For the truly adventurous, a remote destination can be an ideal place for a vacation. If you love exploring little-known spaces and thrive on outdoor adventures, the discovery of a national park will be the best fun you'll have. Prominent national parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon are great to visit, but you could uncover some beautiful spots that aren't so well-known if you're willing to seek them out.
Isle Royale is a remote island on Lake Superior in Michigan. The surrounding body of water is a great spot for swimming, kayaking, and diving. The far-off island itself offers enjoyable solitude during hiking and backpacking trips, as well as a chance to admire Lake Superior from a unique vantage point. Plan to ride over on the Ranger III boat.
Dry Tortugas National Park is still part of the United States park system, but visitors will have to travel by seaplane or boat to get there. Near Florida's Key West islands, Dry Tortugas features gorgeous waterside views and access to Fort Jefferson. After checking out the nineteenth-century fort, you can camp on the beach, go snorkeling or diving, or take stock of the diverse bird and fish species.
The Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is as far north as your search for national parks in the United States will take you. When you arrive, you can do your best to take in seven million acres of untamed land. Few spaces are this pristine, as there are no roads or trails present in the park. Walking among caribou and other wildlife, you can observe rivers, glacier-cut valleys, and a skyline that undergoes vivid seasonal changes.
Great Basin National Park encourages park-goers to explore Lehman Caves. These caves are only accessible with a tour guide, but they're worth seeing for the three hundred rock formations within. In addition, enjoy the challenge of hiking up Wheeler Peak. While Nevada is known for its formidable desert landscape, Great Basin National Park boasts a variety of trees and plenty of peaks and valleys to trek across.
Minnesota's Voyageurs National Park is rich with water features thanks to its many lakes and waterways, which cover approximately forty percent of the area. There are still plenty of trails to traverse and foliage to admire. For winter vacationers, the frozen lakes open up opportunities to trot out the cross-country skis or enjoy some snowmobiling. If you visit during the spring and summer, you can find an assortment of edible berries to enjoy.
Within Congaree National Park, you can follow the Congaree River or seek out the Wateree River, which travels through this hardwood forest. Explore the area by walking the boardwalk, or float down the river and see the sights by kayak. The park is home to an array of fish, snakes, and other animals. In addition to taking stock of the biodiversity, you can also observe how the rivers nourish the plant life and support the long-standing trees in the swamp.
Bryce Canyon National Park has tough competition when it comes to attracting visitors, as it's close to Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks. Those who choose this destination are rewarded with beautiful rock columns carved by erosion and frost. Ranger-sponsored programs allow visitors to safely explore the area at night and take horseback tours of the park. Explore stunning sights from the four forest plateaus.
The wildflowers that bloom in Pinnacles National Park make this spot a great destination in the spring. Bird watchers can also seek out this under-visited park to see the falcons, eagles, and condors native to the area. Plenty of trails take you through stretches of desert, sparse flora, and bright skyline. Escape the sun and sky by exploring the two talus caves formed by immense boulders that sit between ravines.
Boasting more than eighty miles of trails, Guadalupe Mountains National Park can give experienced hikers a serious challenge. During the trip, canyons, stretches of desert, and peaks allow you to take in the splendor of the Texas landscape. The peaks at Guadalupe Mountains are among the highest in Texas, and the fall season offers lovely foliage views.
Outside of a trip to Alaska, North Cascades National Park offers visitors the most glacier views of any national park. In fact, many of the hiking trails take explorers up close to some of these glaciers. This area receives significant snowfall each year, but visitors can still enjoy a plethora of outdoor activities. Evergreen trees line the land, and rivers run through North Cascades, which can be perfect for kayaking and rafting.
Channel Islands National Park is remote enough to demand travel by boat. Once you arrive at this island chain, you can see the splendor of the Pacific Coast. Five of the eight islands at the park are protected, as they contain a wealth of animals native to this small area. On top of providing scenic hiking trails, and the opportunity to investigate an early twentieth-century lighthouse, water lovers can take a dip and explore the sea caves at Santa Cruz Islands.
While Rocky Mountain National Park dominates the conversation around Colorado parks, the curious traveler can find the unpolished, natural charms of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This location stands out for its canyon, which reaches such an astounding depth that sunlight barely reaches it. While there are hiking trails at the north and south rims, the limited development makes them challenging. For those up to the challenge, this park offers views that are deprived to most.