Jake Cain is an entrepreneur and writer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He spends his free time driving around the country in his late 90’s conversion van, affectionately known as the “Monster Van” with his wife and 3 boys.
September is the perfect month to visit national parks across the United States. The crowds are thinner, the weather is milder, and the fall foliage makes for stunning scenery.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, or a tourist looking for a peaceful getaway, there’s a national park for everyone.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best national parks to visit in September, highlighting the unique activities and experiences that each one offers.
So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the great outdoors. Your travel inspiration starts here!
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is an absolutely glorious destination to visit in September!
First of all, the weather is just perfect – it’s not too hot, not too cold, and the leaves on the trees are starting to change colors, which makes for some breathtaking scenery. Plus, the crowds are much smaller than in the summer months, which means you’ll have more space to enjoy the park’s many activities.
Speaking of activities, there’s so much to do in Acadia in September! Hiking is a must-do, as the trails are much quieter than in the peak summer months, and the crisp air makes for a refreshing outdoor adventure. Biking and scenic drives are also popular activities.
Another reason Acadia is a great park to visit in September is that it’s home to some of the most incredible stargazing opportunities in the country. With the darker skies and cooler temperatures, it’s the perfect time to sit back and marvel at the night sky.
From the perfect weather to the variety of activities and stunning scenery, it’s easy to see why this park is a favorite among visitors.
Glacier National Park
If you’re looking for an amazing national park to visit in September, look no further than Glacier National Park! This awesome park is the perfect place to visit during the fall season. The weather in September is generally mild, with comfortable daytime temperatures and cooler nights, making it a beautiful time for outdoor activities.
One of the best activities to enjoy in Glacier National Park during September is hiking. With over 700 miles of trails to explore, you’ll find trails of all difficulty levels that showcase the park’s panoramic views of the mountains, lakes, and forests.
For those looking for a more leisurely activity, scenic drives on the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road are a must-see during September when the leaves begin to change color.
If you’re an animal lover, September is an excellent time to visit Glacier National Park as the park’s wildlife is more active than ever. You might spot grizzly bears, moose, elk, and bighorn sheep as they prepare for the colder months ahead.
The park’s many lakes and streams also provide ample opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful getaway, Glacier National Park has something for everyone.
Yosemite National Park
If you’re planning a trip to a national park in September, Yosemite National Park is a must-visit destination filled with countless tourist attractions! With the summer heat fading away, the daytime temperatures are milder and more comfortable for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and rock climbing.
September is also a great time to visit Yosemite National Park for its colorful Autumn foliage. As the leaves on the trees change color, this vast park is transformed into a beautiful landscape of oranges, yellows, and reds.
One of the top activities to do in Yosemite National Park during September is hiking. With hundreds of miles of trails to choose from, you can explore the park’s vast wilderness and see some of the most iconic views, such as Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls.
The cooler temperatures in September also make it an ideal time for rock climbing, as the granite walls of the park are less hot and slippery.
If you’re a wildlife lover, September is an excellent time to visit Yosemite National Park as well. With fewer visitors in the park, you’ll have a better chance of spotting animals like black bears, deer, coyotes, and even mountain lions.
Yosemite National Park is an ideal destination to visit in September due to its comfortable weather, eye-catching fall foliage, and range of outdoor activities. You won’t regret adding this park to your travel plans!
Rocky Mountain National Park
In September, the weather in Rocky Mountain National Park is perfect for outdoor activities, with comfortable daytime temperatures and cooler evenings.
The changing leaves make for a picturesque landscape in September, with the aspens turning bright gold and orange. It’s a perfect time for scenic drives or hiking the park’s numerous trails. September is also a great time to go fishing, as the cool rivers and streams are less crowded, and the fish are more active.
Wildlife enthusiasts can keep their eyes peeled for elk, moose, and bighorn sheep. The animals are more active in the park as they prepare for the upcoming winter months.
Another fantastic activity to enjoy in Rocky Mountain National Park during September is stargazing. The park’s high elevation and clear skies provide an ideal setting for stargazing, and the cooler temperatures make it a more comfortable experience.
