PHOTO: Discover the Sliding Sands Trail in Haleakala National Park, Hawaii. (Photo via Flickr/Roy Luck)
Our national parks are breathtaking, but they can also be crowded at peak times. However, if you know some of their hidden gems, you can escape the hoards of explorers and find some solace in an undiscovered part of the park. We follow along with some tips from Travel + Leisure, who gets advice from photographers Jonathan Irish and Stephanie Payne, who share some of their favorites spots.
“Our goal was to celebrate what these parks mean for us, so it was important for us to dig into every park and not just hit the main points, but to get to the heart of the park and find the places that most people don’t get to,” Irish told Travel + Leisure.
Zion is famous for its incredible canyons and for those looking for somewhere off the beaten path, head to Kolob Canyons.
“Here, you'll find majestic peaks, cliff walls that soar as high as 2,000 feet and the opportunity to hike through the breathtaking desert terrain in tranquility,” writes Talia Avakian.
In Hawaii’s Haleakala National Park, Irish tells Travel + Leisure about the Sliding Sands Trail.
READ MORE: Discover Winter in the National Parks
“It’s like walking on Mars,” Irish said of the setting. “You get a mile down there and there’s strangely no one around, and I think that’s what makes this one of the best trails,” he says.
Getting away from it all in Everglades National Park can happen in the backcountry.
“To truly get away from it all and explore Florida’s Everglades National Park the traditional way, head to the park’s backcountry campsites where you’ll find chickees, elevated camping platforms that sit right in the water,” writes Avakian.
Want to know more secrets of our national parks? Read on here.