We’ve put together a summer packing list for National Parks to help you make sure you have everything you need for your trip.
The list is fairly comprehensive, and you may not need every item depending on your type of travel or the things you will do. Modify the list as needed.
There are a lot of US National Park vacation ideas for summer travel. Depending on where you go will determine what you’ll need to pack!
Be sure to download the packing list for summer for free below!
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Summer Packing List for National Parks
Weather, region and elevation are important to consider when packing for a US National Park trip in the summer.
Be sure to plan for locations with excessive heat, summer monsoons and other weather conditions and check the forecast so you pack accordingly!
National Parks Pass
The US National Park Pass is a good deal, especially if you’ll be visiting more than one park during the year. It’s valid for one year from the date of purchase. For the most current information on passes, reference the National Park Service website.
The America the Beautiful pass allows two signatures so it can be shared, and the two people don’t have to be related. Keep in mind you will need to show photo ID each time you use the pass.
We like to buy our pass through REI – they donate 10% of sale proceeds to the National Park Foundation which is cool!
Daypack Items for Outdoor Activities in the Summer
- Reusable water bottle or hydration backpack
- Healthy snacks
- Flashlight or headlamp
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Insect repellent
- Hand lotion
- Toilet paper (carry out in a toilet bag – do not bury)
- Disposable urination device & feminine hygiene products
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
Hiking Gear for the Summer
- Hiking shoes
- Darn Tough socks – the BEST socks ever – really!
- Hiking sandals
- Trekking poles
- What to Bring on a Day Hike
- Hiking Gear and Tips for Kids
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Best Cameras for Hiking
Clothing for the Summer
In the summer you’ll want to wear wicking clothing so it pulls moisture (sweat) away from you and moves it to the fabric’s outer surface, where it can dry quickly. Wicking clothing allows you to sweat without feeling clammy or chilled.
- UV protection, wicking, quick-drying clothing
- Fleece jacket – many locations will still get cold in the mornings and evenings
- Rain jacket – you may need this at locations with summer monsoons
- Bandana, buff headband
- Brimmed sun hat
CLICK TO SHOP FOR US NATIONAL PARK GUIDES & MAPS
CLICK THE GRAPHIC BELOW to get the summer packing checklist to download, print and use it over and over!