href=”/articles/12517″>YOSEMITE | GRAND CANYON | <a
| OLYMPIC | <a
href=”/articles/12526″>YELLOWSTONE | DENALI
The Grand Canyon is not merely unique among American parks. It’s unlike any place else on the planet, wild or not. The numbers–one mile deep, up to 20 miles wide, 277 miles long, and packed with 2 billion years of geologic history–barely scratch the surface. But what’s truly amazing is that barely six percent of the 4-plus million annual visitors actually leave the roadside overlooks, leaving 95 percent of the park to hikers. The only other visitors, on mules or on rafts, rarely leave their restricted corridors. On foot, you’ll encounter all of the Grand Canyon’s gifts, from cliff-dancing bighorn sheep to hidden springs, and unmatched sunsets to awesome solitude.