The Hidden Gems in U.S. National Parks
If you’re a well-traveled nature lover and you think you’ve seen all that America’s most scenic national parks have to offer, think again!
Or, perhaps you’re just getting started but you don’t want to deal with all the crowds and tourists during the pandemic. We totally get that too!
Either way, U.S. National Parks have a score of luscious hidden gems that most people miss when they visit. We’ve compiled a list of secret spots across different national parks that will keep you interested and secluded during your travels.
Let’s get started!
But before you book that trip, make sure to pick up a Newverest U.S. National Parks Scratch Off Poster so that you can track and plan your journeys!
Yosemite National Park: Artist Point
Take the road less traveled at Yosemite by climbing up to Artist Point. You can avoid the crowds, breathe fresh air, and enjoy nature that is untouched by civilization.
Artist Point offers a view every bit as breathtaking as the more common trails at Yosemite National Park without the dense population and tourists. So, you’ll see more wildlife, more plant life, and you can get some peace and quiet!
Sequoia National Park: Mineral King
Mineral King is a bit of a trek, but you can enjoy the scenery while you drive there and it’s worth the drive! This is a trail for some serious hikers and campers that want to spend a little longer than a weekend.
You’ll have an unbelievable glimpse of the Sierra Nevada mountain range while you romp through waterfalls, wildflowers, and hot springs!
Death Valley National Park: Sidewinder Canyon
Any of you brave adventures want to travel away from the trusted trails and pathways? Try climbing through the breccia rocks at Sidewinder Canyon! It’s only about a 20-minute drive away from the popular Badwater Basin, and then you’ll be immersed in a new world!
Once you find an unassuming parking lot and a narrow trailhead, you know you’re headed in the right direction. Don’t worry. If you’re worried about locating it, the information guides will help you.
Olympic National Park: Bogachiel River Trail
Bogachiel River Trail offers a nice 12 mile round trip along the river. You’ll have the same access to the gorgeous rainforest scenery with less of the foot traffic.
Plus, if you travel far enough along, you’ll find the ruins of some old farm buildings, which offer you a brief journey through time.
Canyonlands National Park: The Needles District
The Needles District has a significantly different landscape than the popular Island in the Sky location. It is marked by intricate pink sandstone and the perfect hiking trails for those that are into more of a challenge.
You can even traverse a huge slot canyon if you can reach it through the needle formations. And you will truly have this place all to yourself!
Capitol Reef National Park: Cathedral Valley
Jurassic era rock formations weave through the landscape in a way that resembles some kind of abstract art. It’s hard to believe that it’s real! Cathedral Valley has a certain versatility that cannot be seen in the more popular areas of the park.
It hosts domes, cliffs, canyons, and natural bridges for miles and miles. It’s also an International Dark Sky Park, and you are allowed to camp in this area.
Grand Canyon National Park: Bright Angel Campground
Did you know that Grand Canyon National Park can sometimes see two million people in one day? The Grand Canyon is beautiful, but no one needs to deal with all that noise! However, Bright Angel Campground is often missed entirely.
Here, you can get right up close and personal with the Colorado River, which is astounding to witness. It’s a long and hard trail, so we definitely recommend camping overnight and heading back the next day to avoid exhaustion. But it’s worth the views, the seclusion, and the reward of a job well done.
Zion National Park: Kolob Canyon & Terrace
Kolob Canyon & Terrace brush up right against what is considered true Wilderness, but you don’t need a special permit for many of the trails offered here (as long as you stick to the trails).
If you want to see the finger canyons, you can take a hike along Taylor Creek Trail, which will take you about a full day. But it’s worth it for serious hikers!
Acadia National Park: Schoodic Point
Schoodic Point is a peninsula in Acadia National Park. While most are drawn to the island, you can bypass the crowd by sticking to the mainland.
It gives you a gorgeous view of crashing waves and the rocky granite cliff face. Here, you’ll see a myriad of wildlife, including multiple species of beautiful birds. You can even kayak out into the ocean if you choose!
Maybe you just want a nice peaceful one-on-one with nature. Or perhaps you’d like to plan a special romantic getaway with you and your loved one. Maybe you’re a seasoned hiker and just looking for more of a challenge. Either way, there’s something for everybody on this list!
Which hidden gem on this list caught your eye? Let us know in the comments!