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US National Parks I Won't Return to, According to Frequent Traveler

US National Parks I Won't Return to, According to Frequent Traveler

Although I love national parks, there are a few that I don't plan on returning to.
Emily Hart

  • Over the past decade, I have traveled alone to 59 of the major national parks in the United States.
  • Although I have visited some of the parks multiple times, there are a few that I will not return to.
  • Despite the wonderful experiences I had, I will not be returning to Glacier Bay or Haleakala National Park.

Over the past decade, I've traveled solo to nearly every U.S. national park, many of them multiple times. At many parks, I start planning my return trip even before I leave.

But I've had several realizations that I probably won't visit the park again, either because it's not for me, or because it's too expensive, or because it's such a bucket-list experience that it's truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Follower 59 major national parks in the United States I've visited so far, and these are places I probably won't visit again.

I loved Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, but visiting it can be expensive and logistically difficult.

I visited Glacier Bay National Park via a Norwegian cruise.
Emily Hart

Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Which is why some may find it surprising that I don't see myself returning anytime soon.

Although I loved experiencing Glacier Bay National Park during a Norwegian Bliss cruise, visiting the park can be expensive and logistically difficult.

Because the garden consists mostly of water, Now visitors Enter the park on cruise ships, which in some cases can cost thousands of dollars. but Only two ships They are allowed into the water every day, which makes visiting this park more difficult than others.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico was not for me.

Although I love national parks, there are a few that I don't plan on returning to.
Emily Hart

Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico is another world. But the park, famous for its protection of more than 119 known caves — including the legendary “Big Chamber” — and its nocturnal flights of bats in the summer months, is not my style.

Personally, I don't enjoy exploring caves.

New Mexico has a lot to offer, and best explore White Sands National Park, Bandelier National Monument, or the Ghost Ranch of Abiquiu for outdoor beauty and hiking.

Visiting Haleakala National Park in Hawaii was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I loved watching the sunset on top of Haleakala Volcano.
Emily Hart

Although visit Haleakala The national park was one of my favorite experiences, and I probably won't be returning anytime soon.

Watching the sunset over the summit of Haleakala Volcano was one of the most memorable things I've done in a national park. But I'm OK with leaving it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If I return to Hawaii, there are so many other destinations I would like to explore.

In my opinion, Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas looks like a national monument.

Hot Springs National Park is rich in history but feels like a national monument.
Kelly Vandelen/Shutterstock

Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas is a somewhat controversial designation in some national park enthusiast communities. This is because, unlike many other parks in the system, Hot Springs consists of a lot of man-made structures.

Although the park itself is rich in history, it certainly feels more like a national monument than a national park. Much of the park is located within the city, and the hot springs are mostly developed from their natural state.

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I would visit again if I was already in the area, but if not, I would choose to take a trip to the Buffalo National River or Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas.

I found Indiana Dunes National Park very close to industrial areas.

While visiting Indiana Dunes National Park, I was able to see industrial areas and power plants.
Emily Hart

Proximity to Indiana Dunes National Park, located about an hour outside of Chicago, is a big plus for urban residents. But I will never make a special trip to this park again.

The dunes and park are beautiful – and great for a day at the beach – but they still have views of industrial areas and power plants, which takes away the awe and wonder I aim to experience in a national park.

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