Just about everyone has heard of Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and America’s first national park, Yellowstone. The bucket-list destinations draw millions of visitors each year, but there are plenty of less-recognizable national parks waiting to be discovered.
Some of them are hard to reach, like National Park of American Samoa or Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic, the least-visited national park last year, with 2,872 recreational visits. Visitors have to take a boat or seaplane to get to Dry Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico and Isle Royale on Lake Superior.
Other untapped gems are easy to access, like Congaree just outside South Carolina’s capital, Columbia, or Pinnacles, two hours south of San Francisco. And they’re perfect for travelers who want to experience the great outdoors without crowds this summer.
►America’s most-visited national parks: Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon and more
►Pro tips from park rangers: Pack your patience and make reservations
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