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EXPLORE NATIONAL PARKS AROUND LAS VEGAS FOR FREE APRIL 17-25

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Date: April 9, 2010
Contact: Andrew S. Muñoz, 7022938691

LAS VEGAS – National Parks will be free during National Park Week, Apr. 17-25. Las Vegas is one of the best places to be if you like visiting national parks. There are eight national parks within six hours driving time of the city. Plan your visit now at www.nps.gov/npweek.

Thirty minutes from the strip is Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the nation’s 5th most visited national park. Its 1.5 million acres is home to the largest reservoir in the United States that provides a scenic and relaxing escape into nature. Popular springtime activities include hiking, cycling, camping, and boating.

Park rangers will be offering a special program about national parks on Sunday, Apr. 18 at 1 p.m. at the Lake Mead visitor center. The visitor center bookstore will be offering a fifteen percent discount on all items all week in celebration of National Park Week. The visitor center is located off highway US-93 between Boulder City, Nev. and Hoover Dam.

Don’t just stop at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. If you’re willing to drive another couple of hours, head west to Joshua Tree National Park, Mohave National Preserve, or Death Valley National Park. All offer unique opportunities to view wildflower blooms, hike and enjoy the outdoors.

Two and a half hours north east of Las Vegas is Zion National Park where massive canyon walls ascend toward a brilliant blue sky. The unique sandstone cliffs range in color from cream, to pink, to red. They could be described as sand castles crowning desert canyons. On your way to Zion stop in St. George, Utah and visit the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument visitor center.

With its powerful and inspiring landscape is Grand Canyon National Park. It’s a five hour road trip into northern Arizona that's well worth the drive.

In just under six hours you’ll find Great Basin National Park, located in eastern Nevada. There you’ll find in the shadow of 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak five thousand year old bristlecone pine trees growing on rocky glacial moraines. You can also explore Lehman Caves, a beautiful marble cave ornately decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, flowstone, popcorn, and over 300 rare shield formations.

Parks will also offer additional family friendly activities and special offers on tours, lodging, food, and souvenirs.

National Park Week, a program of the National Park Service, is an opportunity to engage families and communities in America’s Great Outdoors, reconnecting them with nature and creating close to home opportunities for people to get outside, be active, and have fun. "National parks preserve our heritage, promote recreational experiences, and provide places of quiet refuge," said National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. "Most people live within a short drive of a national park so I encourage everyone to spend some time enjoying America’s Great Outdoors during National Park Week."

Normally, 146 of 392 national parks charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $25. The other 246 do not charge for admission. The fee free waiver for National Park Week does not include other fees collected in advance or by contractors—such as fees charged for lake use, camping, reservations and use of concessions.

Did You Know?

Golden Strike Canyon in the Black Canyon Wilderness

"Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. We did not weave the web-of-life. We are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves." -- Chief Seattle