We are sharing our list of must-visit US national parks in September that you are not going to want to miss!
Our number one US National Park vacation ideas is take a trip in the fall. There are fewer crowds, the weather is cooler and the changing colors are breathtaking.
Keep reading for our list of national parks in the US to visit in September and all the things you can do at those parks.
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National Park Packing List
When you are visiting US National Parks it is important to be prepared. This includes wearing the proper clothes and shoes to be comfortable for the climate and the terrain.
→ CHECK OUT: National park packing lists for spring, summer, fall and winter!
- Merrell Moab hiking shoes or Oboz hiking shoes
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack
- Healthy food that’s portable and filling!
- Columbia fleece jacket
- Wicking, quick-drying clothing
- Lip balm with UV protection
- Sun protection – sunscreen (even in the winter) and a sunhat
- UV sunglasses are good for summer and winter
- Travel hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- US National Park travel guides and maps
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!
USA AUDIO TOURS (GyPSy Guide)
“Download the app to your phone – no cell or wifi service needed. Based on your GPS location, the app takes you on a guided tour of the area and points out all the interesting features and stops. It’s like having a guide in the car with you.”
Visiting National Parks in September
Check out our guide for finding the best National Parks to visit by month.
During each season and month of the year, national parks will have different activities and services available.
Here’s a list of US National Parks to visit in September with tips and ideas to help you plan your trip!
Arches National Park in September
September is a wonderful time for visiting Arches National Park. We love exploring the Arches National Park hiking trails in September because the weather is cooler than in the summer which allows us to hike around most of the day.
By September the mornings and evenings may be chilly since it’s a desert climate, but the temperatures will warm up during the day. Wearing layers is key while visiting.
And of course you want to know all about Arches National Park photography to capture the amazing landscape at this park! Check out our Arches & Canyonlands Itinerary and Photography Guide!
Where to Stay Near Arches:
READ OUR FULL GUIDE: Places to stay near Arches National Park in Moab
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab – we enjoyed our stay and highly recommend this hotel due to its location close to Arches.
- Purple Sage – our all-time favorite place to stay in Moab – walking distance to shopping, full kitchen, and only 8 units so you don’t feel lost in a large hotel.
- Red Cliffs Lodge – rooms up to 6 people – located 17 miles from Moab, this lodge is known for its beautiful location, winery and activities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
- Vacation Rentals – we really like rentals with a kitchen, washer and dryer and amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.
Canyonlands in September
Canyonlands National Park in the fall is a must-stop if you’re already visiting nearby Arches National Park.
The weather at Canyonlands in September is moderate so you can enjoy the outdoors most of the day!
Check out these tips for visiting Canyonlands National Park which includes what to pack, where to stay, and things to do while visiting.
Where to Stay Near Canyonlands
Capitol Reef National Park in September
Capitol Reef National Park in the fall is a must, especially in September. Fall is the prime season to pick fruit from the orchards at Capitol Reef. This ends up being the favorite thing people like to do at the park.
September also means cooler temperatures, which makes it the perfect time to enjoy the various Capitol Reef hikes.
Make sure you know what to pack and which trails to explore before hiking in Capitol Reef National Park.
Capitol Reef Vacation Resources
Glacier National Park in September
September is one of the best times to enjoy outdoor activities at Glacier: rafting, fishing, biking and hiking.
The weather at Glacier in September means sunny days (but not too hot) and cooler nights.
Wildlife is on the move in September at Glacier National Park. Fall is a perfect time for hikes and scenic rides to see the animals.
You will see grizzly bears, mountain goats, and moose. In addition to these amazing mammals, you will see hundreds of different species of birds.
Glacier NP Lodging & Tours
Grand Teton in September
Grand Teton in the fall is amazing with all the color, and September is the best month!
You’ll find a variety of outdoor activities to do in the fall at Grand Teton like hiking, biking, ranger-led programs, taking photographs of the foliage and maybe hearing an elk bugle!
It’s hard to predict when the fall color will be at its peak, but it’s usually some time in September.
