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National park tips: Death Valley's castle is closed, but the inn will soon be open longer

13. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Forsaking cumbersome boats, the first explorers to successfully navigate the Black Canyon used rubber air mattresses to float on the canyon's waters in 1901. Today, visitors raft, kayak and fish in the park, which is about 250 miles southwest of Denver. Visitors in 2009 (through August): 124,835 More info: http://www.nps.gov/blca Pictured: Near Tomichi Point
Lisa Lynch / National Park Service
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