Hidden Gem Activities to do in the National Parks

Fabulous Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park

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The National Parks are hot this year! As we move more and more into traveling in 2021, Americans are still traveling domestically. Additionally, staying socially distant, makes National Parks a great avenue for exploration.

However, getting into some of the National Parks may be challenging. If you’re looking to visit Yellowstone or Yosemite for example, expect crowds or even to be turned away if you don’t have an entrance pass.

Instead, look for some of these hidden gems in the National Parks.

This post is sponsored by Viator. All opinions and experiences are my own. I choose Viator because of its cancellation policy. If for any reason on a standard booking, you need to cancel within 24 hours, your bookings are fully refunded.

Mesa Verde National Park Tour

Mesa Verde National Park is home to nearly 5000 archaeological sites. Ancient Puebloan people once armed the mesa left behind impressive cliff dwellings tucked into the sandstone. Pictures alone do not do it justice.

If you want to get the best from Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, consider doing a guided tour.

One, this is a great way to avoid the crowds.

Two, with a guide, you get to see the park’s must-see attractions, including the Cliff Palace as well as a combination of archaeological artifacts and natural attractions. If you’ve never been before this tour is an ideal overview of the park for first-time visitors.

The full-day Mesa Verde National Park tour includes the National Park fees, lunch, a driver (really that in itself is so nice!) a professional guide, and a private vehicle.

If you’re short on time or funds, consider a half day Mesa Verde National Park tour or a Mesa Verde Express tour.

Dry Tortugas National Park

How do you visit a park that is mostly underwater? Snorkeling of course!

The Dry Tortugas National Park is a collection of islands just off the Florida keys. This is definitely a hidden gem among the National Parks largely in part due to its accessibility. Therefore, heading out with a guided catamaran trip is the best way to explore.

Check out the Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip here.

On this day trip from Key West, explore the Dry Tortugas National Park on a spacious catamaran across the tropical waters. Learn about your surroundings from an onboard naturalist. Enjoy breakfast and lunch on the boat. And swim or snorkel around the park’s coral reef with the included snorkeling equipment.

Explore the rest of Florida by water with these Kayaking trips.

Sequoia National Park

California has several National Parks. So many in fact, my Moon Guide has an entire chapter just for California. While many people flock to Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have some of the tallest and oldest trees on earth. The landscape is otherworldly and includes the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails.

For a truly unique experience, do a guided Snowshoe Adventure in Sequoia National Park. while many people are exploring this area in the summer, you’ll have the similar views with fewer crowds. In fact, just picture the tall trees dripping with pristine white snow, and the deep silence that comes with winter.

From the tour, “On this moderate, 2.5-mile round trip trail to Bear Hill in Sequoia National Park, you’ll get the chance to visit countless Giants while learning how to snowshoe! We’ll look for the tracks of animals as we learn about Giant Sequoia ecology and the secret winter world beneath our feet.”

Check out the guided Sequoia National Park Snowshoe Adventure here.

What are you best hidden gems in the National Parks? Leave a comment below!

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