US Southwest National Parks in June

When visiting US Southwest National Parks in June be prepared for warmer weather, longer daylight hours, and vibrant wildflowers at many locations! We’ve created this list of US Southwest National Parks to visit in the summer, specifically for the month of June.

In collaboration with our travel friends, this guide includes recommendations, tips, activities, expected weather, and packing checklists for visiting a number of National Parks in the US Southwest in June.

Southwest National Parks to Visit in June

We’ve been traveling around the US Southwest for over 20 years. The number one tip for visiting National Parks in June is to be prepared for the weather and temperatures for the time you’ll be visiting. Each park will have different conditions in June so it’s important to check the weather in advance!

Use our US National Park Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in early summer! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

National Parks packing list for spring summer fall and winter
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Summer Clothing & Gear for Southwest National Parks

When planning your summer vacation in the Southwest, remember that conditions vary on the location and elevation of each National Park. Be sure to check the specific park website for more detailed information about visiting in June!

Here’s a list of clothing we recommend for most of the Southwest National Parks in June. It’s important to stay hydrated and use sun protection when visiting any of these parks in the summer!

summer hiking gear

US Southwest National Parks in June

If you plan to visit two or more parks on your trip, we suggest you check out the US National Park Pass: the cost, how it saves money, and where you can buy the pass.

NOTE: There are three US National Parks requiring reservations (and one National Monument) during the month of June in the Southwest.

  • Arches National Park – Timed Entry Ticket
  • Rocky Mountain National Park – Timed Entry Permit
  • Yosemite National Park – Timed Entry Ticket for weekends and holidays in June AND Hiking Permit for Half Dome
  • Zion National Park – Hiking Permits for Angels Landing chains section, Left Fork Subway, and 16-mile Narrows Trail
  • Muir Wood National Monument – Parking Reservation

We have teamed with other travelers to provide this list of Southwest National Parks to visit in June in these states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, and Utah.

milky way over fins at Arches National Park
Milky way over fins at Arches National Park

Arches National Park, Utah in June

Arches National Park is a stunning destination with over 2,000 natural stone arches! You can see the arches and other unique stone formations along the scenic drive, hiking, off-roading, or rock climbing.

One of the most important things you need to know about visiting Arches National Park in June is the Timed Entry Ticket to enter the park from 6am to 5pm! If you don’t have a timed entry ticket, you can still visit the park as long as you enter before 6am or after 5pm.

For your June vacation, we highly recommend getting to the park EARLY to avoid the heat of the day when highs are in the 90s. Since you won’t find many shady spots at Arches, we recommend you plan outdoor activities in the cooler mornings and evenings. Enjoy scenic drives in your car with the AC running, or the hotel swimming pool during the heat of the day.

Another way to avoid the crowds and heat in June is to head into the park early enough to see and photograph the sunrise at Arches National Park! The park is also internationally recognized as one of the best places for stargazing because of its remote location, accessibility, altitude and clear skies. In June you can see the milky way from 10:30 pm to 3:30 am. It means a late night, or very early morning, but rewarding for those who want to make the effort! (Photo and Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Arches National Park Lodging & Tours

Big Bend National Park in Texas
Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park, Texas in June

Big Bend National Park in the southwest corner of Texas is the 7th largest national park in the contiguous US. Experience the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert, along with the meandering Rio Grande River, our nation’s southern border. Big Bend actually contains 118 miles of international border with Mexico!

June in Big Bend is…HOT. June is actually the hottest month for this park, with the average high temp being 95 degrees. So if you have other parks you’re considering for your early summer trip, you may want to table this one for late spring, or early fall when the weather is more temperate. 

That said, lots of people visit Big Bend in the summer, and it can still be a great time to experience the park if you plan and pack accordingly. Carry lots of water on your person and in your car, as well as plenty of sun protection. 

Early mornings and late afternoons will be the best time to consider hikes like the popular Santa Elena Canyon trail. Mid-day, think about one of the many scenic drives in the park, like the 6-mile Chisos Basin Road. Educate yourself in the shade at the Fossil Discovery Exhibit, or in the A/C at one of the park’s 5 visitor centers. 

