The US National Park Service is in charge of protected parks and sites in every corner of the country. While some of them receive millions of tourists each year, there are also many remote and beautiful national parks that are far from overrun. If you are a person who likes to spend time in the great outdoors but wants to avoid the crowds, then maybe you should consider visiting one of these majestic gifts of nature.
Here’s a list of America’s under-the-radar national parks that you should add to your travel bucket list.
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
One of the reasons this park remains off most people’s radar is its location. Gates of the Arctic National Park is located above the Arctic Circle, and it’s the most remote part of Alaska. It’s not like you can just wake up and have a walk there. Visiting this park requires some serious planning and organization.
A bush plane is one of the ways to reach the park, or by foot for the real hardcore hikers. The problem is that there are no trails and there are few river crossings. But when you get there, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of Mount Igikpak and the Noatak River.
North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park is not so hard to access as the previous park on the list, and it’s home to more than 300 mountain glaciers. You can start your hike at one of the six visitor’s centers in the park where you can get a map and plan your trip. The Ross Lake National Recreation Area is probably the best starting point for any trek. There are more than 400 miles of trails across the park that connect with valleys, mountains, and rocky terrains. The park’s biggest attractions, of course, are the 127 alpine lakes and the cascading waterfalls. Rainbow Falls in Stehekin Valley and Gorge Falls are the most visited ones.
Great Basin National Park
Caves, deserts, and dense forests full of 5000-year-old bristlecone pines are some of the landscapes that you can expect to see in the Great Basin National Park. It’s one of the less visited parks in the country, although there are plenty of amazing things to see there, including the Lehman Caves. These marble caves will impress anyone with their mystical beauty and numerous stalactites, stalagmites, and shield formations.
The Great Basin National park is one of the darkest places in the US after the sun sets, which makes it an awesome stargazing spot. If you want to have one of the best views of the Milky Way, then plan an overnight camping excursion.
Dry Tortugas National Park
You would think that being a part of Florida, Dry Tortugas National Park would be flooded by tourists just like many other parts of the state, but that’s not the case here. The 7-island park remains remote even though it’s only 70 miles away from Key West. Snorkeling enthusiasts will enjoy the coral reefs and the marine life hiding in the waters around the islands. As for the scuba divers, there is an impressive site to explore called the Windjammer Wreck that includes a sailing ship that sank in 1907. As the name of the park suggests, there are turtles living on the islands. The sandy shores of Dry Tortugas are protected areas so that these quiet animals can live their lives in peace.
You can see there are amazing parks that we don’t pay that much attention to, although they deserve it. Pick your favorite one and try to make a trip there. Good luck!
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