Are you tired of fighting the crowds at popular national parks? Do you want to enjoy the beauty of nature without being surrounded by hundreds of people? Yeah ya do. That's the whole point of the great open spaces. Check the list below before planning your Summer vacation with Jess. Spoiler alert: Most are in Alaska.
National Park of American Samoa – Only 1,887 visitors
Located in the South Pacific, National Park of American Samoa is the newest park on our list and by far the hardest to reach. With just under 2,000 visitors last year, you're sure to find plenty of space to yourself. The only catch? You'll have to endure a long flight to get there, and you'll need to rent a car to explore the park. But trust us, it’s worth it!
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve – Alaska – 9,457 visitors
If you’re up for a challenge, Gates of the Arctic is the park for you. Located entirely north of the Arctic Circle, there are no roads or facilities in the park. You'll need to fly in or hike long distances to reach the park’s interior. But for those willing to make the journey, the park offers unparalleled opportunities for wilderness exploration and recreation.
Kobuk Valley National Park – Alaska – 16,925 visitors
Kobuk Valley is another Alaskan park that requires a plane or boat to access. But once you arrive, you'll be greeted by the largest active sand dunes in the Arctic. With only 16,925 visitors in 2022, you’ll have plenty of space to explore the untouched wilderness.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve – Alaska – 18,187 visitors
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is incredibly diverse, with landscapes ranging from tundra to temperate rainforest. Plus, it's home to plenty of wildlife, including black and brown bears, moose, and caribou. And with just over 18,000 visitors in 2022, you’re sure to have a peaceful experience.
Isle Royale National Park – Michigan – 25,454 visitors
Isle Royale may be off the radar for many visitors, but it's definitely worth a visit. Located about 15 miles off the coast of Michigan, the remote island is home to a variety of wildlife, including wolves and moose. And with over 165 miles of hiking trails and beautiful rocky coastlines, there's plenty to explore.
North Cascades National Park – Washington – 30,154 visitors
North Cascades may only be a two-hour drive from Seattle, but it consistently remains one of the least visited national parks year after year. With dramatic mountain landscapes, crystal blue waters, and over 400 miles of hiking trails, it's a hidden gem in plain sight.
Katmai National Park and Preserve – Alaska – 33,908 visitors
Katmai is famous for being home to one of the largest concentrations of brown bears in the world. Visitors can observe the bears fishing for salmon in the Brooks River and grazing in their natural habitat. And with just under 34,000 visitors in 2022, you'll have plenty of space to witness this natural wonder.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve – Alaska – 65,236 visitors
Wrangell-St. Elias is the largest national park in the US, but it's also one of the most remote. With over 13 million acres to explore, visitors can hike, boat, and explore glaciers to their hearts’ content.
Dry Tortugas National Park – Florida – 78,488 visitors
Located just 70 miles off the coast of Key West, this park feels like you’ve entered into another country completely. With the massive Fort Jefferson – the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere – visitors can experience history, diving, snorkeling, and bird watching.
Great Basin National Park – Nevada – 142,115 visitors
Near the border of Utah in Nevada, the park is very remote despite being in the continental United States. Home to groves of ancient bristlecone pines and many caves including Lehman Caves which are open for guided tours, this park is a great place to stargaze.