Discover the 10 Best National Parks to Visit in August

Written by Jeremiah Wright
Published: March 31, 2022
Image Credit Pat Tr/Shutterstock.com
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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

Best National Parks to Visit in July - North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park temperatures range between 30℉ to 54℉.

Andrew Bertino/Shutterstock.com

North Cascades National Park

StateWashington
Size505,000 Acres
Animal to SeeGray Wolf
Attraction to SeeDiablo 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 Volcano National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is found in California.

H Peter Ji Photographer/Shutterstock.com

Lassen Volcanic National Park

StateCalifornia
Size106,452 Acres
Animal to SeeBlack Bear
Attraction to SeeSteaming 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 - Bass Harbor
Acadia National Park is located in Maine.

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock.com

Acadia National Park

StateMaine 
Size49,075 Acres
Animal to SeeAmerican Beaver
Attraction to SeeOtter 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
Denali National Park & Preserve weather is pleasant for outdoor activities such as hiking, scenic driving, and wildlife viewing.

Bryan Neuswanger/Shutterstock.com

Denali National Park & Preserve

StateAlaska
Size6,045,153 Acres
Animal to SeeCaribou
Attraction to SeeMount 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
Crater Lake National Park temperature ranges from 51℉ to 82℉.

Pung/Shutterstock.com

Crater Lake National Park

StateOregon
Size183,224 Acres
Animal to SeeBlack Bear
Attraction to SeeCrater 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 Park
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has around twenty-one islands and a stretch of shoreline.

William Gottemoller/Shutterstock.com

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

StateWisconsin
Size69,372 Acres
Animal to SeeAmerican Marten
Attraction to SeeApostle’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.

Small and larger mammals, such as chipmunks, voles, bears, otters, coyotes, and white-tail deer, are an important component of the lakeshore’s fauna.

7. Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park - Wheeler Peak
Great Basin National Park is home to several animals, like water shrews, sagebrush voles, porcupines, and yellow-bellied marmots.

Arlene Waller/Shutterstock.com

Great Basin National Park

StateNevada
Size77,180 Acres
Animal to SeePronghorns
Attraction to SeeGreat 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

Best National Parks to Visit in August - Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park provides some of the most stunning scenery in the United States.

Pat Tr/Shutterstock.com

Grand Teton National Park

StateWyoming
Size310,000 Acres
Animal to SeeElk
Attraction to SeeGrand 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

Best National Parks to Visit in August - Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park has around 250 hiking, running, and biking trails.

Sean Xu/Shutterstock.com

Rocky Mountain National Park

StateColorado
Size265,461 Acres
Animal to SeeElk
Attraction to SeeBear 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 in Maui
Haleakala National Park is home to incredible wildlife, such as sea turtles, seals, bats, and Hawaiian goose.

CE Photography/Shutterstock.com

Haleakala National Park

StateHawaii
Size33,265 Acres
Animal to SeeHawaiian Goose
Attraction to SeeWaimoku 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.

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