National Park Week 2011

U.S. News & World Report

National Park Week 2011

"O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesties above the fruited plan …" America, The Beautiful contains nearly 400 national parks -- from Alabama with seven to New York with 22; even tiny Rhode Island has one. And during National Park Week (April 16-24, 2011), you can visit all 394 for free. Find one near you with the National Park Service's handy tool, and you can experience the States' voluminous skies, violet mountains and more. Here's a few of our favorite national parks:

What You'll Save: $25 per vehicle or $12 per individual (for seven days)

One of the nation's first national parks, the Grand Canyon stretches 277 miles through the state of Arizona and greets about 4.5 million visitors each year. Popular activities include hiking the South Rim, traveling the Bright Angel Trail by mule and visiting the beautiful Havasu Falls. If you decide to be one among the millions, you might also want to book Grand Canyon Lodge's buy one-get one free West Rim Sunset Tour.

What You'll Save: $20 per vehicle or $10 per individual (for seven days)

California's Yosemite fills with thunderous waterfalls, sky-high Sequoias and rock formations like famed Half Dome. With its Glacier Point views to its Mist Trail, many Americans have Yosemite on their bucket lists. And if you choose to stay at the Hotel & Café Charlotte (just about 25 miles from the park's Big Oak Flat entrance), you'll receive 25 percent off the hotel's normal rates (for a minimum of three nights) and a $50 voucher for use at the restaurant.

What You'll Save: $10 per vehicle or $5 per individual (for seven days)

Utah's Canyonlands four different areas are divided by the Green and Colorado rivers. Many travelers opt for the Island in the Sky district since it's the most accessible and can be both driven and hiked. You can save 20 percent on a Tag-A-Long expedition (which involves a land and water tour of both Canyonlands and Arches national parks) if you mention "Fee Free" when you make the deal.

What You'll Save: $25 per vehicle or $12 per individual (for seven days)

Yellowstone, which covers much of Wyoming's northwestern corner, is home to Old Faithful, one of the country's most-visited natural wonders. Other breathtaking sights include the Grand Prismatic Spring and Mammoth Hot Springs. And if you choose to spend your nights in nearby Jackson, you can save even more by booking one of the hotels and restaurants that are offering deals.

What You'll Save: $15 per vehicle or $5 fee per individual (for seven days)

Mount Rainier, which is actually an active volcano, also refers to the entire 368-square-mile park located about 98 miles south of Seattle. The park offers both remote and developed sections for various kinds of travelers, but even the so-called "developed" areas showcase Mount Rainier's stunning beauty, from its wildflowers to its glaciers to its forests. A number of nearby hotels and lodges offer deals during National Park Week.

What You'll Save: $15 per vehicle or $8 per individual (for seven days)

Residents of our nation's capital like this park for its proximity (75 miles away in Virginia) and its breathtaking Skyline Drive. But more adventurous visitors enjoy the hike on Old Rag, which includes some rock scrambling. And if you'd rather see the park by canoe, you can get $2 off a paddling trip with Shenandoah River Trips if you bring your receipt from the Shenandoah National Park.

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