National parks are some of the most scenic, historic places you can visit. This makes them great places to check out when you’re travelling overseas. National Geographic photographer Jonathan Irish visited every US national park last year to find hidden gems most travellers don’t often reach. He shared a few of his top finds with Travel + Leisure.
Photo by Justin Gaerlan
Irish told the mag:
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.
These aren’t all secret spots, exactly, they’re just lesser-travelled areas within popular parks. A few on the list include:
- Yosemite National Park: Hetch Hetchy Valley: Irish says it looks like a mini Yosemite valley. It boasts two of North America’s tallest waterfalls over 300m granite cliffs.
- Grand Canyon National Park: Bright Angel Campground: It’s a more secluded area for camping, right next to the Colorado river.
- Capitol Reef National Park: Cathedral Valley: You have to drive about 90km down a dirt road to reach it, but you’ll see some of the most beautiful hills and canyons, plus it’s perfect for stargazing.
You’ll definitely want to check out Travel + Leisure’s full list. It includes more detail on these as well as a handful of other hidden spots in US national parks. Read it at the link below.