For many of us, there’s nothing better than escaping to the great outdoors. Whether your passions lie in conquering mountains, seeking out magnificent wildlife, witnessing strange and alien vistas, or in the simple joys of fishing, the country’s national parks have it all to offer.
As our national parks are often in remote areas, they can be difficult to reach on a regular basis. Therefore, why not move to your favorite park, or as close to it as possible? That way, we avid explorers and nature enthusiasts could enjoy the benefits of our national parks year-round!
However, this raises the question of how expensive or affordable living near these beautiful parks can be. That’s why we’ve researched the property prices in the nearest possible locations to each national park, and compared them with the state’s average price.
So, read on to discover which national parks have the biggest price premiums, and which have the most affordable property prices for the modern-day frontiersman.
National Parks with Biggest Price Premiums
The luxury of living in some of the most pristine and jaw-dropping environments can understandably come with quite the price tag. Here you’ll find the most expensive national parks for buying nearby property, compared to the average price in the state.
1. Grand Teton National Park, WY Price difference: 389.9%
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, had the biggest price premium of any national park, with property in the nearby town of Moose and the surrounding area costing 389.94% more than the average Wyoming property. With breathtaking mountainscapes and an immaculate natural environment, it’s easy to see why property in the area is so valuable.
2. Indiana Dunes National Park, IN Price difference: 328.5%
In second place is Indiana Dunes National Park with property in the Dune Acres area costing 328.52% more than the state average. One of the smallest national parks in the country, Indiana Dunes is a stretch of shoreline at the southern tip of Lake Michigan, offering fantastic opportunities for bird watching, fishing, hiking, or just enjoying the beach.
3. Glacier National Park, MT Price difference: 166%
Third place goes to Glacier National Park, Montana, with property in and around West Glacier costing 166% more than the state’s average price. This vast northern wilderness, filled with impressive mountains, hidden valleys, and formidable glaciers, is one the most pristine ecosystems in the country, so it’s no wonder that property values are so high.
National Parks with the Best Value Property
Fortunately, not all national parks are more expensive than average, with some places offering a surprisingly affordable average property price. Here you can see which national parks have the best value property nearby.
1. Voyageurs National Park, MN Price difference: -74.4%
The national park with the best value property in the country is Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, with prices in nearby International Falls costing on average 74.4% less than prices statewide. Known for its dense forests, lakes, and miscellaneous island and islets, Voyageurs is the perfect place for those with an outdoorsy spirit.
2. Congaree National Park, SC Price difference: -70.9%
Congaree national park is the second-best value park for living nearby, with local property prices in and around the nearby town of Eastover being 70.9% lower than the South Carolina average. Taking advantage of these low prices would open up a world of endless unspoiled woodland on your doorstep, perfect for hikers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
3. Petrified Forest, AZ Price difference: -60.2%
The third best value national park to live near is Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. Property prices in the nearby town of Holbrook are as much as 60.2% cheaper than the state’s average, meaning you can pick up quite the bargain and benefit from easy access to the park at the same time!
View Our Full Ranking
Our full ranking of national park property premiums is available below. The eagle-eyed among you may notice that not every national park is included in the list, as some were too remote to have reliable data such as Gates of the Arctic National Park in Alaska.
We’ve included all land-based parks in the 50 US States that have reasonable data to make price comparisons.
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<a href="https://outforia.com/national-parks-premium/"><img style="width:100%;" src="https://outforia.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/national_parks_premiums_table-scaled.jpg"></a><br> National Parks Premiums Table Infographic by <a href="https://outforia.com">Outforia</a>
- We wanted to find out the costs of moving to home live in or close to a national park. To do so, we used Zillow to record the average cost of property in the nearest town to each national park for which data was available. We then compared this to the average price in the state as a whole, calculating the percentage difference in price. We then ranked each national park by this figure, revealing the best and worst value national parks for nearby property.
There were some national parks for which data was unavailable, or where the closest town to use was too ambiguous. These national parks were removed from the list in order to keep the included data reliable. A total of thirteen national parks were removed, leaving 50 in the study.
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