The Best Secret Spots in America’s National Parks

Each one of America’s 59 national parks has its well-known, must-see stops – for example, you probably aren’t going to hit Yellowstone without swinging by Old Faithful. While those sites became musts for a reason, they also have their drawbacks in the form of insane tourist traffic (and, sometimes, insane tourists) and not a whole lot of tranquility. And yet, sometimes they’re all a visitor sees.

During the centennial anniversary year of the park service in 2016, there was a couple who road tripped to all 59 national parks in an effort to cast a brighter light on the beauty of America’s greatest natural treasures.

Their goal was to explore as much as they could in short periods of time (59 parks in 52 weeks averages out to about six days per park, including travel time), and to give the smaller and lesser-known parks the same treatment we would give to the most popular parks in the system.

One of the best parts of the quest? They encountered plenty of unexpected surprises – out-of-the-way places that made them feel as though they were getting simultaneously closer to the parks and farther from the rest of humanity.

Here are 11 of those secret gems that should be on your next itinerary...

 

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