National parks can be some of the most amazing places to explore, but if you’re planning to head out on a new adventure, there’s one thing you should know: some of the most popular national parks are just too popular. There is a difference between a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and an every day one, and it’s how well you prepare that makes the difference.
There are tons of national parks in the US. You’ve probably heard of many of them—Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Arches, to name a few. But have you heard of any of these parks?
It’s the season of back-to-school, which means that you’re probably going to be spending time in the car with Mom and Dad. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the scenery, right? Maybe you’ve been meaning to visit a national park—but they’re so far off the beaten path that it can be hard to get the time off work. If you’re looking for one that’s a little under-the-radar, here are 10 national parks that offer a lot of fun and stunning scenery, but aren’t always packed to the gills.. Read more about best us national parks and let us know what you think.
With everyone heading to the national parks this summer, we’re giving the parks that aren’t as well-known a chance to shine with the road trip options below. They may not have the same celebrity as their celebrity counterparts, but what they lack in star power they make up for in quiet, isolation, short shuttle lines, and more of what you came to see in the first place – less people, more nature.
Capitol Reef National Park’s Temple of the Sun. (picture by johnnya123 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Change Zion National Park to Cedar Breaks National Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park, or Capitol Reef National Park.
You won’t want to miss the vistas at Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah, which stands at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet. You may spend your days wandering among beautiful wildflower meadows, sculpted geology, and bristlecone pine forests, and your evenings stargazing. Cedar Breaks is set to be a home run for the entire family, with educational and junior ranger activities for the youngsters.
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Check out Outdoorsy’s tour to the park here, and if you need four wheels to get there, this Sprinter is available for rent nearby for $250 a night.
The vivid hues of Kodachrome Basin State Park inspired its name. The sight of red rock formations, multi-hued sandstone layers, and 67 towering sedimentary pipelines reveals 180 million years of geologic time. There’s also an 18-hole disc golf course on site. Plan an immersive experience at one of the park’s three campsites.
Check out Outdoorsy’s tour to the park here, and if you need four wheels to get there, consider renting an Airstream for $169/night in the area.
Capitol Reef National Park in Utah will have you asking the NP lover’s favorite question: how did nature create this? Cliffs, bridges, canyons, and domes make up this natural amusement park. The park is named after the Waterpocket Fold, which is described as “a wrinkle in the ground.” While organizing your trip, make sure to look at camping options, ranger programs, and hiking routes.
Check out Outdoorsy’s tour to the park here, and if you need four wheels to get there, this Ford Transit is available to rent nearby for $125 a night.
California’s Pinnacles National Park (picture courtesy of zrfphoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Substitute Pinnacles National Park for Yosemite National Park.
Pinnacles National Park in California displays a unique terrain created millions of years ago by volcanic explosions. Pinnacles offers it everything, with deep canyons, talus caverns, oak forests, and chaparral thickets to discover. Don’t forget to look up; you don’t want to miss the park’s native, unique birds of prey or the park’s towering geologic spires.
Check out Outdoorsy’s tour to the park here, and if you need four wheels to get there, check out this $125/night mini campervan available for rent nearby.
Nevada’s Great Basin National Park. (picture courtesy of iStock/Getty Images Plus/Elizabeth M. Ruggiero)
Change Yellowstone National Park to Great Basin National Park in Nevada.
Nevada’s Great Basin National Park is hard to match for its peaks, valleys, caverns, and sweeping vistas. There are lots of activities to pick from, including unusual animals, excellent hiking routes, and Lenham cave excursions. Summer is the ideal time to see the galaxy from the Great Basin, since it is widely renowned for its stargazing.
Check out Outdoorsy’s tour to the park here, and if you need four wheels to get there, go no further than this $260/night house on wheels nearby.
From Anza Borrego Desert State Park near San Diego, California, the Milky Way may be viewed. eternalsphere25/iStock/Getty Images Plus (picture credit of eternalsphere25/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park should be substituted for Joshua Tree National Park.
California’s biggest state park is the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It’s famous for its San Diego Desert wildflowers, which bloom in a riot of color throughout the park in the spring and early summer. The park, on the other hand, is home to a variety of natural wonders year-round, including waterfalls, rare cactus, sandstone canyons, and more. Anza-Borrego also includes free wilderness camping, RV lodging, a golf course, and a spa (because who says your whole national park experience needs to be rough and tumble?).
Check out Outdoorsy’s tour to the park here, and if you need four wheels to get there, this classic campervan is available to rent nearby for $194 a night.
The Pacific Crest Trail is located in Washington’s North Cascades National Park. (iStock/Getty Images Plus/Bill Kingman picture)
Change Mt. Rainier National Park to North Cascades National Park.
The North Cascades National Park in Washington is worth a visit for its breathtaking mountain vistas, ice-blue lakes, and over 300 glaciers. Hiking paths in the park cater to hikers of all abilities and provide magnificent views. You may also go on a hike, stay in one of the park’s campsites, or take a boat out on one of the park’s beautiful lakes.
Check out Outdoorsy’s tour to the park here, and if you need four wheels to get there, this adorable teardrop camper is available to rent nearby for $120 per night.
Painted Wall at Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. (picture courtesy of Getty Images Plus/lightphoto/iStock)
Change Grand Canyon National Park to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a dream for the tough explorers among us, with one of the harshest national park terrains in the country. “Some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America” may be found in the park. Inner Canyon, a famous attraction in the park, provides difficult hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking. But don’t worry, if you need a break from the excitement, there are lots of beautiful drives, fishing, and gentler walking paths to choose from.
Check out Outdoorsy’s guide to the park here, and if you need four wheels to get there, this Airstream sport is available to rent nearby for $325 per night.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- best us national parks
- top national parks in us
- national parks ranked
- least visited national parks
- most crowded national parks