The National Park Service turns 100 years old this summer, sending Americans to the Grand Canyon and Zion in droves. In a statement earlier this month, President Barack Obama estimated that travel to these vast open spaces would support a $646 billion national outdoor economy, with nearly $17 billion going to the communities on the parks’ fringes. By all accounts, last year’s record-setting visitation numbers—which clocked in at more than 305 million travelers—are being outpaced in 2016.
All the buzz means two things: Heading to the national parks this summer will require more than a little elbow wrestling, and securing exclusive access will be more valuable than ever in the face of intense crowds.
It may not be in a national park per se, but this property run by Ted Turner Expeditions is set on landscapes that are every bit as grand and expansive. Formerly the media mogul’s private home, Casa Grande has just been renovated as a show-stopping resort and the cornerstone of Vermejo Park Ranch, Turner’s 590,000-acre natural reserve. The park is a refuge for such wild species as pronghorn antelope and bison and an excellent place for birdwatching and fishing. And just as important, it’s almost certainly the most opulent property of its kind in the U.S.
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