Unvisited National Parks

DSC05564Ruth and I have not officially been to 13 National Parks.  In Alaska we have been to Glacier Bay on a boat and have sighted Wrangell-St. Elias from a distance but haven’t actually set foot in it, and we have been to Denali National Park without actually glimpsing the peak.  We have seen the tallest mountain in North America, however, from a plane in glorious sunshine.  Does that count?  The other 5 Alaska Parks–Kobuk Valley, Gates of the Arctic, Lake Clark, Katmai, and Kenai Fjords–have not been experienced by us and probably will remain unvisited.  But I just read a book by a man, David Roberts, whose  mountain climbing adventures occurred on Mount McKinley (Denali) and in the Brooks Range, which is partially in the Kobuk Valley.  Does that count?  I suppose not.  Kobuk Valley has no roads into it, and remains one of the least visited national parks.  That’s my excuse.


Except for American Samoa, we have the potential to see the other 7 if we’re ever able to travel again.  The Virgin Islands and the Channel Islands, however, remain remote possibilities.  We have our best shots at Cuyahoga Valley, Isle Royale, Hot Springs, and the 2 in Florida–Biscayne and the Dry Tortugas.  Biscayne is often described as a “Watery Wonderland”, is said to be 90% saltwater, and is probably better suited for divers; so I must do some research before committing,  The Dry Tortugas are very, very remote.  I know only one person who has been to this national park.

Ruth & I have been to the town of Hot Springs but not to the National Park, and we visited the Indiana Dunes, the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, and White Sands with children before they became National Parks.  Ruth’s favorite National Park is Bryce Canyon and mine is North Cascades for its stunning diversity.  In the past few years we have been to Mount Rainier, Grand Teton, Death Valley, Big Bend, and Congaree.  Congaree is small and highly recommended.

The photos that accompany this essay are all National Monuments–Canyon de Chelly, John Day Fossil Beds, and Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks.  After the virus recedes, we will head for Cuyahoga Valley for sure.  That’s my final comment about national parks until we actually go there.


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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