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Summer Savings in America’s Top National Parks

Toroweap Overlook, Grand Canyon National Park
(Photo: Grand Canyon National Park via Shutterstock)
SmarterTravel

Grand Canyon. Yosemite. Glacier National Park. These amazing outposts of the American wilderness have always been a great bargain for travelers, but never more so than in 2009. This year, a battered economy and a bruised national psyche have collided to bump the traditional summer vacation from many people’s must-do list. With reduced visitation levels, attractive deals, and greater availability than many parks have seen in decades, there’s never been a better time to rediscover America’s national parks than this summer.

“We saw a significant decline in bookings during the early part of the year and into the spring,” says Dave Hartvigsen, who represents sales and marketing for national park concessionaire Xanterra Parks and Resorts. “The summer is still filling up, but it’s taking longer than in most other years.”

Translation? “People have a reasonably good chance of finding a place to stay at any park this summer, provided they have flexibility with their dates,” says Hartvigsen. And that’s great news for bargain hunters and late bookers alike.

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