August marks the last days of summer. It’s one of the busiest months in the United States. The schools are opening, and everyone wants that final trip to wrap up the summer season. So, many national parks are too crowded and very hot during summer.
At first glance, August may not seem like an ideal month to visit many national parks in the United States. However, there are so many places with fewer crowds and more favorable temperatures at this time of the year!
This article provides a curated list of various national parks that you can visit in August. From the jaw-dropping wildlife at North Cascades National Park in northern Washington to the surreal terrains of Denali National Park in Alaska– everything you’ve been looking for is on this list!
Here are some of the best national parks to visit in August:
1. North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park
|Animal to See||Gray Wolf|
|Attraction to See||Diablo Lake|
There is no better month to visit North Cascades National Park than August. The temperatures range between 30℉ to 54℉, making it possible to explore outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and fishing. If you’re traveling, temperatures in nearby Seattle average a high of about 75℉ during August, making this a very pleasant part of the country during August days that are often swampy from humidity across much of the Eastern seaboard.
North Cascades has some of the best hiking trails that you will definitely enjoy. The Cascade Trail Pass, Fourth of July Pass, Copper Ridge, and Diablo Lake are among these trails. Copper Ridge trails feature subalpine meadows, dramatic park views, and a ridgeline atmosphere.
You can divert onto the Sahale Arm Trail from Cascade Pass for a more adventurous day out, where you will meet many mountain goats. Sahale Arm is also a perfect place to spot black bears, gray wolves, and elk. You may also catch a glimpse of beavers and bobcats.
2. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
|Animal to See||Black Bear|
|Attraction to See||Steaming Fumaroles|
Summer is the best time to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park since the weather is perfect for engaging in a wealth of fun activities. However, visiting this park in August is a far better choice as you will be able to see flower-filled meadows, clear mountain lakes, and steaming fumaroles.
Enjoy other fun activities like camping at the Manzanita lake ground, where you will see a pied-billed grebe, mule deer, muskrat, bufflehead duck, and many warbler species along the shore. You may also take beach walks along Juniper Lake to experience its blissful breeze.
3. Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
|Animal to See||American Beaver|
|Attraction to See||Otter Cliffs|
Acadia National Park is among the best parks to visit in summer, especially during August when temperatures are more tolerable. The park has various activities and attractions that family members or individuals can engage in.
Whether you are a fan of hiking, kayaking, canoeing, boat riding, swimming at accessible lakes and ponds, camping, biking, enjoying the sunset views, or watching wildlife- Acadia National Park has got you covered.
It’s easier for one to be as adventurous as possible in this park in August. You can hike to Cadillac Mountain, which is the first point in the US to see the sunrise, and into the wildlands of Acadia, where you will encounter American beavers and raccoons.
4. Denali National Park & Preserve
Denali National Park & Preserve
|Animal to See||Caribou|
|Attraction to See||Mount Denali|
With temperatures ranging from lows of 40℉ to highs of 61℉, Denali National Park & Preserve is one of the best parks to visit in August. The weather is pleasant for outdoor activities such as hiking, scenic driving, and wildlife viewing. Not only that, but the park gets an average of 17 hours of sunlight per day.
You will have the best chance of viewing wildlife while riding on Denali Park Road. Some of the most iconic large animals you might see include Dall sheep, moose, caribou, wolves, and bears. You’re also likely to spot some arctic ground squirrels and foxes by the road.
Most people come here to explore and admire the tallest mountain in Northern America, Denali. Take in the serenity of the Alaska wilderness by rafting through the Nenana River, and make sure you gaze up at the stunning peaks. You may also enjoy the view of the glaciers as the winter snowpack has already melted by August.
5. Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park
|Animal to See||Black Bear|
|Attraction to See||Crater Lake|
August is the best month to visit Crater Lake National Park due to its favorable temperatures that range from 43℉ to 71℉. This park is well known for hosting the deepest and most iconic lake in southern Oregon.
