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Escape the Crowds: Finding Peace in National Parks

National parks are some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring natural sites in the world. From the stunning landscapes of Yellowstone to the breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon, these parks have become popular tourist destinations, especially during the summer season.

However, with the increase in visitors in 2021, overcrowding at national parks has become a major issue. In this article, we will explore the most crowded national parks and ways to avoid the crowds.

Most Crowded National Parks

Yellowstone: Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular national parks, attracting millions of visitors every year. This park is especially crowded during the summer season.

Visitors come to see the famous geysers, hot springs, and wildlife. To avoid the crowds, it is recommended to visit during the shoulder season or early in the morning before the crowds arrive.

Grand Canyon: The Grand Canyon is another popular national park that gets crowded during the peak summer season. The park’s high temperatures make hiking and other activities challenging.

To avoid the crowds, it is best to visit during the shoulder season, which is usually from November to April. Zion: Zion National park attracts over 5 million visitors each year.

It is known for its picturesque views and challenging hikes, such as Angels Landing. To manage the crowds, the park now requires a permit for visitors who want to hike the Angels Landing trail.

To avoid the crowds, it is recommended to visit during the shoulder season or try lesser-known areas of the park. Glacier: Glacier National Park is famous for its stunning views of the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor.

To manage the crowds, the park has implemented a reservation system for the main roads during peak season. It is recommended to book in advance, or alternatively, visit lesser-known areas of the park.

Haleakala: Located in Hawaii, Haleakala National park is another park that requires a reservation for visitors planning to watch the sunrise. Visitors can book their reservation up to two months in advance.

The park also has several other popular trails that require a reservation during peak season. Shenandoah: Shenandoah National Park is home to the popular Old Rag Mountain trail, which requires visitors to obtain a ticket before hiking.

The park also has many other lesser-known trails that offer beautiful views and fewer crowds. Redwood: Redwood National and State Parks in California are known for their majestic trees and amazing hikes like the Tall Trees Trail.

Due to overcrowding, the park now requires a reservation for the Tall Trees Trail during peak season. Visitors can book their reservation up to one week in advance.

Great Smoky Mountains: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is another popular park that attracts visitors during peak season. The park is especially busy during the fall season due to the beautiful foliage.

To avoid the crowds, it is best to visit during the shoulder season. Acadia: Located in Maine, Acadia National Park is known for Cadillac Summit Road, which offers stunning views of the coastline.

Due to overcrowding, the park now requires a reservation for this road during peak season. Visitors can book their reservation up to two days in advance.

Ways to Avoid Crowds at National Parks

Booking Ahead: One of the best ways to avoid crowds at national parks is by booking ahead. Many parks, such as Haleakala and Redwood, require reservations for popular trails or areas.

Visitors can book their reservations in advance, giving them peace of mind when visiting the park. Trying Off-Peak Seasons: Another way to avoid crowds is by visiting during the off-peak season.

Parks are usually less crowded during the fall or winter months. Additionally, facilities and park entrances may also have different operating hours during this time.

Visiting Lesser-Known Parks: Another option is to visit lesser-known parks or natural sites. There are many beautiful parks and natural sites around the country that are often overlooked by tourists.

These parks may offer unique experiences and fewer crowds. Exploring Less-Crowded Areas in Popular Parks: Finally, visitors can explore less-crowded areas in popular parks.

For example, while Zion National Park is known for Angels Landing, it also has several other lesser-known hikes that offer beautiful views and fewer crowds.


The increase in visitors at national parks has led to overcrowding and the need for reservation systems. While this can be frustrating for tourists, there are ways to avoid the crowds.

By booking ahead, trying off-peak seasons, visiting lesser-known parks, or exploring less-crowded areas in popular parks, visitors can have a more enjoyable and peaceful experience at these natural sites. National parks are a treasure trove of natural beauty, wildlife, and adventure.

They offer an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the wonder and amazement of some of the worlds most awe-inspiring natural wonders. Moreover, national parks also provide an avenue for quality time alone or with loved ones.

As such, there are numerous benefits to visiting national parks. Beauty, Wildlife, and Adventure

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of visiting national parks is the sheer beauty and wonder they offer.

