If you’re a National Park adventurer, you’ll want to know what places are America’s best kept secrets. You’re probably familiar with the more popular parks, but have you seen these?
Mesa Verde National Park
Location: Mesa Verde, Colorado
Date Established: June 29, 1906
Mesa Verde gives visitors a look into the past with the preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings that you can explore with a guided tour. Hiking is abundant and hidden gems are all over the park. Be sure to visit the stops on the driving route to learn more about Pueblo culture and traditions.
Great Basin National Park
Location: Baker, Nevada
Date Established: October 27, 1986
When travelling to Great Basin National Park, it seems as though you’re driving through nothing but then you arrive at the entrance of a quiet, blissful park just over the Utah-Nevada state line. Great Basin has fantastic campgrounds, glacier lakes, shaded hikes and it’s perfect for star-gazing. If you do visit, make sure you hike up to the Bristlecone Pines – some of the oldest trees on earth – or check out Lehman Caves.
Gates of the Arctic National Park
Location: Bettles, Alaska
Date Established: December 2, 1980
Only accessible by flight or by foot, Gates of the Arctic National Park is any avid backcountry camper’s dream. With no roads, trails, visitor center or campsites, the world truly is at your fingertips. Gates of the Arctic provides stunning views of the Arctic Circle for anyone that enters into the park.
Biscayne National Park
Date Established: June 28, 1980
Biscayne National Park, which is located off the coast of Florida, is a park made up of 95% water. Visitors to the park will be in marine heaven as they boat, paddle, dive, fish and lobster to their heart’s content. In Biscayne, you will find evidence of human existence (everything from pirates to farmers) from over 1000 years of history. Marine life is abundant and you won’t be able to miss the ecosystem thriving here.
National Park of American Samoa
Location: American Samoa
Date Established: October 31, 1988
National Park of American Samoa is certainly a well kept secret. This national park covers three islands (Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta‘ū) and encompasses coral reefs, tropical rainforests and Samoan culture. Visitors to the park will be able to explore the many plants and animals that thrive in the only American national park south of the equator. When you visit, you won’t be able to miss the fruit bats that fly during the day and the night.