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Jeanine Barone

Jeanine Barone

Posted: December 15, 2010 02:10 PM

10 Less-Crowded National Park Alternatives (PHOTOS)

There's good reason why Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and their ilk are among the top crowd-pleasing national parks: They're all drop dead gorgeous, with plummeting waterfalls, dramatic chasms, fiery rock domes, spewing geysers and other magical features. Too bad you often have to share this beauty with the throngs. But these and other mobbed protected parks don't have a monopoly on awe-inspiring treasures. In fact, for every national park that's a magnet for the masses, there's a lesser-known alternative with equally wondrous botanical and geological gems, and where you can escape the crush of visitors.

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Canyonlands National Park (Instead of the Grand Canyon)
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Wide gorges and dramatic rock formations are signature sights at Canyonlands National Park. One of the grandest sections is the Needles District with some trails looping through steep-walled canyons.

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