5 Underrated National Parks To Visit In 2023

5 Underrated National Parks To Visit In 2023

Everyone knows about the most visited national parks in the United States: Zion, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. Each of these parks welcomes millions of visitors per year, and for good reason.

They are beautiful parks that boast natural wonders that will leave you in awe. Visitors can enjoy spectacular scenery, great hiking, opportunities to spot wildlife, and incredible viewpoints.

But with over 60 national parks in the United States, not all of them enjoy the same level of popularity.

Many of the national parks in the U.S. are woefully underrated, despite having so much to offer. Of the least visited national parks in the United States, it’s not hard to see why some don’t get many tourists: remote locations like northern Alaska or American Samoa in the South Pacific make these parks hard to visit.

But many of the least visited national parks in the U.S. are easily accessible. And their underrated status means you can enjoy lower crowds.

Here are 5 of the best underrated national parks to check out:

Glacier National Park with stream running through the picture

1. North Cascades National Park, Washington

For some truly breathtaking scenery and glacier views, you can’t miss North Cascades National Park.

Although it’s one of the least visited national parks in the United States, receiving under 18,000 visitors per year, those who put in the effort to visit will be rewarded with unspoiled nature and the biggest glaciers outside of Alaska.

Located about three hours from Seattle, this national park is one to visit if you’re up for an adventure. Visitors can go river rafting, horseback riding, and hiking on hundreds of miles of trails.

Glacier lake in North Cascades National Park

2. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Did you know you can see the Northern Lights in the United States?

It’s true, and one of the best places to witness this colorful natural phenomenon is at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota.

Additionally, this national park is known for its diverse landscape of forests, wetlands, and arctic watershed, giving visitors the ability to spot wildlife ranging from moose to northern leopard frogs and blue-spotted salamanders.

Northern Lights at Voyageurs National Park

3. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Despite the fact that Florida is one of the most popular destinations in the United States, receiving more than 125 million visitors, Dry Tortugas National Park receives only 80,000 visitors per year.

This is mainly due to the park’s remote location on an island 70 miles west of Key West. You can only reach the national park by boat, ferry, or seaplane, but it’s well worth it.

Once you’re there, you can enjoy gorgeous views, explore a 19th-century fort, and spot marine life while snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the national park.

Dry Tortugas National Park aerial view of island in blue waters

4. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Although the landscape of West Texas is mostly flat and barren, it suddenly changes when you reach Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

This underrated national park is home to the highest mountains in Texas, unique scenery, and tons of great hiking trails.

Located under two hours from El Paso, Texas, this national park receives less than 200,000 visitors per year. However, visitors who make it here will be rewarded with some of the best scenery in Texas.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park mountain

5. Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Often forgotten due to the abundance of more popular national parks in nearby Utah, Arizona, and California, this national park in Nevada is worth a visit, especially if you’re a stargazing enthusiast.

Great Basin National Park has been designated as one of the best stargazing destinations in the United States due to its clear and unpolluted views of the night sky.

It also offers great hiking and beautiful scenery, ranging from mountains to clear alpine lakes to fields of wildflowers.

Low-level, wide-angle view from the edge of Stella Lake toward the iconic Wheeler Peak in Nevada's Great Basin National Park in Nevada

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