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A tour of America's national parks

By: Catie Leary on Dec. 18, 2009, 10:53 a.m.
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Grand Canyon National Park

Carved into existence by the Colorado River over millions of years, the Grand Canyon is one of those things in life for which a photo is a poor substitute. The sheer scale of the place simply strains the vocabulary.

Originally described as "altogether valueless," the park now enthralls about 5 million visitors a year with its views, hiking opportunities and breathtaking sunsets.