America's hidden gems: The 20 least-crowded national parks in 2009
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16. Big Bend National Park, Texas( Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times )
Big Bend spreads over more than 800,000 acres in southwest Texas and includes mountain, desert and river environments. The park is named after the sharp northeast bend of the Rio Grande, which runs through the park. Visitors should carry plenty of water when exploring the park's remote desert and be aware of the Mexican border across the Rio Grande.
Visitors in 2009 (through August): 239,452
Pictured: Santa Elena Canyon