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Little Known National Parks

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by teletimetx, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    I suppose there are probably a few National Park experts around TDPRI. I'm not one of them.

    And of course, this doesn't have to be confined to the US, as many nations have the foresight to set aside amazing areas for the enjoyment of all.

    I happened to be doing some volunteer research on google Earth, trying to locate possible sites included in the famous frog hunting expedition described in Steinbeck's Cannery Row - which include a river pond beneath a cliff along the Carmel River.

    In switching between 2D and 3D mode, I stumbled on Pinnacles National Park. Apparently, it used to be a National Monument, but got "promoted" to National Park status. The park became a release and management site for the California condor in 2003. Here's a video:

    https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=9C5DA912-1DD8-B71B-0BD81A093F099067

    How about y'all? Got any tips on National Parks that might be a little off the radar? I think most of us have heard about Yellowstone, or Rocky Mountain or Yosemite or similar.
     
  2. Chandlerman

    Chandlerman Tele-Meister

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    You don't hear much about Joshua Tree. It's a beautiful place.
     
  3. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Holic

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    The best secret gems in the National Parks system aren't parks--the national lakeshores and scenic rivers in the NPS system are beautiful and less trafficked.
     
  4. rghill

    rghill Tele-Afflicted

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    I used to live in Flagstaff Arizona. I had to come back after moving away to realize the number of National Monuments nearby. My favorites are Walnut Canyon and Wupatki. Amazing history packed into those two parks.
     
  5. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    I don't know about "off the radar", but we hit as many as we could on our "great divide" trip...including
    Custer (state park), Mt Rushmore, Glacier, (Yellowstone), Craters of the Moon, Four Corners, and Mesa Verde.

    Craters of the Moon has a ten day - two weekish period every year when the flowers bloom...we hit it right by pure luck. An interesting stop...and the "starting point" if you will of the super volcano that has migrated up with shifts in the earth to the Yellowstone area.

    Mesa Verde has many remnants of cliff dwellings for view.
     
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  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Pacific Rim National Park's West Coast Trail. It's closed right now for the expected reason.

    west coast trail.jpg
     
  7. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    From our friend Margery Kershaw on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast, I learned about:

    - Gates of the Arctic (northernmost and least-visited national park)
    - Pinnacles (smallest, 41.57sqmi)
    - Dry Tortugas (also small at 100sqmi)
     
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  8. tbp0701

    tbp0701 Tele-Afflicted

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    The only one near me is Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I'm not sure how off the radar it is, but it's a it unique as it's near urban areas and, not so long ago, was the site of a toxic dump and coliseum (with massive parking lot), which makes its transformation even more spectacular for me.

    I've not had a chance to explore it as much as I want, but I've ridden my bike through it on the Towpath Trail a few times in the past year, which has been great. (I was finally able to start biking again last year).
     
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  9. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I don't hear much about Chaco outside of this state, and I've honestly never been, but when things relax, I'm for sure heading up there for a weekend. UNESCO site as well.

    [​IMG]

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/chaco-culture-national-historical-park

    ****

    AN ANCIENT AND MYSTICAL PLACE, CHACO Canyon is a fragile and vital piece of pre-Columbian cultural and historical preservation.

    The canyon of the Chacoans was once the cultural hub for Ancient Pueblo Peoples. Huge, intricate compounds showing in their construction evidence of archeoastronomy with several of the buildings aligned to capture the cycles of the sun and moon. The canyon’s 15 complexes also contained the largest buildings north of Mexico until the 19th century. The Chacoans and their complicated, astronomically-influenced architecture thrived between AD 900 and 1150, likely moving on due to a climate change that delivered a drought that lasted half a century.

    The Chacoan complexes cover a nine-mile span along the canyon floor. The Northside is home to nine of the “Great Houses,” of which there are 14 altogether. The latest Great House is Pueblo Bonito, a four-story-high complex with 650 rooms, taking up almost two whole acres of land with its girth, its massive scale indicative of the spiritual importance the Great Houses held. Most of the houses facing South are well constructed, many-roomed structures which seem to be carefully aligned. Pueblo Bonito sits directly on the East-West line, an axis that captures the passage of the equinox sun.

    Smaller and more numerous than the Great Houses are the kivas. Some greater than others, the kivas held worshippers and contained both religious centers and dwellings. Some still standing, some remain only as foundation ruins, the park is said to contain 2,400 identified archeological sites, few of them have currently been excavated. Along with the complexes that served the city as homes and religious buildings, the site has a massive structure that is believed to have been a dam, elaborate pictographs, and tens of thousands of artifacts have been discovered just in the few excavations that have taken place.
     
  10. scook

    scook Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    National Forests often receive less traffic than National Parks.

    Some nice State Parks out there too that don’t get a lot of traffic.
     
  11. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary are incredibly beautiful and not very heavily visited since you can only get there by boat. The public concession ferry company, Island Packers, is currently on hold due to Covid, but you can still go in a private boat. I am the superintendent of the sanctuary so I admit I'm biased. Its kelp forests are a top 10 diving destination....

    upload_2021-1-26_10-45-23.png

    upload_2021-1-26_10-46-14.png

    upload_2021-1-26_10-47-51.png
     
  12. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you are staying in Palm Springs, its a much more enjoyable day trip to Joshua Tree then it is to head the other way and visit the Salton Sea (state park). I think the Salton Sea Visitor Center may be the saddest place on earth. That place is just brimming with death and hopelessness.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  13. Stiles

    Stiles Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Black Canyon in Colorado and Capital Reef in Utah are both stunning and off the beaten path.
     
  14. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    When I took my hundredth (OK, almost) trip to Mesa Verde (one of my favourite places on earth), we accidentally found Aztec Ruins and Canyons of the Ancients Nat'l. Monuments. Both small but fascinating. Canyons of the Ancients had only been a thing for five years when I discovered it, but how did I not know about Aztec Ruins???

    Back here in the real world, one of my favourite but little known places is Wapusk National Park. Probably little known because it only allows extremely limited visitation, but the easily accessible National Historic Site nearby gets only perfunctory visits from most of the people in Churchill to see the bears.
     
  15. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    We went through here this summer. Super beautiful. Fantastic looking place. In hindsight, I wish we had dedicated a couple days here instead of moving on to Mt. Rushmore, which seemed seriously anticlimactic.
    https://www.nps.gov/wica/index.htm
     
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  16. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Also, hands down this an absolute outdoor gem of my state. If you ever get a chance to visit and recreate in some Ozark streams, dont miss it. They really are a unique outdoor experience.
    https://www.nps.gov/ozar/index.htm
     
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  17. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    .
     
  18. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    As a midwesterner, this place seems like one of the most exotic outdoor destinations in America, seriously. Ever the chance presents itself, I’m going to visit! Jeez thats bad ass you are the superintendent of the place.[/QUOTE]
     
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  19. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    I live in AZ and I avoid nat'l parks and monuments whenever possible. There are tens of millions of acres of BLM/FS/USFWS/Wilderness/state land out there where you won't see anyone.
     
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  20. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Sleeping bear dunes National park
     
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