Wendy Rush

Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada is one of two national parks in the state. But unlike Death Valley, Great Basin isn't nearly as explored as much as it could be.

Great Basin National Park in Nevada was just deemed one of the most underrated in the entire country, in spite of being rife with beautiful scenery and history. An American national park is one that has become so known for its nature and wildlife that the American government protects and preserves it.

The Silver State is home to many national areas, but only two of them are considered national parks by the National Park Service (NPS). When people are asked to name the national parks in Nevada, most people will immediately say Death Valley. It’s easily the most popular, especially for its famous movie sets.

A mountain range in the foreground on the right, in front of a flat canyon below. The skies in the background are clear and blue. This is one of the most famous movie sets in the country.
noblige via Getty Images
Dante’s View at Death Valley National Park. One of six locations in the park used for filming of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Related: Death Valley National Park – 25 Reasons To Visit This Stunning Park

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is recognized by the NPS, but not officially labeled a park. Other such areas include the Tule Springs Fossil Beds Monument and various national historic trails, including the California, Old Spanish and Pony Express trails.

Great Basin National Park Is One Of America’s Most Underrated

A vacation rental platform called Lake.com recently conducted a survey to determine what the most underrated national parks are in the country. They did this by looking at data from the last year from NPS, specifically which parks had fewer than 750,000 visitors. Combining this with the number of visitor reviews and ratings, the experts came up with the top parks considered hidden gems in America.

#1 – North Cascades National Park

Located in Washington State, North Cascades is officially the most underrated national park, according to the study. It is 500,000 acres of lakes, forests and snowy mountains to explore.

Aerial view of a lake surrounded by tall mountains covered with pine trees under a blue sky.
Kelly Liu via Getty Images
Aerial View of the bright Blue Ann Lake. On either side of the lake is the Rising Mountains, covered with a lush bright green pine tree forest. Ann Lake is near the Pacific Crest Trail, North Cascades National Park in Washington.

#2 – Isle Royale National Park

The second most underrated national park in America was deemed to be Isle Royale in Michigan. Located near Lake Superior, the park is a popular spot for campers and hikers.

An island view of Lake Superior in Michigan seen from Isle Royale national park. There are pine trees and clouds in the distance.
Sanya Kushak via Getty Images
Looking out over the shoreline and pure waters of Lake Superior from the coast of Rock Harbor on the Northern island of Isle Royale. The coastline of this island is covered in green evergreen trees and moored ferries and sailboats dot the shoreline.

#3 – Dry Tortugas National Park

The title of third most underrated national park went to Dry Tortugas. Located in Key West, Florida. The area is just seven islands accessible only by plane or boat. The park is mostly water.

A J-shaped island with an old military fort is seen from an aerial view surrounded by blue green ocean water.
Winand Deerenberg via Getty Images
When you think of national parks, you don’t normally picture an island. But Dry Tortuga is a series of islands accessible only by plane or boat.

The fourth and fifth national parks considered the most underrated in the study are Gates of The Arctic and Wrangell-St. Elias, respectivly. Both parks are located in Alaska and known for their scenic rivers and artic beauty.

#6 – Great Basin National Park

As mentioned before, Death Valley National Park is the more popular of the preserved areas in the Silver State. It’s the other Nevada national park that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Great Basin National Park is located on the eastern border of Nevada, just west of Sevier Lake, Utah. Much like Death Valley National Park, Great Basin is a popular spot for campers because of the amazing views of the stars at night.

But unlike Death Valley, Great Basin National Park offers a lot of really cool caves to explore. The Lehman Caves are full of beautiful formations of stalactites and stalagmites. According to nps.gov, the Lehman Caves are the longest cave system in the Silver State and have been providing guided tours to visitors since 1885.

Great Basin National Park is also home to the 13,063-foot summit of Wheeler Peak. A highly coveted place for photographers because of the amazing views and beautiful bristlecone pine trees that cover much of the park. And much like Death Valley, Great Basin shows off a lot of Nevada’s history. The area has been home to native Americans for thousands of years, and still shows signs of more recent settlers as well.

10 Reasons To Visit Great Basin National Park

So, with the oldest cave system in Nevada, some of the oldest trees on the planet, beautiful lakes and hiking trails, and plenty of American history, it’s clear to see why Great Basin is one of the most underrated national parks in America. Here are 10 photos that show why this hidden gem might need to be on your next road trip through the Silver State.

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