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5 Underrated National Parks To Visit In 2024

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No matter where we go, immersing ourselves in the vast wonders of nature can often be one of the most memorable experiences of any given trip.

American travelers are fortunate not even to need a passport to visit some of the most gorgeous places on Earth.

Panorama of a bright blue lake in North Cascades National Park

Many of us love to explore the household names of National Parks, such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, or the Smoky Mountains – all here in our own backyard.

There are others commonly overlooked that are just as worthy of a visit. Some are more off-path than others, but the road less traveled is often worth the reward.

Here are 5 underrated National Parks to visit in 2024:

National Park Of American Samoa

Well…American Samoa may offer stunning beauty, but it ruined all that talk about not needing a passport.

Even as a U.S. territory, this breathtaking nation of dispersed islands does require a valid passport for entry to U.S. citizens. They may want to have a chat with Puerto Rico…

beach at national park of American Samoa

Regardless, American Samoa is home to one of the most scenic National Parks under U.S. jurisdiction.

Less than 2,000 visitors made their way here, according to the latest data. This place is a true undiscovered gem, with one recent visitor describing it as ‘pure Jurassic Park'.

Visitors will find pristine waters and beaches, a vast array of wildlife and maybe most importantly – no crowds!

Unlike Yellowstone, for example, there aren't hordes of selfie-takers being chased by bison in your way. You can simply enjoy this tropical paradise all on your own.

Isle Royale National Park

hiker at isle royal national park

Those seeking an isolated adventure to enjoy stunning scenery in the outdoors should look no further than Isle Royale National Park.

It is a much easier place to reach than places like American Samoa. Plus, you definitely don't need a passport in Michigan.

Set just south of Canada's border, this remote island of Lake Superior is perfect for escaping the modern world as it's a car-free zone.

Visitors should be extra vigilant of wildlife encounters as moose and wolves roam freely in this seemingly untouched park.

North Cascades National Park

lake at north cascades national park

The North Cascades should be more popular than it is. With just over 30,000 visitors from the latest reports, those numbers should be greatly multiplied.

Beyond comparable to more popular National Parks, the North Cascades are a sight to behold in northern Washington.

With jaw-dropping glaciers, mountains, and clear lakes, it's shocking that it's not pinned on more maps.

This park offers stunning views from a wide variety of trails and priceless opportunities to witness wildlife up close and personal, such as bears, wolves, and hundreds of different bird species.

Dry Tortugas National Park

fort at dry tortugas national park

Florida is one of the most visited states in the U.S., but Dry Tortugas National Park is often overshadowed by Disney World, Miami, and incredible beaches wrapped around the state from Destin to Jacksonville.

Off the coast of Key West is a gorgeous National Park just a ferry ride away. Consisting of 7 tiny islands, this coastal park is home to the historic Fort Jefferson, which was used as a prison in the Civil War.

For some of Florida's least crowded beaches, this is the place to be, and it only costs $15 to gain entry.

Visitors will have access to secluded beaches for snorkeling or simply catching rays, plus the opportunity to stay overnight stargazing at local campsites.

Denali National Park

northern lights at Denali national park

Completely catty-cornered to Florida is the great state of Alaska. Even though it's not mainland USA, Alaska is a lot easier to reach than one might suspect.

Many make their way to Alaska by cruise, but there are ample flights across the U.S. Those wanting to visit must add Denali National Park to their itinerary.

It's one of the top destinations to bear witness to the northern lights in the U.S. The park is not only for crossing aurora borealis off your bucket list; this vast wilderness is larger than the state of New Jersey.

Filled with scenic glaciers, rivers, and wide open spaces, this stunning National Park may be the most underrated, even with over 400,000 visitors.

picnic table denali national park

Wildlife is abundant here with grizzly bears, moose, and wolves, but visitors may appreciate the much friendlier sled dogs that park rangers showcase in summer months.

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