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America's best secret national parks
Posted on 29/04/2016

NatureUnited States of America

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Forget what you think you know about America's national parks, these eight hidden national treasures will take your breath away...

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  • National Park of American Samoa, American Samoa
    National Park of American Samoa, American Samoa

    This park covers 13,500 tropical acres, 4,000 acres of which are marine ecosystems, over three volcanic islands in American Samoa, and it protects the ecosystems and traditions of Polynesia's oldest culture. Samoa even translates to "sacred earth."

  • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Copper Center, Alaska
    Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Copper Center, Alaska

    This is the country's largest national park - it's larger than the whole of Switzerland. It covers four mountain ranges and more than 150 glaciers converge across the 13.2 million acres.

  • Channel Islands National Park, Channel Islands, California
    Channel Islands National Park, Channel Islands, California

    Looking for empty beaches within 100 miles of Los Angeles? Hop a catamaran and cross the Santa Barbara Channel to this gorgeous archipelago of eight islands, stretching from Newport Beach to Santa Barbara.

  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Gunnison, Colorado
    Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Gunnison, Colorado

    The snow atop Colorado's towering West Elk Mountains melts into the roaring Gunnison River, which plunges west toward the mighty Colorado River, carving this 53 mile-long and 2,722 feet-deep canyon.

  • Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior, Michigan
    Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior, Michigan

    In this splendid 132,000-acre archipelago protruding from the depths of the world's largest freshwater lake, you'll find yourself in an untamed wilderness of lakes and boreal forest. The park is a haven for moose and endangered gray wolves, which circle each other in a fascinating prey-predator dance.

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When you think of America's national parks, you think of rocky peaks, pine trees, and snowy mountains. But its also full to the brim of hidden national treasures in the form of stunning rainforests, forgotten Civil War battlefields, and isolated beaches. You just have to know where to look...

Of the 400 national parks, the big four, including Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Great Smoky Mountains, attract the most visitors. But many of the parks like American Samoa, Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison, California's Channel Islands, and Michigan's Isle Royale remain largely empty.

"There are so many exquisite, unexpected landscapes to enjoy in our national parks that if you only go to the big ones, you're missing out," said national park fanatic Debbie Koegler.

Where to go first...

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