Here are 10 of the most underrated and less traveled national parks.
The United States has 59 national parks, but only a handful receive the most attention. Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon not only take up most of the spotlight, they get the lion’s share of the visitors.
Here are 10 of the most underrated and far less traveled ones.
Number 10. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, Alaska. The 13.2 million acre area is accessible by only two roads.
The opportunity to see 9 of North America’s tallest mountains and
steam rising from Mount Wrangell, one of the world’s largest active volcanoes, make it well worth the trip.
Number 9. Channel Islands National Park, California. Fewer than 300,000 people in 2012 took advantage of this respite from densely populated and developed Southern California. Along the 5 island’s 175 miles of coastline, sightings of harbor seals and sea lions are the norm.
Number 8. North Cascades National Park, Washington. If you’re in search of glaciers, look no further. This park has over 300 of them, making it home to over half of all those located in the lower 48 states. It also boasts many of the nation’s tallest waterfalls.
Number 7. Great Basin National Park, Nevada. A plethora of round the clock activities can be found in this 77 thousand acre recreation spot. Viewing its marble caverns and limestone arches are highly recommended daytime diversions. As it’s one of the darkest places in the US come nightfall, the evenings are all about stargazing.
Number 6. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. Whether your interests lie in the prehistoric days or those more recently passed, this park has much to offer. A wrinkle in the earth’s surface has made it possible to gaze upon 270 million years of sedimentary history .
Number 5. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota. Experience the badlands just like namesake Teddy Roosevelt did, roaming buffalo, wild horses and all. The landscape is similar to the one at Badlands National Park in South Dakota, but with a lot less visitors.
Number 4. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado. This is about as tall and steep as canyon walls get. An Empire State Building stacked on top of a Willis Tower still would come up short in comparison.
Number 3. Isle Royale National Park, Michigan. Located in the Upper Peninsula and surrounded by Lake Superior, this remote natural wonderland is one of the least visited parks in the country. Its secluded location has afforded it the ability to preserve many ecosystems in their pre-1800s states.
Number 2. Congaree National Park, South Carolina. Established as a means of preserving the largest US concentration of old-growth bottomland hardwood, this park has one of the country’s most serious forests. It has global bragging rights too, as its natural canopy is among the world’s tallest.
Number 1. Biscayne National Park, Florida. Pack your snorkeling gear, because 95 percent of this park is underwater. Sights to be seen include one of the world’s largest coral reefs, manatees, and over 70 wrecked ships. Watch out for the barracudas and the 500-pound groupers, though.