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5 Underrated US National Parks To Add To Your Bucket List

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5 Underrated National Parks To Add To Your Bucket List

I love Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks as much as the next person. All national parks send me through the roof, actually! But certain parks are much less well-known than others.

Although there are 59 national parks, I only hear about a handful of them. Here is a list of national parks just as worthy of visiting as Arches or Glacier National Parks. Some of these I have stumbled upon in my travels, and some are still on my bucket list. They’re about to be on your bucket lists, too!

  1. CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK

    5 Underrated US National Parks To Add To Your Bucket List
    Anticline Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

    I didn’t know this park existed until my friend insisted I visit it on my road trip out West. After a miserable night camping in the snow at Arches National Park, my boyfriend and I got out of there early and drove only thirty minutes to Canyonlands. When we arrived, it was still dark. Watching the sun rise in this park was one of the highlights of my three-week road trip. Doing so rejuvenated my spirits enough to continue on the trip instead of returning home.

  2. HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK

    5 Underrated US National Parks To Add To Your Bucket List
    Thermal Pools of Hot Springs

    As an Arkansas native, I’m a big fan of Hot Springs. Unsurprisingly, this park is famous for its natural hot springs—47 hot springs, to be exact. Go into a bathhouse to bathe in the springs. There are many short hikes of various difficulties, as well as the 10-mile Sunset Trail. Fun fact: Hot Springs is Bill Clinton’s hometown!

  3. JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

    5 Underrated US National Parks To Add To Your Bucket List
    Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California, USA.

    Joshua Tree National Park is in Southern California. In the park, you can walk in both the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. You’ll see many strange things on your trip, including the famous Joshua trees, roadrunners, and maybe even a coyote at night!

  4. VIRGIN ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK 
    5 Underrated US National Parks To Add To Your Bucket List
    Trunk Bay on St John Island, US Virgin Islands considered by many as most beautiful beach in Caribbean

    When I think of national parks, I don’t picture oceans. But Virgin Islands National Park is the perfect destination for travelers to snorkel, scuba dive, and beach hike. The park spans across two islands and over 5,000 acres of ocean, so there’s a lot to see. The most popular and scenic hiking path is Reef Bay Trail, which takes about six hours round-trip.

  5. MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK 
    5 Underrated US National Parks To Add To Your Bucket List
    Mammoth Cave

    At this park in Kentucky, you can explore Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system in the world. The main attraction are the cave tours. Guides lead different types of tours depending on the season. Check out the website to see what exciting tours are going on during your visit.

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15 Comments

  1. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    My goal is to see all of the National Parks before it’s over. I love getting out and enjoying the beauty of nature.

  2. Vera Sweeney says

    Oh, wow. These ARE underrated. I’ve only ever heard of Mammoth Cave. I’d love to visit all of these.

  3. Bill Sweeney says

    Those are all gorgeous National Parks. I can’t believe they don’t get more love.

  4. Pam Wattenbarger says

    I have been to the Virgin Islands and to Mammoth Cave! I would love to go back to the Virgin Islands someday.

  5. Melissa Chapman says

    I love parks and my husband takes my kids hiking locally so this list is a real find for when we get out to these areas. Canyonlands looks a good as the Grand canyon.

  6. Maureen says

    National Parks are great to visit and these underrated, not usually mentioned ones? They look perfect and I must add them to my list to travel to in my lifetime!

  7. Sarah Bailey says

    What some amazing national parks, I personally love the sound of Mammoth Cave there s something fascinating about cave systems.

  8. Sarah @ The Outside Family says

    We’re going to Canyonlands this summer. My daughter has a National Parks Passport and she wants all her pages full of stamps!

  9. Jeanine says

    I would love to see any of these. They all look amazing, and I think National Parks with kids would be so much fun. Teach them about the parks and enjoy the beauty at the same time!

  10. Theresa says

    We try to take family vacations to national parks when we can. Hot Springs is at the top of my list for our next vacation.

  11. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says

    I’ve never been to some of these places and I think it’s awesome that you shared this guide. I’d love to go to the one in Trunk Bay.

  12. Amanda Love says

    Very interesting! I love exploring national parks with the kids and it would be awesome to take them to these beautiful places someday soon. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of the one in US Virgin Islands!

  13. Angela Milnes says

    What an awesome list and it really looks a perfect place to spend my time with my family during this summer season.

  14. Agness of aTukTuk says

    Wow! These parks are amazing and very picturesque. I especially loved the Virgin Islands National Park!

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