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The Best National Parks to Visit in the Summer

Image by BipinJ via ShutterStock

There’s no better way than visiting some of America’s best national parks to explore the great outdoors this summer. Embarking on a journey to these national treasures connects you with the natural world. It also rejuvenates your spirit. 

Each park offers a unique blend of breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and countless opportunities for adventure and relaxation. From the majestic peaks of Glacier National Park to the mysterious depths of Crater Lake, these national parks should be your playgrounds this summer. 

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the parks that shine brightest during the summer months. We’ll also highlight hidden gems that offer serene escapes, and discuss how to power your adventures sustainably. Gear up and prepare to immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of these iconic destinations. Let’s get started on planning your next national park adventure!

Table of Contents

Iconic Parks and Their Summer Highlights

Glacier National Park

St. Mary Lake at Glacier National Park in Montana

Image by Zack Frank via ShutterStock

During summer, Glacier National Park opens its most scenic route, the Going-to-the-Sun Road, providing unmatched access to majestic mountain vistas and vibrant wildflower meadows. Hikers can take advantage of the warmer weather to explore trails like the Highline and the Trail of the Cedars, each offering unique views and wildlife encounters. 

Summer season is ideal for experiencing Glacier’s dynamic landscape, where every turn presents a postcard-worthy scene, making it a top destination for nature lovers and photographers alike.

Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park

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Yellowstone National Park is a spectacle of geothermal activity and wildlife in the summer. Visitors flock to see the Old Faithful geyser erupt and the Grand Prismatic Spring’s brilliant colors. 

The park’s Lamar Valley is a hotspot for viewing bison, wolves, and grizzlies in their natural habitats. Additionally, Yellowstone Lake provides a peaceful escape for those looking to paddleboard or fish in quieter parts of the park, offering a balance of adventure and relaxation.

Hidden Gems for the Best National Parks in Summer

Channel Islands National Park

Sea lions, Channel Islands National Park, California, USA

Image by Travel Stock via ShutterStock

Channel Islands National Park offers a respite from the summer crowds, with its isolated location off the California coast providing a haven for marine life and mild weather. The park is ideal for kayaking, snorkeling, and diving, where visitors can encounter a rich variety of sea creatures, including seals, dolphins, and rare seabirds. 

The islands also feature serene hikes with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, making it a perfect summer getaway for those looking to connect with nature in a quieter setting.

Isle Royale National Park

Rock Harbor Lighthouse, Isle Royale National Park, Michigan, USA

Image by Steven Schremp via ShutterStock

Isle Royale National Park, located in the middle of Lake Superior, presents a unique summer adventure with its cool climate and secluded wilderness. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is a paradise for backpackers and kayakers, offering rugged trails and pristine waters. 

The absence of roads and vehicles enhances the sense of solitude and immersion in nature, where moose and wolves roam freely, providing an unparalleled wildlife watching experience.

Family-Friendly Adventures

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Charging river at Cuyahoga valley nation park. In autumn season.

Image by thanasarn via ShutterStock

Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and accessible adventures that are perfect for families. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad provides a unique way to explore the park’s lush landscapes without extensive hiking, making it ideal for visitors of all ages. 

The train travels through historic areas, alongside the Cuyahoga River, and past rolling floodplains, offering educational commentary that brings the park’s history and ecology to life for its passengers.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Image by Eric Brinley via ShutterStock

Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado is a playground for families, offering the fun and unique activity of sand sledding on the tallest dunes in North America. This park blends adventure with natural wonders, where children and adults alike can slide down sandy slopes and later gaze at the clear, star-filled night skies. 

The park’s Medano Creek also provides a refreshing spot for families to splash and relax during the summer months, making it a favorite for memorable family outings.

Unique Activities for the Best National Parks in Summer

Katmai National Park

Katmai National Park, Brown Bear catching Salmon in river

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Katmai National Park in Alaska offers an extraordinary summer spectacle that attracts wildlife enthusiasts from around the world. The park’s Brooks Falls provides a front-row seat to watch brown bears in their natural habitat as they skillfully catch leaping salmon. 

This dramatic interaction between predator and prey is not only a thrilling sight but also a fantastic opportunity for photography and nature observation, making Katmai a must-visit for those seeking a profound wilderness experience.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA

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Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is famous for its deep blue and crystal-clear waters, formed from a collapsed volcano. In the summer, the lake’s Rim Drive fully opens, allowing visitors to explore the entire circumference by car. 

The park offers guided boat tours that take visitors close to the lake’s iconic Phantom Ship and Wizard Island. Adventurous visitors can also swim in the lake’s refreshingly cool waters, a rare opportunity in such a pristine volcanic environment.

While you’re on the West Coast, check out some of the best campgrounds in Oregon, too!

Powering Your Park Visit

FLEX Tactical 1500 Power Station

Image Credit: Inergy

Venturing into the top national parks offers a chance to disconnect from the daily grind and reconnect with nature. However, having a reliable power source remains crucial for safety, convenience, and comfort. Whether you’re using GPS to navigate trails, or simply needing to keep communication devices charged in remote areas, the right power station makes all the difference.

Inergy’s FLEX 1500 Tactical Power Station is specifically designed to meet the challenges of outdoor adventures you will face in these national parks. Built to withstand adverse weather, it ensures that your essential devices are always operational, no matter the conditions.

FLEX Tactical Gold Plus Kit

Image Credit: Inergy

Its nearly silent operation is ideal for maintaining the peace and tranquility of natural settings. It also complies with noise regulations in national parks. With the ability to charge from solar panels, a car, or a standard outlet, the FLEX 1500 also offers versatile charging options. The result? An indispensable power option for extended stays in the wilderness.

This power station is durable, but it’s also equipped with advanced safety features, including enhanced EMP protection to protect against extreme electromagnetic disturbances. This makes the FLEX Tactical1500 a practical choice for keeping lights on and devices charged. However, it’s also a safe choice that can endure unexpected natural events. What better companion could you have on a national park adventure this summer?!

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