6 Best National Parks to Visit in Late Summer and Early Autumn

August 19, 2016

It’s back to school season, but Dad & Mom may have their vacation. Most of the national parks have their peak season from June to August. But many of them also features gorgeous autumn views and more active wildlife which does not had much attention on. If you don't want to make your national park visit like visiting Disneyland on Christmas Eve, think about these 6 parks which all have great views and weather in late summer and early autumn. 


1. Grand Teton

  • The peak season for Grand Teton is July through August, but early September is less crowded and weather is more comfortable for hiking and horse riding.

  • With large areas of Aspen, Grand Teton is has one of the best autumn views among all national parks, even more beautiful than its big famed neighbor- The Yellow Stone.

  • It’s the mating season for Moose and Elk, so the wildlife is more active across the park.

  • The only drawback is for snow lovers because September may be a little too early for snow views.

 (Photo Credit to fortherock)


2. Yellowstone National Park

If you are not a big fan of winter Yellowstone, September is one of the best seasons for it.

  • Similar as Grand Teton, the peak season has passed so you can enjoy the beauty of nature without a flooded stream of visitors. You may have a front line view at the old faithful without pushing through the crowd and lift your smartphone/camera as high as possible. 

  • It's mating season for many wildlife. 

  • The gorgeous autumn view, especially in the Aspen area.

 (Photo Credit to Stewart Baird)



3. Denali National Park

As a national park only open from April to September, it is overruned with visitors during summer vacation. Hotels and lodges are mostly occupied and usually have the highest price in the year.

To visit in late August and early September 

  • You will encounter less mosquitoes, so it’s more comfortable hiking and walking the trails.

  • A gorgeous autumn view.

  • Chances to see aurora is higher than in summer.

  • We all love snow mountains. Compared with July and August, there’s more snow on the mountain.

  • It's safer to visit in early September since there's chances the main roads may be closed due to heavy snow after mid-september. 

(Photo Credit to Abhijit Kamerkar )

 (Photo Credit to Arthur T. LaBar)


4. Olympic National Park

  • September and October is the best time for wild animal viewing as the Roosevelt Elk is during their breeding season.

  • The dry season is almost passed and the amount of precipitation starts to increase so there’s more water in the rainforest and the plants looks more wet.

  • Green is good. All green is a little too boring. In September, the Big-Leafs and Maples in Olympic start to get colors. So the forests look more colorful and gives you beautiful photos without any filters. 

 (Photo Credit to Brett Holt)


5. Rocky Mountains

If you are not going Aspen for snow activities, visit in September, because,

  • According most local people, September has the best weather in the year, especially for hikers.

  • Not too crowded and lower price flights and hotels. 

  • Gorgeous autumn view with large areas of Aspen.

  • It’s mating season for the Elks. There’s large chance for visitors to see more activities of them, such as two male Elk fighting with each other using their giant antler.

 (Photo Credit to Bo Insogna)

 (Photo Credit to Michael Levine-Clark)


6. Glacier National Park

The best season to visit Glacier National Park given by Lonely Planet is June-July and September to October.

To go in September, you can find:

  • Very active wildlife

  • Beautiful autumn views

  • Since kids are all back to school, the park is less crowded, especially for the Going-to-the-Sun road.

(Photo Credit to Giggs Huang)













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