U.S. National Parks (Without the Crowds)

We canvassed a slew of superintendents, rangers, conservationists and experts to discover the best ways to get off the beaten path in the 88 million National Park Service acres.

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Gypsum dune fields in New Mexico, simmering volcanoes in Hawaii, a mountainous wilderness in Yosemite (and a luxury hotel in the middle of it all): America’s 59 national parks are a motley crew of exceedingly impressive natural wonders. Through diligent upkeep, the National Park Service—which turns 100 years old in August—has ensured all 137,500 square miles of these diverse park lands have one thing in common: they leave its visitors speechless and humbled.

In celebration of the Park’s centennial anniversary, a plethora of art exhibitions, guided tours, festivals, and other activations across the country have already started attracting visitors to these epic grounds this summer. Of course, that means even more crowds touring these coveted sites than usual. Thanks to a few experts, we’ve gathered some essential intel into the ways to avoid the commotion and access the best of the Parks in peace.