At night, be sure not to miss a ranger-led night sky program…Big Bend has the largest dark sky reserve in the world!(Photo and Recommendation by Heather, National Parks Mom)

Where to Stay Near Big Bend:

Bryce Canyon hiking trail
Bryce Canyon hiking trail

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah in June

The weather is pretty much perfect when you visit Bryce Canyon National Park in June. The park sits at a high elevation so the temperatures are cooler there than the other Utah National Parks. In June expect highs near 74 and lows near 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The mornings and evenings will be cool so you’ll want a fleece jacket.

The Bryce Canyon scenic drive is the only way to see all of the park and its different views of hoodoos, arches and windows at various overlooks. In June you’ll want to head into the park early to avoid the crowds. We always recommend you start by driving to the end of the road at Rainbow Point first. Then as you make your way back to the amphitheater all the overlooks are on the right so it’s easy to pull in and out of each parking lot.

We recommend one must-do hike – the Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden trail. If the Wall Street side of the Navajo Loop is closed, the Two Bridges side of the Navajo Loop should be open so you can complete this hike. When hiking at Bryce Canyon keep in mind that going down into the canyon is the easy part. Hiking back up the steep canyon trails can be tough! (Photo and Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Bryce Canyon Lodging & Tours

Jeep trail in Needles Canyonlands
Jeep trail in Needles Canyonlands

Canyonlands National Park, Utah in June

Canyonlands National Park is located in southeastern Utah. It’s known for its deep canyons and mesas carved by the Colorado River. Canyonlands National Park in June is a popular time for people to visit so expect crowds! You’ll find the highs are in the 90s and the lows are in the 60s degrees F.

In June we recommend a few Canyonlands National Park summer activities like rafting the rivers that take you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. There are guided tours where you can also learn about the history and culture of the area.

If you’re looking for an exciting and adventurous way to explore Canyonlands, then jeep trails something we always recommend! You’ll get to experience the rugged beauty of this area in a unique and thrilling way. If you don’t have an off-road vehicle, there are numerous tour options available! (Photo and Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Canyonlands Lodging & Tours

Capitol Reef orchards
Capitol Reef orchards

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah in June

Visiting Capitol Reef in June expect high temperatures near 85 to enjoy all the outdoor activities at this park. The park’s centerpiece, the Waterpocket Fold, is a striking geologic monocline that stretches nearly 100 miles carved by millions of years of erosion and uplift.

Exploring the many Capitol Reef hiking trails is a terrific way to experience the landscape. Some of our favorite day hikes in Capitol Reef National Park are: Hickman Bridge, Grand Wash, and Capitol Gorge Wash.

The Fruita area is the main part of Capitol Reef where you’ll find the Visitor Center, Gifford Homestead, blacksmith shop, barn and orchards. Make a point to stop at the Gifford Homestead to shop for unique handmade items and eat locally baked fruit pies and homemade ice cream!

A favorite thing to do at Capitol Reef is picking fruit from the orchards! In mid to late June you’ll be able to pick cherries and apricots from the orchards planted by early Mormon settlers. (Photo and Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Capitol Reef Lodging & Tours

photographing the Grand Canyon South Rim
Sunset photography at the Grand Canyon South Rim

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona in June

Visiting the Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim in June means warm, sunny days begging for outdoor adventures. Think temperatures hanging around the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit so you won’t be too hot while exploring.

You can take a scenic hike along the Rim Trail for breathtaking views without too much effort. Or, for something a bit more challenging, venture down into the canyon on the Bright Angel or South Kaibab Trails. Just remember to bring lots of water and sun protection – the sun up there isn’t kidding around.

