3 Reasons Why National Parks Are Underrated

3 Reasons Why National Parks Are Underrated 1

I don’t think National Parks are underrated as a whole. In the US, they are held pretty sacred and deeply loved. But I have found that there are some seriously underrated parts of our National Parks.

The Parks Are Huge with Thousands of Underrated Spots

Most Parks have “the spot” where everyone goes. It’s overcrowded and well-documented by thousands of professional photos and millions of Instagram posts. But even in our age of overtourism, there is still plenty of space for anyone looking for more subtle beauty, history, peace, or wonder in our Parks. I found the rural churches of Mammoth Cave, the Mingus Mill area of the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Artists Way of Death Valley to all be quiet, open, and fascinating on peak visitation days.**

**also, these areas all have appropriate infrastructure for visitation. I’m not talking about truly off the path spots that people post on Instagram, only for the location to be overrun. If you visit those places (i.e., places not listed by the National Park Service on maps), please, for all that is sacred about our Parks, strip the location information from your photo before posting. Or, better yet, don’t publicize it at all. Keep it special word of mouth.

Off-Peak Visitation Is Wildly Underrated

Yes, simply visiting a Park is always worthwhile, even if the only time you can go is a Saturday on July 4th weekend. But, taking the extra sacrifice of time and convenience to go mid-week during the slightly off-peak-season is wildly, seriously underrated. Especially with the top tier Parks, crowds seriously dampen the experience. And even the most popular spots are so much more open and enjoyable during off-peak visitation.

National Park Service staff & volunteers are seriously underrated

By law, the National Parks are lands owned by all Americans present and future and held in trust by the United States government. The National Park Service is a world-class government agency that runs the parks on a fraction of a fraction of the United States’ budget.*

*for FYI, think about all of the National Park units – from Alaska to Arizona to Florida, including all the random parks like Statue of Liberty, the National Mall – everything. We spend the same amount buying new tanks for the Army…every single year…as we do operating all the park units.

Rangers are responsible for managing several conflicting goals (protecting the Park from people, protecting people from the Park…all while preserving maximum access for all) all day, everyday.

Visit a less visited spot in a National Park on a weekday, and talk to + thank a ranger / volunteer while you’re there. You won’t regret it.

Share via...

Similar Posts