Whether you’re a hiker, angler, wildlife enthusiast, or stargazer, you won’t want to miss this incredible national park.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is an excellent destination to visit in September. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities, with mild temperatures and less humidity.
One of the top activities to enjoy in Zion National Park during September is hiking on the park’s wide variety of trails, which cater to all skill levels. The cooler temperatures in September make it a more comfortable experience, and the changing landscape colors make for gorgeous scenery.
Zion also has some of the best canyoneering routes in the world, with narrow canyons, waterfalls, and pools to explore. The cooler temperatures and lower water levels make it an ideal time for canyoneering adventures.
September is also a great time to go rock climbing in Zion National Park, with cooler temperatures and less crowded conditions.
One of the most popular attractions in Zion National Park is the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. This 6-mile drive is a must-see during September, with the changing colors of the leaves and the beautiful scenery of the canyon walls.
With its perfect weather, range of outdoor activities, and impressive landscape, Zion National Park deserves a spot on our list of the best national parks to visit in September.
Mount Rainier National Park
If you’re looking for mild temperatures, clear skies, and a wide range of outdoor activities, you need to plan a visit to Mount Rainier National Park.
September is an excellent time for hiking in the park, with fewer crowds and the changing colors of the leaves making for outstanding scenery. There are over 260 miles of trails to explore, from easy walks to challenging climbs.
Mount Rainier National Park is also a great place for camping in September. The cooler temperatures make it more comfortable to sleep outdoors, and with fewer visitors, you’ll have a more peaceful and enjoyable camping experience.
September is also a great time for wildlife viewing in Mount Rainier National Park. The animals are more active in the park during this time as they prepare for winter. You can see elk, black bears, mountain goats, and other animals as you explore the park.
Another fantastic activity to enjoy in Mount Rainier National Park during September is stargazing. The clear skies provide an ideal setting for stargazing, and the cooler temperatures make it a more comfortable experience.
Whether you’re a hiker, camper, wildlife enthusiast, stargazer, or just a nature lover, you’ll want to put this park on your travel bucket list.
Arches National Park
September is the perfect time to visit Arches National Park because the weather is cooler and more pleasant than during the hot summer months, making it easier to explore the park’s picture-perfect landscapes.
The park is home to over 2,000 iconic arches of natural sandstone, making it a popular destination for hiking and photography. The changing colors of the leaves and the cooler temperatures in September make for amazing views and photo opportunities.
In addition to hiking and photography, Arches National Park offers other exciting activities, including rock climbing, mountain biking, and stargazing. With clear skies and cooler temperatures, September is an ideal time for stargazing in the park.
Another reason to visit Arches National Park in September is the smaller crowds. With fewer visitors, you’ll have a more peaceful and enjoyable experience. The park’s quieter atmosphere makes it easier to connect with nature and fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the park.
With mild weather, beautiful landscapes, and unique activities, a trip to Arches National Park in September is sure to please every nature lover.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is a hidden gem that’s perfect for a September getaway. The weather in September is mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-70s, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the park’s scenic vistas.
The changing colors of the leaves make for inspirational views and provide a dazzling backdrop for nature lovers and photographers.
One of the best activities to do in Shenandoah National Park in September is hiking. With over 500 miles of trails, this beautiful park offers a variety of options for hikers of all levels, from easy strolls to strenuous hikes. The cooler temperatures in September make it easier to enjoy the hikes, and the park is less crowded, providing more space to enjoy the beauty of the park.
Another reason to visit Shenandoah National Park in September is for its wildlife. As summer comes to an end, the park’s amazing wildlife becomes more active and easier to spot. Keep an eye out for black bears, deer, and a variety of bird species, including the park’s famous warblers.
Whether you’re a hiker, wildlife enthusiast, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, this park is sure to impress.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is an iconic destination that offers plenty of activities to enjoy in September. Despite being one of the most popular tourist stops around, the crowds are much smaller than in the summer months, and the weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-60s.
One of the best reasons to come to Yellowstone in September is for sightings of wildlife. The park’s famous bison herds are in full swing during this time of year, and visitors have a better chance of spotting bears, wolves, and elk.
September is also an ideal time for hiking in Yellowstone. The cooler temperatures in September make it easier to enjoy the hikes, and the changing colors of the leaves provide a beautiful backdrop for your adventure.
