Men’s Journal Names the 9 Quietest and Darkest National Parks

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Looking for a some peace and quiet in the wilderness? Want to get a chance to see the night’s sky in all of its glory? If so, than Men’s Journal has just the list for you. The magazine has enlisted the aid of researchers from the National Park Service’s Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division (Yes, that is a real thing!) to provide us with a definitive list of the darkest and quietest national parks in the entire U.S.

The NPS department has been monitoring the amount of light seen in the parks since 1999 and sound since 2000, and they have found some unsettling things. For instance, the amount of light and noise found inside the national parks is much higher than what many people would believe, even in these remote settings. Those phenomenon have an impact not only on human visitors, but the animals hat live there too. MJ sites a recent study for instance that says increased noise levels reduces the bird population in an area by as much as a third.

So, just where should we go to get away from it all? According to this article, the nine best national parks for seeking darkness and reduced noise include places like Isle Royale in Lake Superior, Big Bend National Park in Texas, and Haleakala National Park in Hawaii. Obviously there are others that make the cut as well, but I’ll let you discover exactly which of the parks earned a spot on the list.

I have to say, looking over the list, I was surprised as much by the places that didn’t make the cut, as some of the ones that did. For instance, I thought for sure Gates of the Arctic National Park in Alaska would be there simply because it is so remote and lightly visited that there can’t possibly be too much noise and light found there. Also, places like Acadia and Voyageurs are also known for their incredible views of the night sky. Still, the parks on the list are all spectacular destinations as well, and definitely worth a visit.

Check out the entire list here.

Kraig Becker