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11 National Parks That Are America's Best Kept Secrets

You'll want to go to there.

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Why you'll want to go:

Channel Island National Park consists of five islands off the coast of southern California. The islands are so isolated that they house over 150 unique species of plants and animals that are not found anywhere else in the world.

Why you'll want to go:

Voyageurs National Park boasts beautiful forests and well as bogs full of gorgeous lily pads. The park is unique because of the rocks on which it is built — they are half as old as the planet.

Why you'll want to go:

The stunning plains of South Dakota hide some truly majestic caves, and hosts a menagerie of animals that'll make you feel like you've traveled back in time.

Why you'll want to go:

The verdant swamps and forest that make up Conagee National Park are absolutely stunning to hike through. The park is a Globally Important Bird Area, which guarantees some amazing bird watching.

Why you'll want to go:

Alaska is chock-full of National Parks, so if you're up for a visit, Glacier Bay is a must-see. Boat tours take you around the bay where you'll get up close and personal to some of the only remaining glaciers on Earth. See it while you can!

Why you'll want to go:

The Badlands are one of the greatest fossil beds in the world. It's fair to say South Dakota was the place to be a few million years ago. The dramatic rock structures as well as plains are a well kept secret of middle America.

Why you'll want to go:

Olympic National Park is also a rainforest. Seriously. There's something for everyone in this park: dense woods to hike through, mountains to climb, and miles of coast to stroll down.

Why you'll want to go:

Arguably one of the best places to catch a sunset, Big Bend is massive. It's a hiker or rock climber's dream. Visit during the winter when everywhere else is covered in snow. While the park does see the occasional flurry, it's nothing that would deter an ardent ambler.

Why you'll want to go:

Redwood National Park is a temperate rainforest is nestled along the northern California coast. The redwoods the park is famous for are anywhere from 500-700 years old on average, although a few are estimated to be as much as 2,000 years old.

Why you'll want to go:

The structures at Mesa Verde are dwellings inhabited by the Ancestral Pueblo people over 1,400 years ago. The cliff dwellings are amazingly well preserved, with many rooms and chambers still intact.

Why you'll want to go:

There is more to Hawaii that just rest and relaxation. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is an adventure in exploration and Earth science. See geological evolution first hand!

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