June 9, 2020 / Jon Waterman / New York Times

11 Great Alternatives to the Top National Parks

Whether you like hiking, fishing, volcanoes, trees or even fossilized trees, there is a less-traveled and still awe-inspiring national park for you.

North Cascades, instead of Mount Rainier

Although still emerging from snow banks and currently open for only day use, North Cascades is typically one of the less-visited parks of the entire parks system, seeing less than 3 percent of Mount Rainier’s yearly traffic. Adjoining the Canadian border, 120 miles northeast of Seattle, this wilderness has only six miles of internal roads — all unpaved — and stretches over 1,000 square miles. It boasts 312 glaciers (12 times Mount Rainier’s), as well as more than 500 lakes and a lush carpet of old-growth evergreens. From its dry ponderosa pines in the east to the temperate rain forest in the west, this is landscape of tremendous biodiversity.

It’s also a great place to beat the heat, watch one of the most intact wildlife populations in the lower 48 (the huge and remote acreage still offers ideal habitats for all its original species.) But don’t forget to play, whether on day hikes or epic backpacking tours, perhaps peak bagging, fishing, boating or horseback riding.

Read full article here: New York Times
Original URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/04/travel/national-parks-social-distancing-coronavirus.html
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