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National Park
Jul 3, 2024 8:15:00 AM

Hidden Gem National Parks: Nature's Best-Kept Secrets for Travelers

Nature's Best-Kept Secrets for Travelers | LRS Healthcare

The United States is home to 63 official national parks full of breathtaking and diverse scenery providing unlimited access to adventure year-round. While you are moving to a new city every 13-ish weeks, take advantage of the opportunity to explore along the way. There is adventure to be had whether you want to extend your road trip to or from your assignment by crossing off places on your bucket list to visit or planning out your time while on assignment. You're in luck because the country is covered in national parks, which are wonderful destinations for a day excursion on your next day off.

The more well-known parks, such as Acadia National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and of course the most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains, tend to overshadow some of the most distinctive and stunning national parks. Even if some of them are more well-known, they are also among the parks that get the most visitors and crowds. If you’re looking to explore and get lost in nature with fewer crowds and just as much of the WOW factor, here are six of the most underrated hidden gem national parks ready to be explored.


Big Bend National Park, TX

Big Bend is the largest park in Texas consisting of over 150 miles of desert and mountain trails, and the only National Park to contain an entire mountain range within its boundaries. The massive and remote national park was home to a vast variety of wildlife and terrain. The diverse landscape consists of hot springs, mountains, deserts, rivers, forests, and waterfalls offering endless amounts of outdoor recreational opportunities. The park is most commonly visited for the Langford Hot Springs at a constant temp of 105 degrees naturally. Although the diverse landscape provides hiking trails, rock climbing, river trips, and scenic drives, the truly remote location, solitude and feeling of being on untouched terrain, and unforgettable stargazing are sure to provide for an unforgettable experience. The park is located in West Texas, a quick weekend trip from your travel assignment in El Paso or San Antonio.

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Canyonlands National Park, UT

Canyonlands is a tremendous National Park full of rock formations carved in an abundance of red canyons by the Colorado River. Located near Arches National Park in Moab, it is truly Utah’s hidden gem. The park is often overlooked by more well-known parks such as Arches National Park and Zion National Park and is far less busy. The park is divided into four different districts by the rivers: Island In the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves all full of their own unique looks. Each district offers an unforgettable adventure whether you are ripping around on ATVs or mountain bikes through the backcountry as it is famous for having some of the best mountain biking terrain or hiking or driving enjoying the scenic view of the canyons. If your next travel assignment is anywhere near southeast Utah, this park is 100% a sight to see and worth the visit.

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North Cascades National Park, WA

North Cascades is truly one of the most underrated National Parks in the country and is one of the least visited. Not for long! This hidden treasure is located just about 2 hours outside of Seattle and is often referred to as “The American Alps” due to the rugged mountain range but is most commonly recognized for the blue water from Diablo Lake. While the park is often overlooked by Mt Rainier and others nearby due to accessibility, it is worth the trek. Most importantly, the 360-degree view of breathtaking scenery consisting of over 300 glaciers, alpine lakes, waterfalls, and valleys offers difficult hiking opportunities for our thrill seekers. This park offers the perfect adventure if your next travel assignment takes you to northern Washington State and are looking to get lost in nature and enjoy solidarity and challenging recreational opportunities.

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Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO

Sand Dunes are definitely not what you think of when you think of the great outdoors Colorado has to offer. However, do not overlook the Great Sand Dunes National Park, there is truly nothing like it. The captivating and unique landscape consists of snow-capped peaks in the background right behind the tallest sand dunes in North America, some up to 750ft tall! The contrast in terrain creates such a beautiful and unforgettable view. Beyond the beauty, there is a variety of unique outdoor recreation offered in the park: sandboarding, sledding, hiking, backpacking, and of course stargazing. The best time to visit the iconic dunes are Spring and Fall to avoid large crowds in the summer. Be sure to add this to your adventure bucket list and book your next travel assignment in southern Colorado.

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Mammoth Cave National Park, KT

Home to the World’s longest known cave system, Mammoth Cave features over 400 miles of tunnels to explore full of thousands of years of rich history and adventure. The unique National Park has a ton to offer from guided cave tours, over 80 miles worth of hiking trails, kayaking, canoeing, boating, and around 60 miles of backcountry you can explore horseback riding. It doesn’t stop there, “Half the park is after dark” and they aren’t kidding. After dawn, the sky is clear and FULL of stars, the park is known for its incredible stargazing. So much, so that they have a Night Sky Program for a guided experience under the stars led by rangers showcasing different planets with telescopes. Be sure to take the opportunity to visit this spectacular National Park when you book your next travel assignment near Louisville or Nashville.

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Grand Teton, WY

Last but surely not least, Grand Teton is a hidden gem known for its picture-perfect scenery and vast wildlife, simply a photographer’s paradise. To top it off, the Grand Teton National Park is located just south of Yellowstone National Park and is far less busy. While it is less known than Yellowstone, it is a treasure of its own. The iconic mountain range is full of diverse scenery with a variety of lakes, valleys, rivers and is home to elk, moose, deer and of course bears. The vast wildlife and landscape make it an incredible photo opp for photographers. While you are guaranteed a stunning picture, some of the most breathtaking and popular photo locations are Schwabacher Landing, Jenny Lake, and Snake River Overlook. Beyond the park’s beauty, there are a ton of outdoor activities to partake in such as hiking, climbing, fishing, boating, rafting and more. We’ve had a handful of travelers share their adventures from Grand Teton and let me tell you it is definitely worth visiting if you are adventuring in western Wyoming!

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Every new travel assignment is a new adventure waiting to be explored and full of opportunities. So, as you get ready to embark on your next travel healthcare adventure apply here and, be sure to find the hidden gems in each city and embrace the beauty of the unknown adventure ahead.


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