The National Parks System is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the United States. Millions of visitors come from all over the world to experience the natural beauty that abounds in the National Parks.
Popular National Parks, like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon, are familiar names to everyone, but these places see massive crowds during the most pleasant times of the year, and that can be a turnoff to those of you who wish to gain some solitude in our country’s wild places. If that sounds like you (and you have an adventurous spirit!), then consider these under-the-radar national parks for a visit this summer.
Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
Isle Royale National Park definitely qualifies as being waaay under-the-radar. Although it’s still a popular place among those in the know, it certainly does not draw anywhere near the type of crowds of those big name parks we all know. Isle Royale is a kayaker and canoers dream destination too — the park consists of the central island that gave the park its namesake, and over 400 other small islands! The park is only accessible by sea plane or boat, which helps to keep it under wraps for the most part.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
When most people think of Colorado, they imagine pristine, snow-covered peaks and people gliding down the snow on skis or snowboards. However, there is much more to the landscape of Colorado than just snowy mountain ranges. Take Great Sand Dunes National Park located near Mosca, Colorado for example. This breathtaking park features incredible sand dunes that are a lot of fun to explore and experience. You can even sled or sandboard down the slopes!
This National Park is also considered to be among the quietest in the contiguous United States. Just make sure to bring appropriate clothing and never walk on the sand barefoot. It can reach temperatures of 140 degrees in the summer sun!
National Park of American Samoa, Hawaii
If you really want to escape the crowds (and travel to an incredibly beautiful and faraway place), then National Park of American Samoa is perfect for you. This park is over 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, so you can’t really get much further away from home than that! This park is also one of the best locations for snorkeling in the whole world. Since the National Park of American Samoa gets less than 20,000 visitors (per year!), it will assuredly give you as much privacy and solitude as you could want. This park is truly a tropical paradise.
There are around 60 National Parks in the United States. That means that you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding some under-the-radar places to visit if none on my list tickled your fancy. So get out there and enjoy the beautiful places that our country has to offer! Remember, as you travel to these great National Parks, there is always a KOA campground nearby or along the way!
Writer. For Roadtrippers. For KOA. For sanity. Catcher of fish. Baseball fanatic. Proud to call Ohio home.