The Big Three – Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon. These iconic National Parks are known for their jaw dropping appeal. But, there are other National Parks that are just as spectacular!
These 5 National Parks may be less famous but still deserve a place on your travel bucket list:
- Redwood National Park: Walking among these giants in Northern California is something you have to experience in person. There is no way that words or photographs can illustrate the shear mass of these unforgettable behemoths! Here you can enjoy watching the fog rolling off the ocean and consider the role it plays in this amazing old growth forest. Plan to spend several days in the Redwoods as the groves are spread out over a large area. You’ll certainly want to savor this experience!
- Great Sand Dunes National Park: The massive sand dunes alongside the Rocky Mountains are nothing less than extraordinary! Don’t miss the park visitor center where you can learn about how and why all that sand came to reside in the mountains of Colorado. To top it all off, this unique ecosystem is home to a variety of wildlife.
- Canyonlands National Park: The Grand Canyon isn’t the only National Park where the Colorado River is a leading character. Canyonlands National Park is a vast area of the Colorado Plateau where the Colorado and Green Rivers converge. The endless number of canyons, buttes, and mesas offer unlimited adventures. Aren’t up for hiking down to the bottom of a canyon (and back up)? No problem! You can access many areas of Canyonlands National Park by vehicle, so you can explore at your own comfort level. And the views in the Islands in the Sky district of Canyonlands are no less jaw-dropping than its more famous cousin.
- Crater Lake National Park: This unique National Park boasts one of the purest bodies of water in the world. This royal blue gem is the deepest lake in the United States and has no other bodies of water flowing into it. It is fed only by rain and snow, so it is very clean. The rim of this extinct volcano caldera offers views of the lake from several perspectives. If you are visiting during the summer months, be sure to take the volcano boat tour for great views as well as a sip of this better-than-bottled water.
- Zion National Park: Utah’s first National Park is one of my all time favorites! The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is stunning, and there a variety of hiking trails to help you enjoy this dramatic landscape. Right outside Canyon Scenic Drive is the town of Springdale, Utah. This quaint town is a great home base for your stay in Zion Canyon. It boasts several unique and charming local restaurants, shops, and galleries offering a pleasant way to unwind after a day exploring this National Park.
A vacation that includes a visit to one of our National Parks is a great way to unplug and enjoy family time. Whichever park you choose, a unique and memorable experience awaits. America’s National Park system is truly America’s Best Idea!