If you’ve already hit up Zion, admired Yellowstone, and hiked in Yosemite, you’ve barely scratched the surface of our country's natural landscapes.
Here are some lesser visited outdoor destinations that we can't wait to explore in 2018.
1. Everglades National Park
While the national parks and monuments dotting the western half of the United States tend to get the bulk of the recognition, the east coast of this country has plenty of unique nature to offer as well -- including iconic Everglades National Park located in south Florida.
Get outside to walk the boarded trails over the swamp, go biking, or hit the water and for canoeing or kayaking in the park -- just be sure to keep an eye out for the area’s infamous gators!
2. Bears Ears National Monument
There’s nowhere quite like Utah, and Bears Ears National Monument shows off some of Utah's best: named for two striking buttes, the area is packed with classic Utah desert landscape.
Note that due to political issues surrounding the monument, very little infrastructure is present: at this time, there is no visitor center and limited tourism development in the area.
Use caution and come prepared with plenty of supplies, but if you choose to visit, you will experience wonderful hiking and numerous archeological sites from several Native American tribes.
Denali National Park
If you’re looking for wild, remote wilderness and epic mountain views, it’s hard to find somewhere better than Alaska.
Denali National Park is the third largest national park in the country (beat out only by two other Alaskan National Parks; Gates of the Arctic and Wrangell-St. Elias), and is home to only one road. Of that 92-mile road, only the first 15 miles are paved!
Visit Denali National Park for hiking, camping, and stunning wilderness. It's not the easiest park to reach, but once you're there, it's worth the trip.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Located in Utah, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is home to desert hiking, arched rock formations, and colorful slot canyons. The landscape is similar to Arches, but you won't have to deal with the crowds.
If you're looking for peace and quiet, Grand Staircase has plenty. This national monument is part of some of the most remote land in the country. Despite recent cuts to its boundaries, there is still a massive expanse of seemingly untouched desert to explore.
White Sands National Monument
Located in southern New Mexico, White Sands National Monument is home to the world’s biggest field of gypsum sand dunes.
The effect is beautiful: rolling dunes of fine white sand as far as the eye can see.
Take a hike into the dunes, or release your inner kid and go sledding down them instead!