The Great Smoky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, these iconic parks are incredible, that goes without saying, but with notable and easily accessible parks come big crowds.
People clamor to see half dome in Yosemite, they stand shoulder-to-shoulder to watch Old Faithful and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that 4,756,771 people took in the view of the Grand Canyon in 2014 alone. These parks may be incredible, but boy can they be crowded.
Luckily there are 58 unbelievable national parks with millions of acres of protected land, some of which are visited so infrequently that the wildlife almost surely outnumber the annual visitors. These are the secluded spots far from typical civilization, where moose, bears and wolves roam free and natural beauty overwhelms the senses. A visit to one of these parks may be tough, as a few are completely without roads, but the rewards will be worth it.
Brush up on your backcountry skills and survival tactics and take a look at our list of the least crowded national parks, based on statistics from NPS.
#10 Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Number of Visitors in 2014: 107,526
There are few places in the country where each season can be enjoyed and appreciated for its natural beauty—Great Basin is one of those places. “Come to Great Basin National Park to experience the solitude of the desert, the smell of sagebrush after a thunderstorm, the darkest of night skies, and the beauty of Lehman Caves,” says NPS. “Far from a wasteland, the Great Basin is a diverse region that awaits your discovery.”
#9 Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Number of Visitors in 2014: 74,722
Encompassing 13.2 million acres, Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve could fit whole countries within its borders. This wilderness park is surely impressive in size, but that’s not all—it’s also home to one of the tallest peaks in the country (Mount St. Elias), glacier-fed rivers that race into the sea and the park even reaches the ocean. Visit America’s largest national park to trek across glaciers, raft a raging river or climb Mount St. Elias.