While visiting you will want to take advantage of photographing Grand Teton National Park so you can remember your trip forever with incredible photographs.
Where to Stay Near Grand Teton
- Where to stay near Grand Teton National Park
- Elk Refuge Inn – this is right across from the refuge and the closes hotel to the park entrance – our favorite place to stay!
- Elk Country Inn – awesome property if you want to be in town.
- Vacation Rentals – we LOVE having a kitchen to prepare our meals!
- Hotels in Jackson Hole
Hot Springs National Park in September
Located in Arkansas, Hot Springs National Park was created by the government wanting to protect the hot springs flowing from the slope of the Hot Springs Mountain.
Mid-September ends the hot season at the park, so it’s a good time to visit. Enjoy the outdoors at Hot Springs with over 30 miles of hiking trails, plenty of scenic roads to drive, and picnic areas.
A visit to Hot Spring National Park is not complete until you enjoy bathing in the hot spring waters at Buckstaff Baths while there!
Lodging Near Hot Springs, Arkansas
Shenandoah in September
Shenandoah National Park is gorgeous in the fall making it an absolute must to go and visit in September.
As you visit Shenandoah in September, you are almost guaranteed to see the most beautiful landscape as the leaves begin to change to orange, red, and yellow.
It is more crowded in the fall than the rest of the year, but with over 500 miles of hiking trails, you will not feel like it is too crowded at all.
Where to Stay Near Shenandoah National Park
Yellowstone in September
Yellowstone in the fall is one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to national parks. There are way fewer people and tour buses which allows you to just explore without the crowds.
While visiting Yellowstone National Park in September you will see the animals preparing for winter which is such a treat to see and photograph.
The elk rut is one of the most exciting things happening in September at Yellowstone. You’ll experience the thrill of watching, hearing and photographing the male elk during this time.
When visiting Yellowstone in September, you don’t want to forget your camera because there are many geysers, hot pools and Yellowstone waterfalls to photograph that you don’t want to miss!
It’s important to dress in layers while visiting Yellowstone in the fall because the weather is so unpredictable. It’s common for snow to fall in September at Yellowstone!
Be sure to use this Yellowstone vacation planning guide to plan your trip!
Places to stay in West Yellowstone
- Holiday Inn, West Yellowstone
- ClubHouse Inn, West Yellowstone
- Kelly Inn, West Yellowstone
- West Yellowstone hotels!
Places to stay in Gardiner
- Yellowstone Gateway Inn, Gardiner – full kitchen and comfy bed, one of our favorite places to stay!
- Park Hotel Yellowstone, Gardiner – charming place to stay and loved by guests!
- Absaroka Lodge, Gardiner – beautiful location with river views!
- Gardiner hotels!
Places to stay in Cooke City or Silver Gate
- Sunny Log Home on the Creek, Silver Gate (VRBO) – the most AMAZING location with an awesome fireplace and comfy bed!
- High Country Motel and Cabins – local owners who love what they do, and make you feel so welcome!
- Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!
Yosemite National Park in September
Yosemite in the fall is an absolutely spectacular sight, especially in September.
Known for its evergreen trees, hiking trails, and epic waterfalls you’ll enjoy the outdoor activities at Yosemite in September.
September is the perfect time to visit Yosemite National Park because fewer people are visiting and the air is cooler.
The waterfalls are still incredible during the fall, just not as raging as they are during the spring.
Yosemite National Park Lodging & Tours
- Hotels Near Yosemite National Park
- Vacation Rentals Near Yosemite National Park
- Tours Near Yosemite National Park
Zion National Park in September
When you are thinking about the best places to visit in September, don’t forget about Zion National Park in the fall.
When visiting Zion National Park in September you will find smaller crowds and cooler temperatures compared to the summer.
Where to Stay Near Zion
- Places to stay at to Zion National Park
- Where to stay near Bryce Canyon and Zion
- Camping in Zion National Park
- Camping Near ZNP and Bryce Canyon
- RV parks near Zion National Park
SHOP FOR US National Park Guides and Maps: