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The Essential

The Essential Death Valley

Towering sand dunes that ripple across the heart of a 3.4-million-acre landscape, hidden canyons that echo with splashing, gurgling water that nourishes a surprising cache of lush vegetation, a human history of anguish as well as prosperity. The surreal landscape of Death Valley can be deadly hot in summer, and yet it is one of the more intriguing units of the national park system because of its stark beauty and demanding nature.

The Essential Bryce Canyon

Surrounded by southern Utah’s rugged wilderness, I’m confronted by, of all things, butterscotch. In a landscape of warm kaleidoscopic colors that change with the swinging of the sun, butterscotch currently is the color of the limestone ramparts that brought fame to Bryce Canyon National Park. And, I find as I plant my nose against the rough and rumpled bark of a 100-foot-tall Ponderosa pine, butterscotch is the unmistakable scent wafting from the tree.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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