Off the Beaten Path: America's Most Beautiful, Overlooked National Parks

By Jack Ripley | March 13, 2024

Wrangell St. Elias National Park

Welcome to our journey through America's hidden natural treasures! While names like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon often steal the spotlight, our nation is also home to a constellation of lesser-known national parks, each with its unique charm and breathtaking beauty. In this series, we'll embark on a thrilling exploration of these off-the-beaten-path gems, uncovering the enchanting landscapes, remarkable wildlife, and rich histories that make them stand out. So, grab your virtual hiking boots and join us as we venture into the heart of these hidden wonders.

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Shutterstock/Galyna Andrushko

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, nestled in the wilds of Alaska, is the largest national park in the United States and one of its best-kept secrets. This colossal wilderness is a sanctuary for adventurers and nature lovers alike. Within its borders lie towering peaks, immense glaciers, and pristine rivers, making it a paradise for hikers, mountaineers, and those in search of untamed beauty. The park's remote location means fewer visitors, offering a unique opportunity to experience rugged wilderness, observe diverse wildlife, and immerse yourself in the rich history of Alaskan pioneers. So, if you crave the ultimate off-the-beaten-path adventure, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park welcomes you to explore its vast, unspoiled wonders.

Saguaro National Park

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Saguaro National Park, tucked away in the southern deserts of Arizona, is a desert jewel that may not be on everyone's radar but is certainly worth the visit. This park is renowned for its iconic saguaro cacti, the giant sentinels of the Sonoran Desert that can reach heights of over 40 feet. These towering cacti create a surreal and captivating landscape, especially during sunset when the desert colors come alive. Saguaro National Park offers a network of hiking trails that wind through the desert, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with this unique ecosystem. Birdwatchers also flock to the park to catch a glimpse of its diverse avian inhabitants. Whether you're an avid hiker, a lover of desert flora and fauna, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Saguaro National Park invites you to explore its lesser-known, yet strikingly beautiful, desert wonderland.