July 13, 2024
New Study Reveals 5 Most Underrated U.S. National Parks This Summer

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In a day and age where we’re all glued to our screens, National Parks seem to be more popular to disconnect and immerse ourselves in nature.

Of course, one reason we’re all glued to our phones is to avoid people and let’s just say that’s hard to do at the Grand Canyon.

Lake Diablo of North Cascades National Park

The experts at Lake.com conducted a thorough study determining the most underrated National Parks in the U.S. to visit this summer by factoring in:

  • Google reviews
  • Number of visitors
  • Reviews to visits ratio 
  • Star rating

Lesser known, lesser visited, but just as stunning as the household names, taking the road less traveled through these 5 National Parks is the way to go.

5) Wrangell-St. Elias

Sun setting over a lake in Wrangell-St Elias National ParkSun setting over a lake in Wrangell-St Elias National Park

Ever heard of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park? If not, that’s okay. That makes it all the more appealing.

If we’re being honest, travelers don’t exactly travel to Alaska to blend in the crowds. Well, maybe an Alaskan cruise, but this park isn’t on the itinerary.

If Grand Canyon crowds aren’t your jam, there may be no other U.S. National Park more opposite.

Home to a vast array of wildlife such as grizzly bears, there are few places as wild and untouched as this stunning park.

Making it even more impressive is it’s the largest National Park in the country. Yes, even bigger than Yellowstone!

Just do yourself a favor and don’t watch Grizzly Man before visiting – not exactly the most inspirational ending.

The main reasons this park cracked the top 5 are the staggering high reviews for such a less-visited destination with one recent visitor claiming, “One of my favorite national parks so far! Incredible views, active wildlife, and beautiful trails throughout the park!”.

4) Gates Of The Arctic

Wildflowers blooming in Gates of the ArcticWildflowers blooming in Gates of the Arctic

Another Alaskan gem with stunning landscapes is Gate of the Arctic, and quite honestly, it’s just as it sounds.

In fact, there may be no more unspoiled park in the U.S. – no roads, no trails, just untapped natural beauty.

Adventurers have to charter a plane or hike in on their own, so this place isn’t for the faint of heart.

As far as wildlife goes, it’s Alaska, so expect bears and moose, among other critters and varieties of birds.

And since it’s so remote, these animals have very few encounters with humans unlike running into a bison at Yellowstone, for example.

This breathtaking park ranks as one of the best here for it’s unique experience and outstanding reviews, such as, “The single most amazing national park I’ve ever visited. It’s not an easy park, but it’s a can’t miss if you’re comfortable in the backcountry.”

3) Dry Tortugas

Man visiting Port Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National ParkMan visiting Port Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park

Is there any state more opposite to Alaska than Florida? Well, if the 4 and 5 spot aren’t for you, perhaps one of the most accessible states will be.

Tucked away near Key West lies a one-of-a-kind National Park – Dry Tortugas. Surrounded by a 19th century fortress, this region is jam-packed with history and eye-popping blue waters to swim or snorkel.

Easy to reach by ferry, this National Park makes for an awesome day trip or weekend camping excursion underneath the stars in a seaside paradise away from light pollution.

Visitors absolutely love it, with one recent guest exclaiming, “The hype doesn’t do it justice!”.

2) Isle Royale

Blue lake water of Isle Royale National ParkBlue lake water of Isle Royale National Park

The top underrated National Parks are literally all over the map. Isle Royal is a gorgeous island hugging the Canadian border in Lake Superior.

Popular for scuba diving, hiking, and kayaking, summertime is perfect for enjoying the outdoors here amongst stunning scenery.

It costs $7 to enter, but there’s no argument that it’s not worth sacrificing your Starbucks for a day, or perhaps even longer with a nice stay in a cozy cabin.

One recent park visitor boasted it’s an “Absolutely magical place!”.

1) North Cascades

Kayaking Lake DiabloKayaking Lake Diablo

The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the most magical natural landscapes in the U.S. and perhaps no more than North Cascades National Park.

Lake.com ranked all its studied destinations on a scale of 1 to 100. North Cascades came in just short of 90, with an 89.65.

This region is home to a vast wilderness, but surprisingly navigable with scenic hikes around glacial lakes and picturesque waterfalls like Ladder Creek and Gorge Creek.

Visitors should be weary of wildlife like wolves and bears but can enjoy over 200 species of birds.

One recent park guests raved, “It’s soo beautiful. The ride, the path, the trails and Cascades worth spending wandering around with multiple look up points”.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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