Anyone that enjoys hiking or camping is familiar with the National Parks and what a treasure they are. According to the National Park Service website, “The National Park System comprises 397 areas covering more than 84 million acres.” With so many Parks to visit and so many amazing things to see, there are bound to be some that are less hyped or possibly underrated. Here is my list of 3 that are a must and why…
- Grand Teton NP, Wyoming
- Lassen Volcanic NP, Northern California
- Denali NP, Alaska
Grand Teton NP
- Picturesque- These amazingly rugged mountains rise up from out of no where. With so many lakes, rivers and streams around, look for reflection photo opportunities like the one above.
- Lakes and Water- Fly Fishing, Swimming, Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting, water, water, water…
- Hiking Trails-All ability levels, on the more popular ones just don’t expect much solitude.
- Less than 10 miles away from Yellowstone NP. It’s now been 5 years in a row now that Yellowstone NP has had over 3million visitors. Swing in to see Old Faithful, and some of the other famous attractions, then head South and enjoy a little less crowded and more laid back experience.
- Nearby Jackson, WY- at just around a population of 10,000, you will find restaurants, lodging and a variety of other activities.
Lassen Volcanic NP
- Hydrothermals-Boiling pools and Mudpots, Steam Vents, Volcanic Activity…enough said.
- Most people see the park via automobile on the driving tour, so that means if your willing to get out and walk you will most likely find opportunities to enjoy the beauty in peace.
- Boasts over 150 miles of Hiking trails ready to explore. Sounds like you’ll need your backpack.
- With considerably less than half a million visitors a year, the only thing you’ll be fighting for a view will be the mosquitos. Don’t forget the bug spray.
- Alaska is Huge, Rugged and Beautiful.
- Denali, or Alaska for that matter, is not particularly easy to get to for most people, so that equals…NO OVERCROWDING!
- Denali means “the high one” in the local Native language. At 20,328′ Denali or Mt. McKinley is the tallest Mountain in North America. You can check that one off your list.
- Wildlife- according to the Denali-NPS.gov website “There are 39 species of mammals, 169 species of birds, 14 species of fish, and one species of amphibian known in Denali.” Some of those are very large animals such as Caribou, Grizzly Bear, and Moose.
- With a state motto like “North to the Future” it’s hard to resist the desire to want to explore this beautiful land.
Well, there is my list of the top 3 National Parks on my wish list and my reasons why. If you would like to share your top 3, please leave a comment.
A special thanks to Ndomer73, Tall-Guy, and Xdineese for sharing their amazing photos on Flickr. They have a lot of other fantastic photos so please check them out.