Yellowstone’s well-known geothermal features take on a new light in September, too. The cooler temperatures make the steam from the geysers more visible, and the colors of the thermal pools become more vibrant. This is a unique opportunity to witness the power and beauty of nature up close.
Whether you’re a nature lover, hiker, or just looking for a unique vacation experience, Yellowstone has something for everyone.
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park in September is a wonderful destination for those who love nature and wildlife. The weather is warm and sunny, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and birdwatching. September is also the start of the dry season, which means less rainfall and a lower risk of mosquitoes and other biting insects.
One of the best activities to do in Everglades National Park in September is kayaking or canoeing through the park’s mangrove forests and waterways. The water levels are still high, and the lack of rainfall means that the water is clearer and easier to navigate. This is an excellent way to get up close and personal with the park’s diverse wildlife, including alligators, manatees, and a variety of bird species.
September is also a great time for hiking in Everglades National Park. The cooler temperatures in the early morning and evening make it more comfortable to explore the park’s diverse ecosystems, including sawgrass prairies, hardwood hammocks, and cypress swamps.
Everglades National Park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, and the perfect September weather makes it a great time to visit.
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park in September is a fantastic destination for those who enjoy scenic drives, hiking, and outdoor activities. September marks the start of the fall season, which brings cooler temperatures and amazing displays of fall foliage throughout the park.
September is a perfect time to explore the over 600 miles of hiking trails to choose from in this park, ranging from easy nature walks to challenging backcountry treks. These trails offer dramatic views of the park’s rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and ancient forests.
Another great activity to do in Olympic National Park is driving along attractive routes, such as the Olympic Loop Drive and the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. These routes offer impressive views of the Olympic Mountains, the rugged coastline, and the pristine wilderness of the park.
Whether you’re a nature lover, hiker, or road tripper, Olympic National Park is the perfect place to relax and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is an excellent park to visit in September because the weather is mild, and the crowds are fewer. The average temperature in September ranges from the high 50s to the low 80s, making it an ideal time for hiking and exploring the park’s exciting landscapes.
One of the main attractions in Sequoia National Park is the giant sequoia trees. September is the perfect time to view these majestic trees as the summer crowds have dispersed, making it easier to get a closer look.
The park has numerous hiking trails that take you through the groves of giant sequoias, including the Congress Trail, the Big Trees Trail, and the General Sherman Tree Trail.
In addition to hiking, Sequoia National Park offers many other outdoor activities such as camping, rock climbing, and fishing.
Every nature lover hopes to someday catch a glimpse of the giant sequoia trees at Sequoia National Park, so why not take advantage of the mild weather and smaller crowds and plan a September visit?
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is an absorbing destination to explore in September.
The weather is mild and pleasant, making it an immensely satisfying time to go hiking, mountain biking, or rafting. Visitors can take in the spectacular views of the canyons, mesas, and buttes that make up the park’s distinctive landscape.
September is also a great time for stargazing, as the night skies are clear and perfect for observing the stars.
Additionally, there are fewer crowds in September, allowing for a more peaceful and intimate experience with the park’s natural beauty.
With its endless opportunities for adventure and exploration, Canyonlands National Park is definitely worth adding to your list of must-visit national parks in September.
Bryce Canyon National Park
September is the perfect time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park. The cooler weather is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding, without the crowds that come with peak season.
Bryce Canyon offers brilliant views of the unique hoodoos, and the changing colors of the aspen trees in the fall create an even more astonishing experience.
Wildlife is also abundant in the park during this time of year, making it a great opportunity for animal sightings.
With fewer visitors, cooler weather, and beautiful foliage, September is the perfect time to fully savor the natural glory of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a rewarding destination to visit in September for those looking to explore the great outdoors and enjoy cooler weather.
The park’s trails offer hiking, biking, and horseback riding opportunities that are perfect for experiencing the park’s sparkling beauty. Visitors can also enjoy kayaking, fishing, and birdwatching along the Cuyahoga River.
The park’s fall foliage is a captivating sight, with vibrant red, orange, and yellow colors painting the landscape.
With fewer crowds than other popular parks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park provides a soothing escape from the pressures of daily life.
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