Go backpacking and hiking in the forest through the Plaikni Falls Trail that leads you to the beautiful Plaikni Falls and an amazing view of Crater Lake. Hiking feels more magical when you go towards the sunset during twilight (just make sure to be safe).
As you explore the park, you might come across porcupines, elks, coyotes, and many other animals roaming around. The lake and streams in the park provide habitat for several marine wildlife species, including the Mazama newt, which you can only find at Crater Lake National Park.
6. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
|Animal to See||American Marten|
|Attraction to See||Apostle’s Islands|
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Park is among the most beautiful and mesmerizing places to visit in August. The park has many attractive features and offers a variety of fun activities to explore.
Apostle Island National Lakeshore has around twenty-one islands and a stretch of shoreline. Many of these islands have stunning beaches and trails. You can get on a boat and sail to explore the islands or kayak through the beautiful Apostle Islands and the sea caves.
Camping is available on 19 of the secluded lakeshores, where you can enjoy the serenity of the park. You may as well hike on the mainland, where the Lakeshore Trail winds past sea caves, beautiful rock formations, and fascinating shipwrecks.
7. Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park
|Animal to See||Pronghorns|
|Attraction to See||Great Basin|
Great Basin National Park is a great park to visit during August, with temperatures ranging from 51℉ to 76℉. This park lets you explore the best natural features, such as wildlife and wildflowers.
The park is home to several animals, like water shrews, sagebrush voles, porcupines, beavers, ringtail cats, rabbits, and yellow-bellied marmots. You might be lucky enough to see bobcats and mountain lions in the park, although they are very elusive.
Hike through the Bristlecone trail and climb the mountainous landscape to get the park’s best views. You can also explore the famous caves (the Lehman Caves and the Wheelers Peak). Take a walk on the beautiful Stella and Teressa Lakes beach to experience the cool breeze.
Another activity one can engage in is camping in the Wheelers Peak campgrounds, which offer peace and privacy. The park has incredible views at night because of its darkened skies, making it perfect for stargazing.
8. Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park
|Animal to See||Elk|
|Attraction to See||Grand Teton|
Grand Teton National Park is one of the most amazing parks to visit in August. There are a lot of outdoor activities to engage in, such as wildlife viewing, hiking, camping, scenic drives, among others.
The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Grizzly bears, pronghorn antelope, coyote, elk, bison, bighorn sheep, and moose live throughout the park. The slow-moving water at Jackson Lake Junction provides a habitat for different fish types, such as trout and suckers.
Go climbing and hiking in the Teton ranges along the Jenny Lake trail to get the best view of Jenny Lake. Take a walk to the hidden falls and cascade canyon for more adventure. The park also has good camping sites though the campgrounds fill up early each day in August. So, you’ll need to book early.
9. Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
|Animal to See||Elk|
|Attraction to See||Bear Lake|
Tolerable temperatures and mountain views make Rocky Mountain National Park one of the best places to hike in August. The park has around 250 hiking, running, biking trails, and many more.
Get a chance to view wild animals like elks, bighorn sheep, deer, mountain lions, and many more at the Fall River entrance and Bear Lake Road. Enjoy great scenic drives along Trail Ridge Road, one of the most famous routes in Colorado.
10. Haleakala National Park
Haleakala National Park
|Animal to See||Hawaiian Goose|
|Attraction to See||Waimoku Falls|
Haleakalā National Park is a park on the massive shield volcano that forms 75% of Maui’s landmass. Haleakala has amazing sunrise and sunset views in the Summit District in August. Hikes provide everything from a thrilling rainforest to crater views and you can even bike across some of the park’s most incredible scenery.
Haleakala is also home to incredible wildlife, such as sea turtles, seals, bats, and Hawaiian geese. The park is also home to the most endangered species like the Hawaiian petrel, a seabird that nests at the volcano’s summit. One of the rarest plants on the planet, known as the silversword, is also found in Haleakala National Park.
There are camping and backpacking sites in the reserved area where one can also get a spectacular view of the stars and wake up to a beautiful sunrise view.