There's never a wrong time to visit a national park, but as the National Park Service celebrates it's centennial year, the time is more right than ever. Sure, you've heard of the Denali's and Yellowstone's of the world, but with 58 official national parks in America, there are bound to be a few that are overlooked. With everything a wanderer would want, these lush landscapes offer the best of everything from mountains to beaches to snow and sun.
So how about it? Who's up for an adventure through some of the United State’s most epic and untapped natural areas?
Isle Royale National Park - Michigan
When you thinking of diving, it’s doubtful Michigan comes to mind. It’s not even near an ocean! However, Lake Superior is big enough to make you feel as if you’re in the middle of the sea, especially knowing there are ship wrecks to explore down below. Despite being a bit hazy for a chunk of the year, if you time it just right, this park will win you over with it’s charm and provide views worth your visit that celebrate Pure Michigan in all it's glory.
Dry Tortugas National Park - Florida
Plenty of people flock to the Florida Keys for a beach getaway, but it’s rare to find hoards clamoring their way to this national park. Only accessible by boat or plane, the abundant sea life, tropical birds, colorful coral reefs, and legends of shipwrecks and sunken treasures make the trip well worth it for those adventurers intrepid enough to venture to this historical location.
Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve - Alaska
While Denali gets most of Alaska's limelight, Wrangell is the largest national park in the country -- so big that it would actually encompass Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Switzerland combined. Home to some of the tallest mountains in America, glacier climbing, sea kayaking, trail hiking, and plenty of wildlife spotting are exactly what one can expect from this hidden gem.
Congaree National Park - South Carolina
A dose of the bayou right in South Carolina, at Congaree you’ll find yourself amongst some of the world's tallest natural canopies and tree cover in the Eastern United States. A gorgeous swampland with a hazy fairytale feel, the lush forest can either be the setting for a romantic stroll in the park or an adventurous day trip with the family. If you’re craving water, grab a canoe and paddle down Cedar Creek.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - Colorado
Imagine ridges so steep and gorges so deep that stacking the Empire State Building on top of the Willis (Sears) Tower still wouldn't reach the top. That's Black Canyon. This massive canyon is one of the deepest in the nation. The North Rim is the least visited, but offers homey campgrounds for your stay here. Rafting down the Gunny River is an essential activity in this part of Colorado.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument - Arizona
It’s not surprising that this awesome place gets overlooked -- it's neighbor is the Grand Canyon! Those who are in the know, though, know that the Lenox Crater is a great spot to hike and climb along the lava flow. Reshaped by volcanic activity 900 years ago, the terrain is a bit bizarre and otherworldly due to the basalts which just adds to the already intriguing landscape.