Top 5 Most Underrated National Parks in America
We all know how gorgeous the scenery can be in places like the Grand Canyon, and how remarkable the geysers are at Yellowstone. But these five National Parks are just as impressive as the well-known destinations, only with much less fanfare associated with them. Each of these parks faces a low visitor count each year, though for differing reasons:
1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Located in southeastern New Mexico, this park encompasses 117 caves, including some of the largest caves on the North American continent. Carlsbad Caverns National Park suffers from a fairly unpopular location, as New Mexico is not exactly one of the nation's most attractive vacation getaways.
2. Mesa Verde National Park
This park showcases 600 of the ancient cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people in southwestern Colorado, among nearly 5,000 archaeological sites. This park's low visitor count is due mainly to a lack of general interest in such historical Native American sites.
3. Glacier National Park
This park is located in Montana (not to be confused with Glacier Bay National Park, which is located in Alaska), and features all types of terrain. Glacier National Park contains over 700 miles of hiking trails, through forests, meadows, mountains, and lakes. This park is generally overlooked due its Montana location, which isn't known for its glacial landscape.
4. Great Sand Dunes National Park
Situated northeast of Alamosa, Colorado, this park includes the tallest dunes in North America along with other landscape features ranging from wetlands to tundra. While these sand dunes are quite impressive, they don't draw a large crowd. Most people who venture to Colorado are much more likely to visit Rocky Mountain National Park due to its famous reputation.
5. Shenandoah National Park
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, this park is only 75 miles west of Washington, D.C. Shenandoah National Park has notoriously beautiful landscape, interspersed with waterfalls and other spectacular views. This park is overshadowed like the Great Sand Dunes, by destinations such as Washington, D.C. or Virginia Beach.