If you need a break from the sun, we recommend exploring the Desert View Drive – it’s a must-see US National Park scenic drive! And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try whitewater rafting down the Colorado River? It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

One of our favorite ways to beat the crowds and heat is to get up early to see and photograph the sunrise! We also enjoy watching the photographing sunset, but all the good photo spots will be crowded compared to sunrise. (Photo and Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Grand Canyon Lodging & Tours

scenic drive through Great Basin National Park
Scenic drive through Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park, Nevada in June

June at Great Basin National Park if perfect for outdoor enthusiasts! The daytime temps hover comfortably in the 70s°F and nighttime temperatures can cool down to the 40s°F. It’s the ideal time of year to explore the vast trails, from easy walks to challenging hikes that reward you with breathtaking views.

The Lehman Caves are must-see underground marvels showcasing unique rock formations and fascinating geological history. Lehman Caves is only available to enter on a ranger guided tour. Two tours of Lehman Caves are currently offered in the summer months: Lodge Room and Grand Palace Tours. We highly recommend getting reservations before you go – they are available 30 days in advance.

A fun way to explore the park on your own is driving the 3 scenic roads: Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, Baker Creek Road, and the Strawberry, Snake, Lexington Arch Roads. By June, all the higher elevation roads should be open, but it’s good to check with the rangers to know for sure! (Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Great Basin National Park Lodging

Joshua Tree entrance sign
Joshua Tree National Park sign

Joshua Tree National Park, California in June

June is considered the low season in Joshua Tree National Park due to the hot temperatures, which often exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and drop to around 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. 

Many sites in the park can be seen by driving Park Boulevard. It’s an easy drive that takes a few hours to complete, and there are several spots along the way to pull over for short hikes and picnics. 

Joshua Tree National Park offers plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, and stargazing. Reservations are not required for day visits to Joshua Tree National Park. However, campsites within the park may require advance booking due to high demand, especially on weekends and holidays.

As a designated International Dark Sky Park, Joshua Tree is great for stargazing, and visiting in summer is the best time to see the stars. Plan to visit during a “new moon” phase for the best chances of seeing the Milky Way. 

Summer hiking in the desert is very hot, so it’s essential to wear breathable clothing and lightweight footwear like hiking sandals to keep cool. Pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat to stay hydrated and protected from the sun. 

Stop by the Visitor Center first to find out information from park rangers about the best spots for stargazing and other interesting sites within the park. (Photo and Recommendation by Sheri, Sheri Nagle)

Joshua Tree National Park Lodging & Tours

View of Cliff Palace ruins at Mesa Verde
Cliff Palace ruins at Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park in June

June at Mesa Verde is pretty much perfect. Expect daytime temperatures to hover around the mid-70s to 80s Fahrenheit, making it warm enough to enjoy without getting too hot. Evenings can be a bit cooler, so packing a light jacket isn’t a bad idea. The skies are usually clear, giving you those epic starry nights – perfect for campfire stories or just stargazing.

The Cliff Palace and Balcony House tours are an absolute must-do. These aren’t just any old tours; you’ll be climbing ladders and crawling through tight spaces to discover rooms and kivas that have stood the test of time. It’s like stepping right into a history book!

And for those of you who love a good view without too much legwork, the Mesa Top Loop Road is perfect. You can drive around and stop at various overlooks to see cliff dwellings and panoramic views of the park. Don’t forget your camera because these are views you’ll want to remember forever. (Photo and Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Mesa Verde Lodging

Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona
Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona in June

The petrified forest is mostly known for it’s for the pieces of petrified wood that has surfaced, as well as amazing layers of sediment in the hills and valleys that make up the National Park itself. 

When you see the pieces of petrified wood scattered throughout the National Park, you’ll see a wide variety of shapes, colors, and textures. A couple of fun facts you may enjoy; petrified wood is a fossil that forms when buried, replacing it’s original form with new minerals. If you try shining a flashlight or your phone light on it, you’ll be able to see it illuminate brightly!

But, that’s not the only thing to do in the Petrified Forest National Park! There’s also strolling through the blue mesa hills, big logs, stumps, and the rock shops. 

Now that you’re excited to visit, let’s get you prepped to explore Petrified Forest National Park. When it comes to permitting and entrance fees, it’s important to have your Annual National Park Pass, or you can get a day pass. 

