Are you looking to kick off your summer by discovering some of the best national parks to visit in June?
In this post, you will uncover some of our top picks for US parks to visit in June, why you should visit each of them, and things to do when there.
June is a busy time of year for travelers in the United States and some of the most visited national parks can swarm with visitors so we mixed in some of the least visited national parks if you’re looking to escape the crowds.
We also took into consideration the temperatures and opted to stay away from some of the desert parks as well as the Florida parks (merely because it is rainy season and mosquitoes are brutal).
Let us know your favorite national parks to visit in June in the comments – we are curious about your experiences!
US National Parks in June Worth Visiting
Shenandoah National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 72F and lows around 53F
Go there for: hiking trails, waterfalls, wildlife spotting
Famous for its accessible location and amazing backcountry camping offerings, Shenandoah is situated within the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.
It’s only 75 miles from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and is one of the most popular national parks in the US. The park features rolling foothills, creeks, forests, secluded hollows, waterfalls, and more.
Skyline Drive, which runs 105 miles from north to south along the crest of the Blue Ridge, is one of Shenandoah National Park’s most attractive places and the reason many people flock there annually.
The road was built in 1931 and offers some very spectacular views of Virginia’s Piedmont region to the east and the Shenandoah Valley to the west.
The best time to visit the park is from June to October but we definitely recommend heading to Shenandoah National Park in June as the waterfalls are still gushing and the trails are completely accessible.
When it comes to hiking trails in the park, Dark Hollow Falls is known as one of the most famous ones in the area. It is quite an easy and short hike, leading to a very tall waterfall. It truly is one of the best views within the park!
Olympic National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 54F and lows around 37F
Go there for: low tides, less rain, gorgeous hiking opportunities
June is a fantastic time to visit the Olympic National Park, a park that protects one of the largest remaining blocks of old-growth forest and temperate rain forest in the lower 48 states.
One of the attractions is the amazing tidepools that can be found in Kalaloch’s Beach 4 and Ruby Beach. Those tidepools are formed on the shoreline by retreating waves and are home to hundreds of colorful marine species.
In the summertime, park scientists reach the tidepools at the lowest tides to explore the diverse ecosystem filled with anemones, starfish, and other marine wildlife.
Another beloved feature of the park is the Hoh Rain Forest, which receives over 12 feet of rain a year and has unique wildlife due to its heavy rainfalls and chill summers.
Visitors can either hike the Hoh River Trail or camp in the Hoh Rain Forest’s campground, which would surely be an extraordinary experience in the heart of nature. Olympic National Park in June is just extraordinary and should be on everyone’s bucket list!
Katmai National Park and Preserve
June Average Temperature: highs around 60F and lows around 47F
Go there for: wildlife watching, backcountry hiking and camping
Established as a national park and preserve in 1980, Katmai has been known for its volcanoes, brown bears, rugged coastline, pure waterways with a lot of fish, and more.
Brown bears congregate in Katmai National Park in June to socialize and breed. Early in the summer, when the bears are not yet focused on catching salmon, it’s the best time to observe their playing behavior.
Also, the mating season is from mid-to-late June. So, this is an excellent time to visit if you want to see mothers with new cubs or huge males sparring over sows.
Other than bear watching, the park is open to backcountry hiking and camping from the lowland tundra of Bristol Bay to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes and the Pacific Coast.
Boating, Brooks camp (it’s a combination of bear viewing, sport fishing, scenery, history, etc.), flightseeing (for those who enjoy seeing the beauty of nature from the air), and fishing are among the most famous attractions accessible in the area of the park.
Please note that mosquitoes are ruthless in Alaska (there are over 35 species of them!) They tend to hatch in late June through July so beware.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 67F and lows around 36F
Go there for: stargazing, unique volcanic experiences, comfortable temperatures
If you happen to be visiting Northern California and are keen on visiting a National Park (and one with fewer crowds), definitely consider visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The volcanic history (and present-day activity) has resulted in one of the rarest landscapes in the US. One of the most astounding things about visiting Lassen is that the park is the only one in the US to have all 4 types of volcanoes.
Even more surprisingly, Lassen Peak is known to be the largest Plug Dome volcano in the world. The park is also home to one of the most famous waterfalls in California.
The stunning starry night sky is another thing in the park that promises an out-of-the-ordinary experience for its visitors. This is mainly because of the park’s location, being far from any major cities and thus having no light pollution.
Visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park in June allows a better experience enjoying the skies at night because the temperatures are far warmer. Get to the Bumpass Hell parking lot after the sun goes down, and enjoy some stellar views of the night sky.
Wind Cave National Park
Location: South Dakota
June Average Temperature: highs around 78F and lows around 51F
Go there for: boxwork formations, wildlife opportunities, ranger-led programs
Receiving its name from the wind that naturally blows in and out of the cave’s narrow natural entrance, Wind Cave National Park is known for its delicate calcite formations known as “boxwork.” Interestingly enough, this South Dakota National Park contains 95% of the world’s discovered boxwork.
