News & Opinion | July 16, 2018 5:00 am

How to See the National Parks Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

Want to hang with llamas, go sand-sledding or have afternoon tea? You can.

national parks
Joshua Trees dot the desert in the Mojave National Preserve in California (Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
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You may think you have experienced all that the National Parks have to offer, but you’d be wrong. There are over 417 sites managed by the National Park Service, and there are ways to enjoy each of them that you may never have heard of. Men’s Journal spoke with non-profits, NPS officials and their team of outdoors-loving editors to come up with a list of activities and destinations that are off the beaten path. Here are a few of their suggestions.

Lookout Point Trail at Wind Cave National Park: You might have already seen the cave, so explore above ground. The Lookout Point Trail offers views of the prairies in the Black Hills, and you can also do more demanding hikes.

Kayaking to Sea Caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: These sea caves at Apostle Islands are awesome, and you can get to them right on the water.

Joshua Trees in Mojave National Preserve: Instead of joining the crowd at Joshua Tree Park, go to the Mojave National Preserve, where the largest concentration of Joshua trees can be found.

Hike with Llamas at Yellowstone National Park: Yes, llamas. A few outfitters are available to set you up with a llama hiking pal and guide.

Sled in the Sand at White Sands National Monument: You don’t need snow to go sledding. In White Sands in New Mexico, you can go sliding down sand dunes.