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Old 07-12-2016, 12:35 PM
 
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Great Smoky Mountains is wonderful and probably "rated" appropriately. It's the most visited park in the country, likely due to its east coast proximity, but is absolutely beautiful.
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:47 PM
 
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Everglades, underrated INMO. Considered a swamp by many though it is a biodiversity hotspot (probably has the highest biodiversity, along with the waters surrounding it/10000 islands, in the continental US.)

Everglades | Ecoregions | WWF
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Midwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG CATS View Post
Seriously? The Grand Canyon is overrated?!?! I swear, there are some people who just cannot be awestruck unless its by the new Kanye West video.
It's beautiful and amazing...from a plane where you can get a view of massive sections of it. From the ground I'd rather go to Glen Canyon, Coyote Buttes North Area of Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Zion Canyon, Buckskin Gulch, or Canyon De Chelly if I was in the southwest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mezter View Post
Grand Sand Dunes in Colorado is really underrated. Sure it's mostly sand, but it's really so cool how these mountains of sand are just in the middle of a barren valley right up against even larger mountains. So beautiful
It is one of the greatest mind ****s ever...until people see it with their own eyes it's really tough to imagine sand dunes up to 750 feet high. To me it's more than just a lot of sand. It's entering a surreal environment that feels like a different planet.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dude1984 View Post
There is no such thing as an overrated national park. As for underrated national park...Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, North Cascades in Washington, and Isle Royale in the middle of Lake Superior. I'm really eager to go to Isle Royale.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31dwiXJX22U

Isle Royal NP is always mentioned in these discussions about underated NPs. I have always wanted to see it too, but after looking into it I chose not too. There is a lodge on the Island but I believe its expensive, so the other choice is some really rustic camping. The only way to see the Island beyond the area where the boats come in is by hiking. (long ferry ride too) It is a large Island, so it really is for the physically fit granola bar types. It is not for the average tourist, it is a TRUE wilderness. I do a lot of day hikes between 3 and 8 miles in Smoky Mountain NP which I live near, but days of overnights in the woods is just beyond my level. I wish there was another way to visit Isle Royal but there is not. Everything Ive read about it suggest it is stunning, partly because so few people visit there.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,633,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG CATS View Post
Seriously? The Grand Canyon is overrated?!?! I swear, there are some people who just cannot be awestruck unless its by the new Kanye West video.
It's overrated if you are just going to stand at the rim and not do anything other than take a few pictures. I think the Grand Canyon is only worth visiting if you are going to actually hike down and see the Colorado River and everything.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felt38 View Post
There are some parks that should have probably stayed as National Monuments (or some other status), rather than be upgraded to National Park. Some examples:


1. Hot Springs - probably should be National Historical Park
2. Colorado Sand Dunes - should have been kept as national monument. There are other sand dunes in the US (Bruneau Sand Dunes come to mind, for one) so this is not really unique enough IMO to rate National Park.
3. Guadalupe Mountains - Might be better to combine with nearby Carlsbad for a Greater Chihuahua Desert NP
Great Sand Dunes definitely deserves it's NP status. They're by far the largest dunes in the country (And North America). It's way cooler in person than it sounds
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:22 PM
 
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I'd say Lassen is underrated. Looking forward to visiting in a couple weeks to find out for sure!

Also, Shenandoah NP. GSMNP gets all the love, I don't know if nearly as many people in DC know such a resource exists so close to their city.

Also underrated, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Many may not have heard of it, because it is one of the more recent additions to the system, and it's in supposed "flyover country" near Cleveland, but it is the closest of the 58 NPS to a major US city (within half hour of downtown), it has historic charm,is home to a winery, several golf courses and ski resorts, plus a world renowned outdoor concert venue, several historic New England style villages are on its outskirts and even one right inside, an interesting canal history, covered bridges, one of the longest continuous bike paths in the nation, waterfalls, marshland (that looks untouched but is a testament to conservation since it was an industrial site 2 decades ago), rolling hills, gorges, old growth forest, and unique rock ledge formations from the last ice age. Yeah, the terrain isn't as steep as in some spots, but there really is lots to look at here, especially for being so close to a bigger city.

Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park is deserving also, as many don't know of it since it's not in the contiguous 48 or even on Oahu, but where else can you walk on an active lava field?
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:21 AM
 
Location: The Springs
1,770 posts, read 2,136,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefox View Post
I don't know if there are as many "overrated" National Parks as "overlooked". I've heard that while Yellowstone is super popular, Grand Teton can be just as awe-inspiring but it isn't nearly as well-known.
Absolutely agree.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:13 PM
 
1,235 posts, read 1,429,127 times
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Great Smokies were vastly overrated for me. The mountains are nice, but similar to what you would find in other areas of the Appalachians. Crowds were everywhere, couldn't get away from them, even in the quieter areas of the park. There was a traffic jam for a deer. Really? Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are a tourist trap nightmare. In the east, I think the Adirondacks felt much more worthy of National Park status. High Peaks, thousands of glacial lakes, moose, etc. Acadia was also very crowded, but definitely felt unique and lived up to its National Park status. Mountain terrain on an island facing the ocean can be found nowhere else on the east coast.

Underrated are the Great Sand Dunes. Cuyahoga feels vastly overrated at first, but the more you visit it, the more it grows on you, and the more underrated it becomes.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:53 AM
 
371 posts, read 411,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ny789987 View Post
Great Smokies were vastly overrated for me. The mountains are nice, but similar to what you would find in other areas of the Appalachians. Crowds were everywhere, couldn't get away from them, even in the quieter areas of the park. There was a traffic jam for a deer. Really? Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are a tourist trap nightmare. In the east, I think the Adirondacks felt much more worthy of National Park status. High Peaks, thousands of glacial lakes, moose, etc. Acadia was also very crowded, but definitely felt unique and lived up to its National Park status. Mountain terrain on an island facing the ocean can be found nowhere else on the east coast.

Underrated are the Great Sand Dunes. Cuyahoga feels vastly overrated at first, but the more you visit it, the more it grows on you, and the more underrated it becomes.
You're first mistake was going to Gatlinburg. The NC side of the Smokies are the way to go. Especially down near Bryson City and the surrounding area.

And FWIW, the peaks in NC are higher than those in the Adirondack range. Clingman's Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies, is over a 1000 feet higher than Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in the Adirondacks. None the less, upstate NY is beautiful and I love the lakes up there.
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