National parks often have serene landscapes, breathtaking vistas, and unique natural features that are not found anywhere else in the world. From the massive peaks of Denali National Park and Preserve to the vibrant red rock formations at Arches National Park, there is an endless appreciation for the natural beauty on offer.

Moreover, national parks are home to an impressive array of wildlife. Observing animals such as grizzly bears, elk, bison, and wolves can be a thrill especially when these animals are observed in their natural habitat.

National parks offer an unmatched opportunity to appreciate the wonders of the natural world. The adventure aspect of visiting national parks can be underappreciated.

Parks are often packed with activities such as hiking, rock climbing, fishing, kayaking, and mountain biking. Depending on the park, there may miles upon miles of trails waiting to be discovered.

Each one with its unique views providing unforgettable experiences. Visiting national parks makes it easy to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and embrace the natural beauty of the world.

Wonder and Amazement

National parks have witnessed some of the worlds most awe-inspiring natural wonders. From the Grand Canyon to Monument Valley, Yellowstone to Yosemite, to name just a few, these parks all inspire wonder and amazement.

The colors, contours, and textures of the landscape hold up a testament to just how amazing our planet is. For many visitors, their initial awe will last a lifetime.

They will never forget the feeling of amazement upon seeing the play of light on the rocks as the sun sets or hearing the thunderous roar of a waterfall. Such experiences transcend time and are sure to be etched in the mind of those who witness them.

Quality Time Alone or with Loved Ones

National parks offer visitors an opportunity to step-back, unwind, and connect with nature. Unlike cities and towns, national parks are often remote, offering visitors the opportunity to appreciate peace and quiet, and the sights and sounds of nature.

It is a form of escape that provides respite from the frenetic pace of today’s world. Moreover, national parks offer the perfect platform for quality time alone or with loved ones.

Disconnecting from the distractions of modern life enables visitors to enjoy meaningful conversations with those they are with, strengthening relationships and creating unforgettable memories. Sharing the experience of viewing a stunning sunset, watching a waterfall or spotting a majestic animal can solidify bonds that will last a lifetime.

Acknowledgement of Overcrowding

While there are numerous benefits to visiting national parks, overcrowding is an issue that cannot be overlooked. A record number of visitors in 2021 has seen excessive numbers of tourists flocking to already-troubled parks, leading to overcrowding on trails, overflowing parking lots, and long wait times for park amenities.

Suggestions on how to find peace in the national park experience

To find peace and quiet in national parks, it is recommended that visitors book ahead. This process, coupled with arriving early in the morning, affords visitors the chance to experience the parks without the corresponding crowds.

During peak season, visitors should try to avoid popular routes and areas. Venturing into the lesser-known areas of the park and trails can provide fantastic views while enjoying a quieter and more peaceful environment.

As technology continues to dominate our lives, many national parks are beginning to offer digital detox programs so that people can truly disconnect from the world. Visitors are encouraged to adopt these programs to disconnect from modern life and focus on the beauty of their surroundings.

Reminder to Appreciate the National Park Service

Finally, visitors should always appreciate the National Park Service and their efforts to provide access and preserve the natural beauty of parks. The National Park Service is essential to keeping these natural treasures accessible and protected for generations to come.

Consider making a contribution to the National Park Foundation to show appreciation and support their efforts to sustain these parks.


National parks offer visitors an opportunity to appreciate natural beauty, wildlife, and adventure. They inspire wonder and amazement while providing a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Overcrowding is a major issue that visitors have to contend with, but with a little bit of pre-planning and finding areas that might be lesser-known, visitors can find peace and quiet, making the national park experience truly unforgettable. It is essential that visitors appreciate the work undertaken by the National Park Service in preserving and protecting these treasures.

In summary, visiting national parks offers numerous benefits, such as experiencing beauty, wildlife, adventure, and wonder, and spending quality time alone or with loved ones. However, overcrowding is a significant issue that visitors need to take into account.

To find peace and quiet, visitors can book ahead and venture into less popular areas. Lastly, visitors should appreciate the National Park Service’s efforts in preserving these natural treasures.

As such, it is crucial to recognize the importance of national parks and support their continued preservation.

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