After a long time of mapping and explorations, Wind Cave has achieved the status of being one of the world’s largest known caves. The area has a size of 28,295 acres and amazingly diverse wildlife inside the park like bison, pronghorn, mule deer, elk, coyotes, prairie dogs, and more.
When visiting Wind Cave National Park in June and the other summer months, attending a ranger-led program in the park is an excellent thing to do for kids and families.
There are additional programs offered during the summer months. Five cave tours, a ranger-led prairie walk, exploration activities, and evening campfire programs are available for visitors. Keep in mind that a first-come, first-served basis is established for tickets to these programs.
Channel Islands National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 71F and lows around 46F
Go there for: whale watching, water activities, hiking trails
Renowned for its large number of beautiful sea caves, Channel Islands National Park is truly remarkable with its unique fauna and flora. Due to its remote location, visitors love traveling to the park because of its rare ecosystem and that you need to take a boat to get there.
There are many places to go hiking in the Channel Islands as well as camping, snorkeling, kayaking, birdwatching, and simply relaxing to the calming sounds of nature.
The most challenging thing about visiting Channel Islands National Park in June and any other season is getting there as well as picking the places you want to visit! So, you better do a little research on that and plan your visit ahead!
The months from June to August are known for having the highest visitor numbers. Summer is the most suitable time for swimming, sailing, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. This is also the time when whale watching begins for blue and humpback whales in the Channel Islands.
Mammoth Cave National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 86F and lows around 62F
Go there for: perfect family destination, several tours, hiking opportunities in the park
Home to thousands of years of human history and an unbelievable variety of animal and plant life, Mammoth Cave National Park is also known for being the world’s largest known cave system (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
The cave tours in the park range from the Mammoth Cave Accessible Tour to an all-day Wild Cave Tour. Note that the park’s busiest season is summer but visiting Mammoth Cave National Park in June is still recommended as it is never too overwhelming with tourists.
The Frozen Niagara Tour is the best all-around choice for families with small children. It’s a fast ride that lasts about an hour and 15 minutes and passes through a reasonably wide section of the cave.
The relatively tricky two-hour “Domes and Dripstones” tour, which includes everything seen on the Frozen Niagara Tour and also other dramatic cave features, is the most common alternative on the list of tours.
For true adventurers, the Wild Cave tour might be the best. It covers 5 miles and is overall a 6-hour tour. This is, in fact, the most surreal spelunking experience in the established cave system among Mammoth’s public tours.
Mammoth Cave is a fantastic weekend trip from Cincinnati, Columbus, Nashville, and more!
Grand Teton National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 68F and lows around 36F
Go there for: not as crowded as other summer months, hiking, wildlife opportunities
Grand Teton National Park is located in Wyoming and it covers nearly 310,000 acres and includes the main peaks of the Teton Range and the majority of Jackson Hole’s northern areas.
As the weather gets better during the summer, the number of visitors starts to rise. Notably, June is not that crowded as July and August are.
Hiking, biking, horseback riding are among the summer activities available in this park, as are guided wildlife tours, fun on the lakes, and checking out the Snake River.
One of the best summer activities in Grand Teton National Park in June is to take a scenic float trip. The 10-mile Snake River Float Trips run entirely within Grand Teton National Park, floating beneath the Grand Tetons in an area untouched by human development for generations.
Also, visitors can explore some of the many activities that Jackson Hole has to offer on the same day. Fly fishing is another prominent feature of the park. Browns, rainbows, native cutthroat trout can all be caught in the park’s waters.
Visiting Grand Teton in winter is a completely different experience and the summer really allows for some awesome hiking and wildlife opportunities!
Glacier National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 61F and lows around 39F
Go there for: hiking opportunities, range-led programs, tolerable temperatures
Known for its many hiking trails, Glacier National Park is one of the world’s most amazing places to see stunning alpine scenery punctuated by alpine meadows, glacial lakes, and jagged peaks. It is one of the most spectacular destinations in Montana!
If you plan to visit Glacier National Park in June, some of the popular things to do are driving Going to the Sun Road, visiting the backcountry chalets, rafting and fishing in the rivers, hiking the trails, and exploring several areas of the park (on both sides of the Continental Divide).
If you’re simply visiting Glacier National Park as a day trip then be sure to visit Waterton Lakes National Park, located in the far north.
The visitor centers at Apgar and Logan Pass are great places to start if you need park information, ranger-led programs, or just need to reach a trailhead.
To avoid the huge crowds of July and August, plan your trip in June and manage to have fun on lakes, rivers, trails, and the park’s lovely nature.
Rocky Mountain National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 63F and lows around 39F
Go there for: hiking, fishing, wildlife watching, comfortable temperatures
At an elevation of 14,259 feet, Rocky Mountain National Park is famous for its beautiful scenery and towering landscapes. The area is also an important habitat for a variety of wildlife such as wolves, elk, moose, black bears, grizzly bears, lynxes, coyotes, cougars, and many others.
Hiking and backpacking are two of the most famous activities in the park during the summer months. Some of the best hikes are Sky Pond, Continental Divide Trail, and the Glacier Gorge Hike.
