What are the best national parks in the United States to visit this summer?
A new report reveals rankings that may surprise travelers.
Rather than simply listing the most popular and most visited national parks, Travel Lemming used a variety of factors to rank all 63 national parks from best to worst.
The factors they took into account include:
- Crowd levels
- Reviews from visitors
You might be surprised to see that many of the most popular national parks in the country, such as Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Zion National Park, did not make the cut for the top slots. Instead, many lesser-known national parks rank at the top.
Here are the best U.S. national parks to check out based on these new rankings:
1. Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park in Virginia comes in at number one according to Travel Lemming’s rankings.
This national park is one of the most accessible on the East Coast, and it offers stunning scenery and views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
It’s also not very crowded and holds the distinction of being the second-most affordable national park to visit, with low average hotel prices nearby.
2. North Cascades National Park
Another great national park is North Cascades National Park in Washington. This is actually one of the least visited national parks in the country — making it one of the most underrated too.
North Cascades National Park is an amazing summertime destination, with great weather during the summer months.
It’s incredibly biodiverse, with a variety of flora, fauna, and landscapes that will leave visitors impressed by how much natural beauty it has to offer.
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3. Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park in Florida snags one of the top spots on this ranking due to its accessibility and weather, which remains warm and sunny year-round.
This national park is less than one hour from Miami, making it a great day trip for travelers who are visiting Miami and the Florida Keys.
4. Kings Canyon National Park (Tie)
Kings Canyon National Park is another one of the best national parks in the United States.
Located in California, this national park is known for its dramatic landscapes.
It’s also located just fifteen minutes from another national park on this list, which it actually ties with for fourth place in the rankings.
4. Sequoia National Park (Tie)
Sequoia National Park in California is the other national park tied for fourth place with Kings Canyon. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, this national park is known for its giant sequoia trees.
You can easily combine these two national parks into one great vacation.
6. Everglades National Park
Another Florida national park to make this list is Everglades National Park. Located about one hour from Miami, this national park is very accessible and stays warm and sunny all year.
Visitors to this national park will be impressed by its unique wetlands habitat.
7. Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is another one of the top national parks in the U.S. based on these rankings. This Texas national park takes one of the top spots because of its lack of crowds, stunning scenery, and pleasant weather during most of the year.
Although it’s one of the least accessible national parks, being located in a remote part of southwestern Texas, it’s worth the effort to visit Big Bend.
8. Mammoth Cave National Park
Finally, Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky is a great national park to visit.
What’s unique about this national park is that much of it is underground — Mammoth Cave is thought to be the world’s largest cave system.
Visitors to this national park will enjoy affordable prices at nearby hotels and fascinating biodiversity that cannot be seen anywhere else.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com