National parks are set aside for a good reason—they’re the most spectacular places in the country—but that means that they’re often overcrowded and teeming with tourists.
There are good reasons why people flock to the best-known parks, but there are also just as many scenic (and less-packed) options right nearby. Here are some alternatives to the most popular national parks in the U.S.
One of the most impressive things about the Grand Canyon is its vastness. You can stand on the rim and look out for miles into unending canyons. Death Valley has that same sense of scale, but you’re not going to be standing on the edge with the entire population of Phoenix beside you.Death Valley’s 3 million acres of wilderness hold all kinds of terrain and very few people. Check out the Devil’s Hole and the Racetrack Playa, where stones mysteriously move by themselves.