national parks in Alaska. You can only drive to three of them.

Kenai Fjords, Denali, and Wrangell-St. Elias make the list of parks you can drive to, which makes them the most accessible and cheapest parks to visit. With 10 days, you can road trip to all three of them.

If you have more time, you can add on the more remote parks, such as Katmai, Gates of the Arctic, and Lake Clark.

July is a great time for an Alaskan road trip. The weather is warm, the days are long, and Alaska is less visited than many states in the USA in July. In Alaska, you won’t have to contend with the crowds like you would on a road trip in California, Wyoming, or Washington.

So, if you are looking for an epic summer road trip idea, it’s hard to beat Alaska. Get the full details on how to plan your Alaskan adventure in our Alaska Itinerary guide.

Washington 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.


If you have any questions about the best national parks to visit in July, 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
AUGUST: Best National Parks to Visit in August
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 July

 

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