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CAUTION: Avoid These National Parks in 2024 (And Visit These Instead)

National parks are natural wonderlands. Structuring your RV trip around these protected lands makes for a fun and adventurous time.

However, there are five national parks that you’ll want to avoid in 2024. Curious to know why?

Keep reading to learn why you would want to avoid a national park. But rest assured, we have alternative solutions.

Let’s go!

National Parks Should Be on Everyone’s Bucket List

Visiting national parks is an excellent opportunity to learn about the history of that location. You can learn about the ecosystem and inhabitants while taking in the natural beauty.

In addition, with so much development around the country, national parks are some of the few unspoiled places we have left. For these reasons, they should be on your bucket list! 

National parks offer a variety of activities and educational experiences. While each park is different, that’s part of the charm. You can do things like hike, rock climb, backpack, camp, go on guided tours, go paddling or rafting, view wildlife, and more.

Most also provide park ranger talks to learn about the park and its impact on the Earth.

Hate Crowds? Avoid These 5 National Parks in 2024

So if national parks are so great, why are we suggesting you should avoid some? With a boom in RVing and Americans taking vacations closer to home lately, the national parks are busy places. And in 2024, they’re likely to be even more crowded.

So don’t be surprised if you have to make early reservations to get into some of the most popular national parks.

Here are five national parks that will be bursting at the seams in 2024. 

1. Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is arguably one of the most famous in the national park system. People come from around the world to see its unique hydrothermal and geologic wonders, such as the Old Faithful geyser.

Millions visit each year. And with Americans counting down the days until summer vacation, 2024 is sure to be a record-breaking year.

Keep in mind: Here’s the best free camping near Yellowstone if you insist on visiting.

2. Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. It’s a popular destination for residents of the state and people across the country. The park has waterfalls, grand meadows, and giant sequoias.

Road systems are more crowded each summer. 

Yosemite also has some amazing free campsites nearby.

3. Glacier 

Glacier National Park in Montana draws hikers from around the globe. They come for the rugged mountains and beautiful lakes. There are more than 700 miles of trails through the wilderness.

It’s also a popular rail destination with passenger trains stopping regularly so tourists can explore the park. Glacier will likely have record attendance in this coming year. 

4. Grand Teton

Grand Teton National Park offers an abundance of wildlife, lakes, and alpine terrain. People flock to the park to take in the Teton Mountains and hike the more than 200 miles of trails.

It’s a photographer’s paradise.

Expect the park to be very crowded in 2024.

5. Zion National Park

Zion National Park is one of five national parks in Utah. Known for its sandstone cliffs and slot canyon, it’s breathtaking. The park is a famous spring, summer, and fall destination.

If you plan to visit during spring break in 2024, you may be elbow-to-elbow with thousands of other families. 

Don’t miss out: This is our go-to free campsite every time we visit Zion.

Here Are Some Less-Visited National Parks to See Instead

Prefer fewer crowds and a little more space to spread out? We’ve got you covered. Here are four less-visited national parks that you may want to check out in 2024 instead.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is about 70 miles off the shore of Key West, Fla. It’s a 100-square-mile park made up of open water and seven small islands. Fort Jefferson is on one of the islands.

The park also has coral reefs, sea life, and birdwatching. You can only get to the park by boat or seaplane. 

Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park is located on Lake Michigan just south of the Indiana and Michigan border and a short distance from Chicago. The park offers 15 miles of shoreline and 50 miles of trails through the dunes and forest.

So whether you’re up for hiking or a day at the beach, it’s a relaxing getaway.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is in southwestern Texas. It’s often off the radar for most, making it a great park to avoid the crowds. The park features canyons in ancient limestone.

Hundreds of bird species live here, along with cactus and other plant species. You can hike in the desert or mountains or along the Rio Grande River in Big Bend.

Don’t miss out: The Santa Elena Canyon is Big Bend’s best feature.

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park is in South Dakota. Known as the land of stone and light, Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of protected land. It has one of the world’s richest fossil beds.

While most of the country is visiting national parks out west, South Dakota is a great place to be in the summer months.

Plan Your Visits Ahead of Time When Visiting National Parks in 2022

Are you ready to visit national parks in 2024? Even though they’re more crowded than ever, the parks still need us, and we need them. These beautiful natural masterpieces are a refuge for humans and wildlife. They take us back to simpler times, which is likely why they’re bursting with visitors. 

To make the most out of your time in national parks, plan well. Many parks will have a reservation system in 2022.

Watch the website of the parks you’ll be visiting for updates and changes on their reservations or other requirements. Advanced planning will serve you well and ensure you have a fun and memorable time.

Which parks will you visit?

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

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  1. I worked at the national parks for 30 years. you hit the parks right on the head. THANK YOU Rita Huston