National parks are filled with hidden gems that often go overlooked by visitors. From waterfalls and wildlife to backcountry trails, there is something for everyone to discover. Some of the lesser-known waterfalls include Rainbow Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park, while backcountry trails in Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park offer stunning and secluded views. Accessible trails, boardwalks, and campsites are available for people with disabilities, and it is recommended to go with a professional guide when exploring the backcountry. Most hidden gems are accessible free of charge.
Discovering the Hidden Gems of National Park
National parks are some of the most beautiful places on the planet. From the majestic Rocky Mountains to the stunning beauty of Yellowstone National Park, there is something for everyone in these breathtaking locations. While many people are familiar with the most popular sites within the parks, there are hidden gems that are often overlooked. Here are some of the secret places that you should consider exploring the next time you visit a national park.
While everyone knows about Yosemite’s spectacular waterfalls, there are lesser-known waterfalls throughout the national parks that are every bit as stunning. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, check out the 100-foot cascade at Rainbow Falls. In Rocky Mountain National Park, hike to Ouzel Falls, a 40-foot waterfall that is perfect for capturing gorgeous photos. And in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, don’t miss the breathtaking 1,000-foot falls of Akaka.
While seeing bison, elk, and bears are the most popular wildlife sightings in national parks, there are also many spectacular birds, reptiles, and even sea creatures to be found. In Everglades National Park, take a boat tour to see the hundreds of different species of birds in the park, including the endangered roseate spoonbill. In Olympic National Park, check out the tide pools to see starfish, sea urchins, and other marine creatures. And in Yellowstone National Park, keep an eye out for the elusive gray wolf, one of the rarest wildlife sights in the park.
Most national park visitors stick to the well-traveled trails, but there are many hidden backcountry gems for those willing to venture off the beaten path. In Glacier National Park, take a multi-day trek with a professional guide to experience the stunning beauty of Grinnell Glacier. In Grand Canyon National Park, explore the lesser-traveled North Rim for an entirely different perspective of this iconic landmark. And in Zion National Park, skip the more crowded trails and hike through the secluded Kolob Canyons for a truly unique experience.
Q: Are there any national park hidden gems that are accessible for people with disabilities?
A: Yes! Many national parks have accessible trails, boardwalks, and even campsites for people with disabilities. Check with the individual park’s website for specific information.
Q: Can I explore the backcountry of a national park on my own?
A: While it is possible to explore the backcountry of some national parks on your own, it is highly recommended that you go with a professional guide who is experienced in the area.
Q: Is it safe to explore the backcountry of a national park?
A: While national parks are generally safe, there are some inherent risks when exploring the backcountry. Make sure to pack the appropriate gear, tell someone your plans, and be aware of the potential dangers in the area you are exploring.
Q: Can I see unique wildlife in national parks at any time of the year?
A: Wildlife sightings vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions. Make sure to check with the park’s website for the best times of year to see specific wildlife.
Q: Are there any fees associated with exploring the hidden gems of national parks?
A: While some activities, such as guided backcountry tours, may have fees associated with them, most of the hidden gems of national parks are accessible to visitors free of charge.