Travel Stories

8 Uncrowded National Parks

Parks like Grand Canyon and Yellowstone get a ton of attention, but there are other national parks close to these iconic ones that are just as striking but missing one thing: the crowds. Here are a few of our favorite uncrowded parks and why you should stop.

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Great Basin National Park
Great BasinDeposit Photos

Hike or drive to the second highest peak in Nevada and see some of the world’s oldest trees at this park on the Nevada-Utah border that hardly anyone knows about.

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde National Park
Cliff PalaceGrant Ordelheide

Described as the pyramids of North America, the ancient ruins at this national park hold the early stories of our nation. Here are the top 8 reasons to go

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Blue Mesa in Petrified Forest National Park
Blue MesaJim Mangum

Hear the sound of silence when you look out at the stunning Painted Desert and walk through 100-room ancient pueblos at this national park in Arizona where solitude rules.

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Thanksgiving Hall in Mammoth Cave National Park
Thanksgiving HallNPS

A half-day drive from America’s most visited park, find peace and quiet underground at this national park

North Cascades National Park, Washington

Patterson Mountain in North Cascades National Park
Patterson MountainDeposit Photos

In this national park, the only way to reach the unique town of Stehekin is by foot, boat, or plane. Find out why you should go.

Channel Islands National Park, California 

Potato Harbor on Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park
Potato Harbor on Santa Cruz IslandGloria Wadzinski

Home to eight unique mammal species found only on the islands, including the island fox and deer mouse, you’ll find solitude and beauty on these islands off the coast of Ventura

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Fruita Orchard in Capitol Reef National Park
Fruita OrchardWayne Dixon

You can pick your own fruit in this national park’s aromatic orchards before spending the day exploring its sandstone formations, all without having to sit in traffic clogging nearby national parks.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Wild Horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Wild HorsesBrian Wolf

See bison without the crowds of Yellowstone and wild horses that were introduced to North America by the Spanish in the 1500s in this magnificent national park that’s off the radar.