6 Underappreciated National Parks in the U.S.

An overlook in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado. (Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service) RV to underappreciated national parks.

RV to 6 underappreciated national parks.

The United States has 59 protected National Parks, giving travelers a long list of spectacular destinations to visit. While everybody knows the most popular parks — Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier — you probably haven’t heard much about these less-publicized gems. These parks might not be household names, but they’re just as worthy of a visit (along with local Good Sam Parks).

RV to underappreciated national parks.

Mt. Baker seen from Artist Ridge in the Northern Cascades mountains of Washington.

North Cascades National Park, Washington
Although located only three hours northeast of Seattle, the rugged Cascade Range seems to deter many people. The remote and spectacular mountains include rainforests, lakes and rivers, waterfalls, alpine glaciers and soaring jagged peaks. The scenery is varied and changes constantly as you pass through each unique plant and wildlife habitat.
Area Good Sam Parks

Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Great Basin is one of the most remote national parks in the lower 48. Towns are few and far between, so refuel whenever possible. The park’s basin-and-range terrain elevation varies between 3,000 and 13,000 feet. Low, sun-baked plains rise to thick conifer forests and snow-capped peaks, where you will find ancient bristlecone pines (the oldest plants on earth), as well as the impressive Lehman Caves.
Area Good Sam parks

RV to underappreciated national parks.

Congaree National Park, South Carolina
Most people haven’t heard about one of America’s newest national parks (est. 2003). Congaree, the largest unspoiled hardwood floodplain forest left in the United States, has gigantic pine and cypress trees that are among the biggest in the east, and the thick, dark forest is home to wildlife that can be seen from the extensive trails. The rivers offer excellent kayaking and canoeing opportunities, and a variety of birds, lizards, snakes, turtles and even alligators can be found near the shores.
Area Good Sam parks

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
This West Texas park is literally in the middle of nowhere, hours from Albuquerque, El Paso and San Antonio. Carlsbad, New Mexico is just an hour away, so if you visit the nearby Carlsbad Caverns, include Guadalupe Mountains to your itinerary. Winding canyons, placid streams, hot deserts, lush woodlands and spectacular mountains provide a home for a variety of plants and animals. Along the many hiking trails you will see unusual cacti and maybe even a mountain lion.
Area Good Sam parks

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
The park in Western Colorado (est. 1999) is far from the beaten path, and its appeal has yet to reach the masses. The raging Gunnison River in the bottom of this deep, dark, narrow canyon provides an unforgettable sight and sound and is surrounded by rivers, plants and wildlife.
Area Good Sam parks

RV to underappreciated national parks.

Pinnacles National Park, California
Pinnacles is America’s newest national park (est. 2013), so most people aren’t aware of it yet. Hiking trails wind around jagged, volcanic peaks along with a variety of interesting plants and animals, including the awesome California condors with their 9-foot wingspan.
Area Good Sam parks

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2 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Nice article! Thanks for sharing… especially the links to area Good Sam Parks!

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for the article however it would have been nice to put links to the State Parks as well.