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5 of the Best National Parks to Visit in the Summer

5 of the Best National Parks to Visit in the Summer

From towering mountains to cascading waterfalls, National Park vacations offer unparalleled opportunities for adventure and relaxation. With careful planning, you can optimize your time, secure accommodations, and explore the wonders of these pristine landscapes with ease. Start planning your next trip to one of the best National Parks to visit during the summer:

Yosemite National Park


Granite cliffs, thundering waterfalls, and lush forests await adventurers looking to explore Yosemite National Park. Hiking trails lead to iconic landmarks like Half Dome and El Capitan, while scenic drives unveil breathtaking vistas. Summer brings mild temperatures perfect for exploring the park’s diverse ecosystems, from the Yosemite Valley to the High Sierra. Camp under the stars, witness wildlife in their natural habitat, and take stunning photos of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Points of Interest

  • Yosemite Valley
  • Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
  • Glacier Point

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Tennessee + North Carolina

Summer in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is abundant with lush greenery, misty mountains, and diverse wildlife. Hiking trails meander through ancient forests, leading to cascading waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints. Cades Cove offers a glimpse into the park’s history with its well-preserved pioneer structures. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot black bears, elk, and synchronous fireflies illuminating the night sky. The park’s scenic drives, like the Newfound Gap Road, reveal sweeping vistas of the surrounding peaks.

Points of Interest

  • Cades Cove
  • Clingsmans Dome
  • Chimney Tops

Yellowstone National Park

Wyoming, Montana + Idaho

Yellowstone is chock-full of geothermal wonders and so much more during the summer season. Witness iconic geysers like Old Faithful erupting against a backdrop of colorful hot springs and bubbling mud pots. Explore the park’s vast wilderness on hiking trails, encountering roaming bison, elk, and grizzly bears. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone also offers breathtaking waterfalls carved through ancient rock formations. Lamar Valley entices wildlife enthusiasts with its bountiful sightings of wolves and bison herds.

Points of Interest

  • Old Faithful
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
  • Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Canyon National Park


Gaze into the abyss of one of the world’s greatest geological marvels, where layers of rock reveal millions of years of Earth’s history. Hike along the rim trails, offering panoramic views of the canyon’s majestic expanse. Embark on thrilling whitewater rafting expeditions down the Colorado River, immersing yourself in the canyon’s raw power. Lastly, you won’t want to miss the vibrant hues of sunrise and sunset casting a magical glow over the rugged landscape.

Points of Interest

  • South Rim
  • North Rim
  • Havasu Falls

Acadia National Park


Explore the Acadia National Park’s diverse landscapes on scenic drives along the Park Loop Road, unveiling majestic ocean vistas and towering cliffs. Hike through verdant forests to summit Cadillac Mountain, the first place in the U.S. to see the sunrise. Enjoy strolls along rocky shores, spotting seabirds and seals. Bike carriage roads winding through tranquil woods, or paddle pristine lakes reflecting the surrounding peaks.

Points of Interest

  • Cadillac Mountain
  • Jordan Pond
  • Thunder Hole
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