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Country mag picks Canyonlands NP for top-ten list

Country Magazine

A popular U.S. lifestyle magazine highlights Utah’s Canyonlands National Park among the nation’s best, off-the-beaten-path summer destinations. UPR’s Matt Jensen reports.

“The June/July issue of "Country" – a magazine covering the "land and life we love" – includes a 32-page section on the hidden gems of the National Park system. Country senior editor John Burlingham says the list includes mostly lesser-known parks, chosen for their dramatic visual impact and low traffic.

“Canyonlands is very unique for its rock formations and incredible colors,” said Burlingham.

The list includes some of the least crowded parks in the country. Entries were compiled with the help of the magazine’s photography staff, known for their discriminating landscape images.

“Certainly the visual impact was really first and foremost the reason we chose particular parks,” Burlingham added. “These are freelance photographers that travel all over the world and so it really says something about the parks we chose because they’re very discerning about what they photograph.”

Others in the list include Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona; Great Basin National Park just across the Utah border; and a little-known National Park between the Caribbean and Atlantic oceans.

“I was surprised that we have a National Park in the U.S. Virgin Islands on the Island of St. John,” Burlingham added. “It’s a place I definitely want to get to because it has incredible coral reefs. It’s a place well worth seeing.”

The editor says he hopes the magazine feature will get Americans thinking more about visiting their own backyards.

“It’s an example of not only how vast this country is, but what amazing vistas are available to people,” he added. “I hope our feature will wake people up to the fact that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to see some of the most amazing places in the world.”

Canyonlands is a unique landscape where the Colorado and Green rivers converge, forming deep canyons and towering sandstone buttes. Driving time from Moab to the Island in the Sky visitors’ center is about 40 minutes. For Utah Public Radio, I’m Matt Jensen.