As much as we love summertime in the South, it is HOT! For our friends and neighbors here in the southern states, we thought we'd take a moment and draw your attention to five National Parks where you can experience stunning wilderness and escape the heat all at once.
Glacier National Park
Located in Montana and so far north that part of the park borders Canada, Glacier National Park is about as far north as you can get while still remaining in the lower 48 states. Add that to the park's high altitude, and the park is only fully accessible during the summer months. Huge snow drifts don't depart until June, and the snow is back by September.
From the Going-to-the-Sun Road to the many hiking trails and campgrounds, park lodge, swimming, and rafting, the park in all its natural beauty has something for everyone. And with August temperatures in the 60s and 70s, the weather couldn't be better!
Rocky Mountain National Park
A short drive from Denver and home to 415 square miles of snowcapped peaks, alpine lakes, and hiking trails, Rocky Mountain National Park gives visitors a true experience of the lower 48's most mountainous region. The park is accessible, with the highest-elevation roads of any National Park (the Trail Ridge Road crests 12,183 feet!)
Summer days in Rocky Mountain National Park often reach the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit, but the high elevation, low humidity, and cool nights make for perfect camping and backpacking weather. Autumn weather brings even cooler weather, fewer storms, and Aspen tree leaves changing color and painting mountainsides in amber and gold.
Mount Rainier National Park
Just a skip and a hop from the Seattle-Tacoma area, Mount Rainier National Park conserves and protects Mount Rainier, the fifth highest peak in the contiguous United States. Much like Glacier National Park, Mount Rainier is covered in snow most of the year. While the park is open year-round, roads are only accessible from May until early October.
Mount Rainier is known for its incredible summer wildflower blooms, popular hiking trails, fishing opportunities in lakes and rivers, and wilderness camping destinations. And with mild temperatures throughout the summer, folks can enjoy nature and be comfortable.
Acadia National Park
Located in the far reaches of the northeast, Acadia National Park is the perfect place to escape when the Eastern Seaboard and American South become too hot to bear. August midday temperatures rarely exceed 75F, and the ocean breeze keeps the air mild and pleasant. Evening temps drop into the high 50s, perfect for camping.
Acadia National Park is one of the most diverse parks, offering everything from mountain terrain to rocky coastlines, ocean habitats, boreal forests, and horse-drawn carriage routes. There are lighthouses and other historic buildings to explore, and a view from the peak of Cadillac Mountain is simply breathtaking. This northeast gem affords visitors with wilderness beauty and a break from the summer heat.
Denali National Park
There is perhaps no better place to truly escape the summer heat than in the wilds of Alaska, a wilderness haven and a rather temperate place to recreate during summer. Denali National Park, what many consider to be the flagship National Park of the last frontier, comprises six million acres of protected land, accessible only by the Denali Park Road.
Like much of Alaska, Denali National Park never really "warms up." Daily temperatures range from the high-50s to the low-70s. Evening temps drop into the 40s easily, meaning visitors should always bring warm layers and a cold-weather sleeping bag for camping. Otherwise, the park is stunningly beautiful, a wilderness utopia away from the hot summer weather of the contiguous 48.
Escape the Heat this Summer!
Nothing is worse than being cooped up in air-conditioned buildings all summer. We hope this list gives you some ideas about places to travel that offer numerous activities and comfortable weather. And if you need travel art inspiration or a National Park art souvenir, our 63 Illustrated National Parks Collection has over 300 original illustrations and vintage poster art designs to choose from!
Until next time,
Anderson Design Group Staff Writer