Under-the-Radar National Parks | Brownell Travel

Under-the-Radar National Parks

When it comes the US National Parks, most everyone knows about Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon National Parks. But with more than 50 parks across the US, there are so many others to visit! Our partners at Revealed America helped us round up five under-the-radar National Parks to visit. Learn about these awesome parks below:

Grand Teton National Park

Wyoming

Why:

The beautiful scenery – the jagged, snow-capped peaks of the Grand Tetons are a stunning backdrop to the peaceful lakes, rushing rivers, and quiet plains.

Combine with:

Jackson, WY and Yellowstone National Park

Favorite Activities:

  • Horseback ride through the park, spotting buffalo & antelope
  • Whitewater raft down Snake River

Capitol Reef National Park

Utah

Why:

The least known of the Utah Big 5 National Parks, Capitol Reef features hundreds of miles of parallel ridges rising from the desert like giant waves – talk about a Kodak moment!

Combine with:

Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Moab

Favorite Activities:

  • Bird-watching – bald eagles & peregrine falcons
  • Hiking & Jeep tours through the beautiful, rugged terrain
  • History—Navajo & pioneer history

Joshua Tree National Park

California

Why:

While many parks’ peak season is summer, Joshua Tree’s is great to visit in the fall, winter, and spring.

Combine with:

Palm Springs, CA

Favorite Activities:

  • Private bicycling tour along the San Andreas Fault to the heart of grape country near Mecca
  • 4-wheel-drive Hummer canyon expedition
  • Private rock climbing lesson

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Colorado

Why:

This park has a diverse landscape with mountains, grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra, so it’s like visiting many parks in one trip!

Combine with:

Colorado Springs, CO and Santa Fe, NM

Favorite Activities:

  • Hiking the tallest sand dunes in North America – no designated trails in the park, so go with an expert guide on a private hiking tour
  • Sand-boarding and sand-sledding

North Cascades National Park

Washington

Why:

This is the least visited park in the lower 48 states, so you know you won’t be stuck in throngs of tourists. The best time to visit is mid-June through September, and even in the summer months you could still see snow on the higher altitude trails!

Combine with:

Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, Seattle

Favorite Activities:

  • Hiking – nearly 400 miles of trail
  • Wildflower viewing in summer
  • Stehekin Valley, only accessible by foot, boat or plane