To ensure that your time there is perfectly planned, it’s also important to find the right temperature, just for you! Generally in the winter, it reaches a low of 28 degrees Fahrenheit, but not frequently getting snow because of having such a dry humidity. Throughout the rest of the year it stays about 50’s to low 90’s, being the perfect temperature for light hiking, strolling, and soaking up some vitamin D. (Photo and Recommendation by Serenity, Manifesting Serenity)

Lodging & Tours Near Petrified Forest

Emerald Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park
Emerald Lake

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado in June

June is a wonderful time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). With the snow melted, the meadows fill with wildflowers. The weather is quite mild, with lows around 40°F and highs 60 – 70°F. This is great weather for outdoor activities. Be sure to dress in layers for the chilly mornings.

June in RMNP is a fantastic time for photographing wildlife, such as elk, bighorn sheep, moose, and a variety of birds. Hikers will enjoy the many excellent hikes in the park without the snow covered trails you find earlier in the year. Don’t miss Emerald Lake for an easier hike, Mills Lake for a more moderate hike, or Sky Pond for a challenging hike. These are just a few of the breathtaking hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park.  

You’ll need timed entry reservations at Rocky Mountain National Park from 9 am – 2 pm May-mid-October. If you’d like to visit the popular Bear Lake Road area, you’ll need the RMNP + Bear Lake Road permit (effective 5 am – 6 pm). 

Rocky Mountain National Park is a paradise for outdoor lovers, whether you like to hike, photograph wildlife, or just enjoy the fresh air and mountain views. (Photo and Recommendation by Sonia, Carey on Travels)

Rocky Mountain National Park Lodging & Tours

Yosemite National Park in California
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, California in June

One of the best times to visit Yosemite National Park is in June, when its famed waterfalls are rushing at their maximum flow and the weather is pleasantly warm. You’ll also beat the height of the summertime crowds, which primarily descend into the park in July and August.

If you only have one day in Yosemite National Park in June, be sure to prioritize seeing Yosemite Falls, which is one of the tallest waterfalls in North America. For an easy trail, you can hike to the base of Lower Yosemite Falls along a flat pathway or, for a more challenging trek, consider hiking to Upper Yosemite Falls, where you’ll climb up to the brink of the falls, with stunning views of the surrounding Yosemite Valley. Either way, get ready to get a bit wet as Yosemite Falls should be roaring at this time of year! Definitely add Yosemite to your US waterfalls bucket list!

Another benefit of visiting during this time of year is that almost all of the trails in the park, even the high elevation ones, are mostly snow and ice free. Be sure to explore Glacier Point, which dramatically sits over 3,000 feet above the Yosemite Valley below—it’s especially stunning at sunset. (Photo and Recommendation by Jess, Uprooted Traveler)

Yosemite National Park Lodging and Tours

Kolob Terrace at Zion at sunset
Photographing Zion Kolob Terrace at sunset

Zion National Park in June

Located in southwestern Utah, Zion is one of the most popular national parks in the United States and attracts millions of visitors each year. Be prepared for crowds and the reservations you’ll need in June. The Zion National Park shuttle is the only way to access Zion Canyon where many of the most popular hikes are located. You’ll also need a permit to hike the chains section of Angel’s Landing.

You’ll find highs around 95 and lows around 63 degrees Fahrenheit when visiting Zion National Park in June. One of the best ways to beat the heat and crowds is to get up early to hit the trails or take sunrise photos. Our favorite sunrise photo spots are behind the Zion Museum and at the end of the Canyon Overlook Trail.

For sunset at Zion National Park, we hike along the Pa’rus Trail to capture the reflected glow of light on the Watchman in the Virgin River. We also like the view over Hop Valley found in the lesser-visited area of Kolob Terrace, accessed from the city of Virgin. (Photo and Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Zion National Park Lodging & Tours


national park guides and maps

National Parks by State List

There is no better vacation than exploring National Parks in the USA. To make it easy, we’ve created this list of National Parks by state. Get the free printable of the list by clicking the graphic below!

get the free national parks by state list

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