Over the past two years, the pandemic has restricted travel, but it also opened Americans’ eyes to their own country’s beauty. In 2020 and 2021, the National Park System reported record visitors, with travellers flocking to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and the Rocky Mountains.
Travel experts and seasoned national park visitors share their views on overlooked national parks. Yet they only cover a fraction of the national parks in the country. There are many you may not have heard about, but they are worth your time.
Voyageurs National Park
The most underrated national park in America is Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. Wolves, moose, and world-class fishing are on thousands of acres of pristine lakes and forests. It’s like being in the backcountry of most other parks, with every night seeing the northern lights. It is recommended that visitors take in the spectacular sunrises and sunsets on the glassy lake waters.
North Cascades National Park
REI product manager Heather Gyselman said the general public surprisingly underrates North Cascades National Park. There is also a national recreation area on Lake Chelan and Ross Lake, which are all part of the North Cascades National Park complex.
Saguaro National Park
Will Pattiz, Saguaro National Park is an overlooked park just outside Tucson that should be added to your list when you travel to the Southwest, said Will Pattiz, the other co-founder of More Than Just Parks. Visitors can admire the saguaro cactus throughout the park, which gets its name from the plant. It looks like the American Southwest.
Dry Tortugas National Park
One of the underrated Florida Keys parks is Dry Tortugas, a subtropical archipelago only accessible by ferry or seaplane. The beach offers camping and scuba diving, and you can discover a Civil War fort. While most of the park is open water, there are a few small islands, and visitors love exploring the marine area and touring historic Fort Jefferson.