10 Least Visited US Camping Parks For the Travel Maniacs
All of US national parks are beautiful and have treasures of their own. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina received around 11 million guests in 2018. Every year the National Park Service tracks the visits made to the 61 National Parks in the country and releases the list of most visited and least visited parks accordingly. Though the Great Smoky Mountain in North Carolina, Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and Yosemite National Park in California are among the most famous and most visited sites by the people, not all the parks get the same love and attention. These less famous parks are a bit tricky in terms of planning and requires considerable wilderness survival experiences but the exciting experiences offered by these hidden places are best for those who are in search for adventurous trekking experiences, enjoy hiking around some of the oldest trees existing and love exploring the wilderness rough and untamed.
If you want to experience the road less travelled then consider visiting one of these least visited parks.
#1. Gates Of The Arctic National Park And Preserve
Covering over 8.4 millions of the natural beauty, this beautiful park is above the Arctic circle and is regarded as one of the most remote parks in the US. There are no trails and no facilities available within the park boundaries. Grizzlies, caribou, wolves, wolverines, and Arctic fox are found roaming around the area. The National Park Service says,“This is a place for discovery and exploration. It is one of the last truly wild places on Earth.”
With no cell phone signals and much help available inside the area, the park rangers often warn the visitors on the entrance about their safety. Those people who have experience and enjoy challenging trails and nature in its truest and wildest form are suggested to make a visit to this historical Park. There are also some companies who offer day and night tours with on site camping trips giving visitors the chance to enjoy aurora-lit skies and a natural setting unlike any other.
#2. Lake Clark National Park And Preserve
Lake Clark National though makes it second to the list of least visited National parks, but the visitors who have experienced this place will cite this as the best among all park experiences. Lake Clark National Park preserves the ancestral homelands of the Dena’ina people, according to the National Park Service.
The park offers iconic views of beautiful glaciers surrounded by soaring mountains and mesmerizing turquoise lakes and brown bears. You can enjoy all of it while hiking, power boating, or kayaking along the lakes and rivers.
#3. Kobuk Valley National Park
Kobuk Valley is entirely above the Antarctic region and yet has sand dunes. Kobuk Valley has an interesting history associated with it. 13,000 years ago, when a land bridge connected Asia and Alaska, the Kobuk Valley was the first entrance to North America. Today, this park is home to millions of caribou with thousands migrating every year across the region. The park does not offer any trails or facilities and is still occupied by the Native Iñupiat people who hunt caribou for sustenance.
The Kobuk river gives a beautiful tour of the park offering scenic view of the wild flora and fauna by boat. Since there are no available trails and facilities for humans, it requires a lot of courage to hike this remote area.
#4. Isle Royale National Park
Situated on an isolated island that sits in the middle of Lake Superior, the Isle Royale National Park is most famous for its remote wilderness. The park is only accessible by boat or plane and the transportation services are available from nearby locations.
Designated as natural wilderness the park has no facilities or human improvements. Once the visitor gets dropped off on the place, they are completely left on their own. So the visitors must pack all the necessities in their bags. The park's main attraction site is for those who love nature and want to experience wilderness that is rough and untamed. While on your hiking trip in the park, you might experience a pack of wolves, moose or some other wild animal. There are camping sites within the park but they cannot be reserved so be ready to keep trekking if your planned destination is already full.
#5. National Park Of American Samoa
National Park of American Samoa, about 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii is spread across three different islands and is closer to Australia than it is to the US. This is one national park that exists in the most remote places with secluded villages, beautiful coral sand beaches and sea in place of tourist places. Those who are visiting the scene for snorkeling or scuba diving can bring their own gear and can experience underwater world that is home to over 950 species of fish and over 250 coral species.
The main attractions of this national parks includes vast array of wild flora and fauna. The park is also home to the endangered flying fox and the fruit bat with a wingspan the size of a barn owl. Native Samoans still live within the park and the National Park Service offers a Homestay program, which lets you stay with local Samoan families to learn about and experience their culture.
#6. North Cascades National Park, Washington
Three hours drive by car from Seattle is North Cascades National Park. The park is famous for providing the visitors with the most beautiful views of glaciers in the US outside of Alaska. Though the park is famous as one of the world's snowiest places, it still provides a range of activities from backpacking, climbing, horse riding and trails for trekking.
It's not understandable, even though the park is accessed easily by car, still there are very few visitors every year. The park is an ideal place for all nature lovers as it provides stunning mountain and scenic views, abundant flora and fauna. The point that the park is visited by very few visitors every year can be used as a plus point for those who want to experience nature with little disturbance and easy access.
#7. Katmai National Park And Preserve
Home to over 2000 brown bears, this park is famous for having the largest population of brown bears in North America. The bears in this park are so beloved that every year the natives hold an annual Fat Bear Week to decide the fattest bear in the park. The park famous for its vast size and rich array of wild life can be exclusively accessed by plane or boat.
According to the park representatives, “Flightseeing tours” are the most dramatic and exciting ways to experience the nature and preserve of the park. As the aerial view is the best for experiencing the size and nature of the beautiful park including the combination of freshwater lakes, volcanoes and tundra. Aerial trip also gives a beautiful view of the bears and moose residing in the area.
#8. Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is 100 square miles of natural and historic gems, located about 70 miles from Key West. This park consists of seven small Islands in the Gulf of Mexico. The park's secluded site offers rich experience to those visitors who are interested in exploring marine life and shipwrecks.
The park can only be visited by boat or sea plane, one of the main reason it gets only few visitors every year. There is an option of daily ferry to the park, but the ride takes 2.5 hour ride each way, so if you are planning to visit, you have to plan whole day. The park is famous for its camping and night view. If you are visiting the park for camping, then head to Garden Key to explore Fort Jefferson, one of the nation's largest 19th-century forts to experience a killer night view.
#9. Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve
The largest national park in the country at 13.2 million acres, making it six times the size of Yellowstone, the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska is huge. The park includes the tallest coastal mountains in the world and nine of the 16 highest peaks in the United States are inside its boundaries.
Mount Wrangell is also known as one of the world's most active volcanoes with smoke visible on most clear days. There are more than 150 glaciers in the park, it is estimated that close to 35 percent of the park is covered in glaciers. The park though massive but gets to see only few numbers of visitors every year. The reason for very few visitors is not because of its size or lack of natural beauty, but it's because the park exists in secluded area and it can only be reached either by boat or bush plane.
#10. Virgin Islands National Park
Two-third of the St. John's resides underwater, giving rich experience to those who enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving, allowing you to explore the life under sea water. The pristine clear water allows the visitors to experience the life that awaits the park's underwater surface. If you are the one who likes cool and calm places, then the peaceful locations to swim and scuba diving are what you might be looking to experience.