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Most national parks have a dual role as offering a refuge for wildlife and as serving as popular tourist areas. Managing the potential for conflict between these two roles can become problematic, particularly as tourists often generate revenue for the parks which, in turn, are spent on conservation projects. Parks also serve as reserves for substantial natural resources, such as timber, minerals and other valuable commodities. The balance of the demand for extraction of these resources, against the damage this might cause, is often a very important challenge in national park management. National parks have been subject to illegal logging and other exploitation, sometimes because of political corruption. This threatens the integrity of many valuable habitats.

National Parks Tour Map
Bryce Canyon NP * Bryce Canyon is a small national park in southwestern Utah. Named after the Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce, Bryce Canyon became a national park in 1924.
Bryce is famous for its worldly unique geology, consisting of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone rock of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called hoodoos. Tinted with colors too numerous and subtle to name, these whimsically arranged rocks create a wondrous landscape of mazes, offering some of the most exciting and memorable walks and hikes imaginable.
  
 

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Zion NP *  Designated in 1919, Zion National Park is Utah's oldest national park. Zion canyon features soaring towers and monoliths that suggest a quiet grandeur. Zion is also known for its incredible slot canyons, including The Narrows, which attract canyoneers from around the world. Hiking possibilities are endless. With nearly three million visitors per year, Zion is Utah's most heavily used park. 
  
Zion National Park is often said to be the most beautiful place in America. Spectacular is uttered time and time again as eyes are raised to view the vast monoliths of the best of Utah's National Parks. Zion unveils its eight layers of sandstone, displaying what has taken two-hundred-million years to carve and mold. This spectacular corner of Southern Utah is a masterpiece of towering cliffs, deep red canyons, mesas, buttes and massive monoliths. Zion's fame is due to more than its beauty, but also its incredible geology, hiking, backpacking and scenic drives. 

 

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Yellowstone NP * Yellowstone still evokes awe in even the most blasé tourist. From Old Faithful and the Upper Falls to the herds of buffalo and elk, the elusive wolf packs, the grizzlies and the moose, a visit to Yellowstone is the great American safari. Come in early September, when the RVs head home, and take at least one ranger-led hike. 
  
Yellowstone National Park is a U.S. National Park located in the western states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Yellowstone is the first national park established in the world and covers 3,472 square miles (8,987 km²), mostly in the northwest corner of Wyoming. The park is famous for its various geysers, hot springs, supervolcano and other geothermal features and is home to grizzly bears, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk. It is the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the largest intact temperate zone ecosystems remaining on the planet. The world's most famous geyser, the Old Faithful Geyser, is also located in Yellowstone National Park. 

 

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  National Parks Tour Map  
  Bryce Canyon NP  
  Zion NP  
  Yellowstone NP  
Cody WY * The Buffalo Bill Museum examines both the personal and public lives of W.F. Buffalo Bill Cody, and seeks to interpret his story in the context of the history and myth of the American West. 
  
The Whitney Gallery of Western Art presents an outstanding collection of masterworks of the American West. Original paintings, sculptures and prints trace artistic interpretations of the West from the early 19th century to today. 

The Plains Indian Museum features one of the country's largest and finest collections of Plains Indian art and artifacts. Explore the cultural histories, artistry and living traditions of Plains Indian peoples, including the Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Blackfeet, Sioux, Gros Ventre, Shoshone and Pawnee.

The Cody Firearms Museum contains the world's most comprehensive assemblage of American arms, as well as European arms dating to the 16th century.

The Draper Museum of Natural History integrates the humanities with natural sciences to interpret the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and adjacent intermountain basins.

 

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Custer Memorial * Once known as Custer Battlefield National Monument, the law renamed the site Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and also called for the design, construction and maintenance of a memorial to recognize the Indians who fought to preserve their land and culture in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.  
The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument commemorates one of American's most significant and famous battles, where two divergent cultures clashed in a life or death struggle.  Four hundred years of conflict between Euro-Americans and Native Americans culminated on this ground and resulted in the defeat of 12 companies of Seventh Cavalry by Lakota (Sioux) Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors.
  
In 1881 a memorial was erected on Last Stand Hill, over the mass grave of the Seventh Cavalry soldiers, U.S. Indian Scouts, and other personnel killed in battle.  Today, many visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield that honors the U.S. Army's roll.  The fallen Lakota and Cheyenne warriors were removed by their families and buried in the Native American tradition in teepees or      tree-scaffolds in the nearby Little Bighorn Valley.  Until this event, no memorial has paid tribute to the Native Americans who struggled to preserve and defend their homeland and traditional way of life.  Their heroic sacrifices were never formally recognized until now. 

 

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Deadwood * The entire city of Deadwood is a national historic landmark. In Deadwood you can ponder the truth at the foot of Wild Bill's grave in Mount Moriah cemetery, tour the Adams House, pan for gold in the Broken Boot Mine, choose from various guided tours, or take a self-guided walking tour into the past that puts the Wild West into perspective. 
  
Deadwood's historic gaming halls date back to the Gold Rush of 1876. The action continues today in over 80 establishments. Ranging from nickel slots to $100 bet limits, classic games to new twists, Deadwood's got a game for you. 

 

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Mount Rushmore * Mount Rushmore National Memorial, near Keystone, South Dakota, is a monumental granite sculpture located within the United States Presidential Memorial that represents the first 150 years of the history of the United States of America with 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.The entire memorial covers 1,278 acres (5.17 km²),and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level.It is managed by the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The memorial attracts approximately 2 million people annually 
  
Known to the Lakota Sioux as Six Grandfathers, the mountain was renamed after Charles E. Rushmore, a prominent New York lawyer, during an expedition in 1885. At first, the project of carving Rushmore was undertaken to increase tourism in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. After long negotiations involving a Congressional delegation and President Calvin Coolidge, the project received Congressional approval. The carving started in 1927 and ended in 1941 with a few injuries and no deaths 

 

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  Cody WY  
  Custer Memorial  
  Deadwood  
  Mount Rushmore  
Crazy Horse Memorial * Crazy Horse Memorial, home of the world’s largest mountain sculpture now in progress, is in the Black Hills of South Dakota on U.S. Highway 16/385 just 17 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore. Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski began the project in 1948 at the request of Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear and some other Native American elders. Korczak died in 1982. His wife, Ruth, and their family continue the project, working with the nonprofit Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation. 
  
The Memorial's visitor complex includes the 40,000 square foot Welcome Center and theaters, the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Educational & Cultural Center, the sculptor’s log home studio and workshop, indoor and outdoor galleries, museum gift shop, restaurant and snack bar areas and expansive viewing veranda.

Many Native American artists and crafts people create their artwork and visit with guests at the Memorial during the summer season.

 

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  Crazy Horse Memorial  
Album last updated on 09 Mar 2007
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