Best National Parks to Visit for Solo Travelers
The world of solo travel is expanding rapidly. Nowadays, it is not unusual to see solo travelers even in remote locales such as our gorgeous national parks. There are so many beautiful places to explore, and often it is more convenient for adventurers to strike out on their own.
When you travel alone, you get the freedom to move about as you please without consulting with anyone else on your adventure itinerary. It also gives you the opportunity to strike up conversations with fellow travelers, and who knows? You may even run into other solo travelers along the way.
Solo travelers looking for an enjoyable National Park should choose trails that aren’t too crowded, providing ample chances to connect with others. The best national parks offer visitors a wide range of activities, from wildlife views to hiking to scenic drives. Here are the top picks for solo travelers to consider.
Located in Arkansas, Hot Springs Park is the 18th official national park of America and provides visitors with a range of ways to experience it. From driving scenic routes to hiking trails, Hot Springs Park boasts activities suitable for visitors of all skill sets and interests.
The park also features a 216-foot lookout tower that offers spectacular views of the area. From here, visitors can take in breathtaking panoramas of Hot Springs and the Ouachita Mountains – which encompass more than 1.8 million acres in Arkansas.
With 26 miles of hiking trails in the park, solo travelers can pick a trail that meets their fitness and experience level. Popular trails include West Mountain Trail, North Mountain Trail and Sunset Trail.
There are a variety of attractions to keep one engaged, such as Bathhouse Row – consisting of eight historic bathhouses built in the late 19th and 1930s that overlooks the Ouachita Mountains. A must-visit for anyone visiting Hot Springs.
Great Basin is an idyllic destination in Nevada that offers plenty of activities. Solo adventurers will encounter exquisite desert landscapes and mountains, where trails lead to stunning lakes, bristlecone pine groves, and more. With so much to explore here, this area truly has something for everyone.
Solo travelers looking for an active outdoor experience can enjoy miles of trails leading to stunning lakes, bristlecone pine grottoes, and panoramic views of mountains and canyons.
Lehman Caves is a must-see due to its amazing marble formations. Additionally, you’ll spot plenty of wildlife species like bighorn sheep, porcupines, beavers and more throughout the preserve.
The park is open year-round, though it’s best to visit in autumn or winter to catch the beautiful fall foliage. Additionally, some of its roads are unpaved and require a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle for access.
Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is an incredible destination to discover and learn about Ancestral Puebloan culture. It should not be missed by anyone looking to immerse themselves in American history.
One of the best activities to do in the park is taking a ranger-guided tour of the cliff dwellings. You have your choice of three main cliff dwellings: Balcony House, Cliff Palace and Long House. Be aware that tickets for the cliff-dwelling tours tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to reserve yours now.
After spending the morning exploring the cliff dwellings, you can take some scenic loop drives. We suggest starting your tour at Morefield trailhead and continuing onto Chapin and Wetherill Mesa loops before reaching Cliff Palace – the park’s top attraction.
For a memorable hike, explore the breathtaking Spruce and Navajo canyons on this 2.8-mile trail. Plus, it has numerous petroglyphs along the way – perfect for anyone wanting to spend some time outside while learning about the ancient culture at the same time!
Petrified Forest National Park
Arizona is teeming with amazing landscapes and Petrified Forest National Park, situated along historic Route 66 in northeastern Arizona, is a gem. You’ll be amazed by its geology and petroglyphs as you explore this park!
This land of breathtaking scenic splendors and captivating science boasts one of the world’s largest concentrations of petrified wood. It also features multi-hued badlands of the Chinle Formation, parts of the Painted Desert, as well as displays of 225-million-year-old fossils.
Hiking trails offer an unforgettable experience to explore the vibrant and captivating world of petrified wood. Trails range from short strolls to day hikes perfect for solo travelers, often featuring cultural demonstrations along the way.
Backcountry hiking is a popular activity throughout the park, including Red Basin. Most backcountry areas can be accessed off the main park road due to their lack of vegetation, clear air and variety of landmarks. Backcountry hiking makes for a relaxing experience in this serene environment.