Ranger-led programs are also known to be an excellent, all-age activity if visiting Rocky Mountain National Park in June, July, or August. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the regular interpretive walks and evening programs that take place at different locations in the park.
Another fun summertime activity in the area is fishing. There are over fifty lakes, rivers, and streams, but Glacier Creek, Dream Lake, Mills Lake, and Sky Pond are some of the best places to fish in the park during the high-season.
Acadia National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 71F and lows around 49F
Go there for: lilacs and lupine, hiking trails, beautiful sunrises, comfortable temperatures
I’m a huge fan of Acadia National Park all year round, but the most popular season to visit is most definitely in summer. Acadia National Park in June is wonderful because everything is green and the temperatures are comfortable versus visiting Acadia in winter!
Most visitors prefer visiting Acadia in late June as opposed to the earlier part of the month because mornings can be a bit foggy in early June and it is hard to catch the sunrise when conditions are as such.
On the contrary, by traveling to Acadia in early June, you will miss a lot of the crowds and you’ll get to see the lilacs and lupine in bloom. So, there are advantages either way and June is definitely a remarkable month to visit.
When you’re there, be sure to check out the many hiking trails and lighthouses on Mt Desert Island. Accommodation at Acadia is more expensive during the summers, however. But, the advantage is that everything is open, including all Visitor Centers.
Sequoia National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 63F and lows around 38F
Go there for: hiking trails, clear and accessible roads, little rain
One of the most underrated national parks in the US is most definitely Sequoia National Park in California.
One of the best reasons to visit Sequoia National Park in June is that the roads are easy to drive on (you need chains in winter) and the trails are accessible for hiking.
Visitor Centers are open year-round but it is just a far more pleasant experience in the summer than it is during the winter. Cabins near Sequoia are more expensive, however.
Another fantastic thing about visiting Sequoia in summer is that rain is rare. Whether you have one day in Sequoia or more, there is plenty to see.
Some of the most popular attractions in Sequoia are the General Sherman Tree, Moro Rock, Crystal Cave, and more. You’ll find plenty of hikes taking you to these spots!
You can also visit Kings Canyon under the same admission fee as Sequoia, which is an added perk!
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
Location: West Virginia
June Average Temperature: highs around 78F and lows around 57F
Go there for: adventure activities like whitewater rafting and rock climbing, hiking trails
The newest National Park in the United States is New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, a West Virginia park that spans over 72,000 acres along the New River.
It is known as an adventure area in the United States and is famous for its rock climbing opportunities and whitewater rafting (including whitewater kayak adventures)!
The park has over 1,400 established rock climbs and many of them are made up of a tough Nuttall sandstone.
In the gorge, you can find over 1,342 species of animals and 54 rare plants, making its flora and fauna an exciting attraction in the park. You will find Visitor Centers at Canyon Rim and Sandstone.
Visiting New River Gorge National Park in June is a great choice because the forests are green and lush and the rafting is alive and safe after heavy flows in spring. There are over 50 miles of hiking trails for all levels inside of the park and there are some old rails to trails for biking.
Great Basin National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 71F and lows around 44F
Go there for: hiking trails, hiking temperatures, few crowds
One of the best national parks to visit in the west (and one of the least visited parks in the US!) is Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Located in east-central Nevada, the park is located near the Utah border and was established in 1986.
Summer temperatures in the park are mild compared to many other parks in the region and that is what makes it a fantastic US National Park to visit in June.
Some of the features and attractions that the park is known for are its ancient bristlecone pines as well as the Lehman Caves. The most iconic mountain in the park is Wheeler Peak (which also contains Wheeler Peak Glacier).
There are plenty of trails to visit in the summers (12 of them!) and one of the more challenging trails is the Wheeler Summit. Visiting Great Basin National Park in June is a great choice for visitors in the region!
Voyageurs National Park
June Average Temperature: highs around 72F and lows around 50F
Go there for: stargazing, comfortable temperatures, water activities
In Northern Minnesota near the town of International Falls, you will find Voyageurs National Park. The park’s popularity is because of its natural water resources so fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming are popular activities within the park.
It is one of the least-visited national parks in the USA and is definitely at its finest in the summer and when you can get away from the Twin Cities for a long weekend!
Visiting Voyageurs National Park in June is a wonderful choice for a weekend escape because the park is known for its water and the winters are extremely cold there and a lot of places can be inaccessible.
Another popular thing to do in June in Voyageurs is camping and the park contains 282 campsites. At night, stargazing is another beloved activity.
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Megan is a travel blogger and writer with a background in digital marketing. Originally from Richmond, VA, she now splits her time between Frankfurt, Germany and Arctic Finland after also living in Norway, Armenia, and Kazakhstan. She has a passion for winter travel, as well as the Nordic countries, but you can also find her eating her way through Italy, perusing perfume stores in Paris, or taking road trips through the USA. Megan has written for or been featured by National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, the New York Times, and more. She co-authored Fodor’s Travel ‘Essential Norway’ and has visited 45 US states and 100+ countries.