US National Parks are among the country’s top tourist attractions, but unfortunately, a large number of tourists tend to throng the most popular ones like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Yellowstone, Zion, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain National Park, etc. While these are definitely among the best national parks to visit in the US, the country has got a lot more parks on offer, which are no less amazing. And, the best thing about the least-visited national parks in the USA is that they are uncrowded. So, if beautiful landscapes and lesser crowds are what you are looking for, then this list of the least-visited national parks in the USA is for you. Read on!
Gates Of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska:
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska is for all those who wish to go off the grid and experience nature in its raw form. The Park has no defined trails or roads, and pristine nature is all that surrounds you. The Park representatives describe the area as “one of the last truly wild places on Earth.”
Despite its beauty, this is the least-visited national park in the USA with only 10,518 visitors in 2019 (pre-COVID data) due to its remote location in the far north of Alaska and harsh weather conditions. But if you could brave them all, the winter months treat you with the magical aurora-lit skies.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas:
Boasting 80 miles of hiking trails, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a hiker’s paradise. This Park is home to Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8749 feet. As the park where four of the highest mountains in the state are situated, it is quite famous among Texans, but still is relatively unknown outside the state. Hence, it often features in the list of the least-visited national parks in the USA.
Follow the hiking trails and appreciate the park’s diversity as you hike through its desert terrains, canyons, grasslands, dense trees, mountain streams, etc. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is also a great place to see fall foliage.
North Cascades National Park, Washington:
North Cascades National Park is known for its breathtaking scenery consisting of rugged mountain ranges, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, wildflowers, etc. This is among the snowiest places in the world, and it houses over 300 glaciers – the largest in a place outside of Alaska. North Cascades National Park offers several scenic hiking trails, both short and long, for hikers with different skill levels.
Apart from hiking, one can also enjoy river rafting, horseback riding, biking, birding, boating, fishing, etc. North Cascades National Park is situated only 3 hours from Seattle. So, do plan a side trip to this park when you travel to Seattle on cheap international flights for a holiday.
National Park of American Samoa, American Samoa:
Located in the South Pacific about 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is clearly not an easily accessible place, which explains why it is among the least-visited national parks in the USA. The Park is spread across three islands (Tutuila, Ofu, and Tau) and offers isolated villages, tropical rain forests, beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and snorkeling opportunities.
Tourists can explore the rich marine life of the area. Nearly 950 species of fish and more than 250 coral species thrive in its protected waters. The Park also offers a homestay program, in which interested visitors can stay with the local families and get to know about their culture.
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida:
The 100-square-mile park encompasses 7 islands in the Gulf of Mexico, 70 miles off Key West. Most of the park forms a part of the Florida Keys reef system (the third largest in the world). Visitors need to take a boat or hire a seaplane to reach this park that boasts several natural and historical attractions.
Fort Jefferson, a stunning 19th-century fort (the largest all-masonry fort in the country), is a key highlight of the park. It is situated on Garden Key, which is the only campground on the island. The Caribbean waters are not only home to colorful corals and different marine species, but do shipwrecks too.
Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska:
Katmai National Park and Preserve is known for its dramatic landscapes, rich biodiversity, and a huge population of Alaskan brown bears, more than 2000 of them. Alaskan brown bears are some of the largest bears in the world. They can be seen roaming the park in groups during summer and autumn, thus bringing in most wildlife enthusiasts to the park during this season. Visitors love to watch these bears hunting for salmon in the river from Brooks Camp.
However, it is still one of the least-visited national parks in the USA owing to its hard-to-reach location on the Alaskan Peninsula. One can access the park by chartered planes or boats. The other activities that can be enjoyed at Katmai National Park and Preserve include fishing, hiking, kayaking, and canoeing.
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