8 national parks to get you off the beaten track

8 of 9

Channel Islands

This unusual national park features five islands off the coast of California, as well as a marine sanctuary that extends for six nautical miles around each of the islands. The purpose of the sanctuary is to preserve the astonishingly diverse wildlife that lives on the Channel Islands, including kelp forests. Writes National Geographic, “The islands shelter the only breeding colony of northern fur seals south of Alaska.”

Camping is available at National Park Service-managed campgrounds; backcountry options are also available. Year-round transportation to the island is available, although visitors are responsible for their own locomotion on the island, whether it’s on foot, private boat, or by kayak.

8 of 9

More Slideshows