Least-Visited National Parks: Why They’re Worth a Look
GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK
4 times the size of Yellowstone, but with only the number of visitors per year that Yellowstone gets in one morning, Gates of the Arctic is one of the last truly wild places on the planet.
No trails, no signs, no cell phone service, and you can only be taken in or out of the park by pre-arranged transport.
If you are brave of soul and adventurous to the core, test your survival skills and earn some bragging rights by visiting this unpredictable wilderness.
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ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK
The largest island in Lake Superior, Isle Royale is subject to the longest study of predator-prey relationships in America because of the interesting interaction between the moose and wolves that call the island home.
Access is either by a 3-hour boat ride or a 45-minute flight by seaplane.
There is plenty of fish when the waters are warm and it is popular for divers because of the great collection of shipwrecks.
Staying overnight is inevitable because of the limited accessibility to the island and between 2 and 3 am you can view the beautiful Aurora Borealis.
Unfortunately, the park is closed during the peak viewing season in the winter.
BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
The Gunnison River flows through the black rock that it has worn away over the years.
Even if this is not the deepest canyon, it is the steepest and climbing it should only be attempted by experts. Hiking the rim is also not for the timid as the trails are unmarked and hardly maintained.
Elk, golden eagles and mule deer will be a few of your companions. Watch out for poison ivy on your hike though.
NATIONAL PARK OF AMERICAN SAMOA
Located on the Islands of Samoa in American territory in the South Pacific Ocean, it’s the only national park south of the equator.
It is made up of overlapping volcanoes that formed into islands and not surprisingly, snorkeling is one of the main attractions because of the vast species of wildlife including, sea turtles, 900 species of fish, humpback whales and 250 types of coral.
DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK, FLORIDA
Accessible only by boat or seaplane, Dry Tortuga is dominated by sea turtles, birds, and the indomitable Fort Jefferson.
Built in the late 19th century, it was unfinished because the building costs were high and maintenance in the face of hurricanes and the harsh salty sea were insurmountable.
The fortress was used as a prison during the civil war, then as a medical quarantine center and finally it was declared as a national monument in 1935.
You can learn more about its history and even stay overnight at the camping site by the fort. In April and May, birds migrating rest on the island and up to 100 species can be seen in a single day!
Fun fact: the island was named Dry Tortugas because of the numerous sea turtles. Tortugas is Spanish for turtles.
We hope this article has brought to light the least visited parks and why they are worth a look and we hope it will convince you to take the road less traveled and discover the treasures others overlook.
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