National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States, 9th Edition2/2/21; 528 pages
"There’s simply no better getaway in the United States than a visit to one of the country’s 62 national parks from Alaska to the Virgin Islands, from Maine to America Samoa. Profiled in this all-new ninth edition of National Geographic’s enduring and informative guide, you’ll find expert travel advice, candid tips for hiking and wildlife spotting, and detailed maps to help navigate your way through America’s great outdoors. Updated throughout with the latest information from park rangers and National Geographic’s own acclaimed travel writers, this fully revised and comprehensive guidebook includes the newest additions to the United States park system—Indiana Dunes, White Sands, and Gateway Arch national parks. Whether you’re looking to explore the underground world of Mammoth Caves or make your way through the mangroves of Everglades National Park, you’ll find a destination that suits your needs, and inspiration to plan your next wild adventure. In addition to park details and descriptions, this sparkling new edition features week-long regional road trip itineraries s so you can visit multiple parks in one vacation. Filled with more than 300 dazzling photographs and 80 full-color maps, this inspiring book reveals the best the United States has to offer—right in its own backyard."
National Geographic Secrets of the National Parks, 2nd Edition
12/15/21; 288 pages
"The iconic landmarks in America's national parks draw hundreds of
millions of visitors every year, from Yosemite's famous Half Dome to
Yellowstone's Old Faithful. But beyond these well-known wonders lies a
world of hidden treasures—if you know where to look. This exceptional
guide reveals these lesser-known gems, along with insider knowledge
about the parks' main attractions. With vital tips from rangers,
experts, and travelers, readers can have Acadia's massively popular Sand
Beach and Jordan pond to themselves, or be one of the 10 percent of
Grand Canyon visitors who go beyond the rim. Fully updated and
redesigned to include the newest national parks and featuring expert
advice from rangers, park managers, frequent visitors, and locals, this
authoritative book will help you get out of the parking lot and off the
beaten path to find interesting outlooks, challenging hikes, wildlife
watching, and more. With brand-new entries for Pinnacles National Park,
Gateway Arch, Indiana Dunes National Park, and Denali National Park and
Preserve, this book will be your go-to guide on road trips, camping
getaways, and day hikes, allowing you to enjoy the rich opportunity in
the country's vaunted national parks."
Both of these guides are very highly recommended - very, very
get-these-now recommended. When the review copies arrived I literally
set aside my normal, logical, methodical approach to reviewing any book
and immediately started tearing through them, planning trips and
alternate forays and day outings and extended journeys. After 2020 which
is known as "the year where all my vacation time was spent at home
doing nothing" a vacation consisting of actually leaving home and going
to a National Park sounds like a restorative miracle. Since I'm
basically centrally located, my travel plans could be pretty wide open
in all directions. My approach is likely close to how most people will
use both guides, and the great thing is that it works.
Naturally the photographs are spectacular because these are National Geographic guide. Furthermore, there is so much great information provided in the guide that is essential to planning any trip to a national park.
The 9th edition of National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States
presents the parks in the Table of Contents by region: East, Midwest,
South Central, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest, and
Alaska. This is followed by a section on using the guide, and after that
is a map of the USA with the regions and parks marked. The guide has an
index for quick referencing too and there is a map key located in the back of the book after the index.
Each regional introduction includes a map of the whole region followed
by the individual parks, which are presented in alphabetical order
within the regions. Then there are individual maps of each park. Each of
the park entries contains a description of the park. There is an
information section for each park that offers details on finding the
park, best times to visit, entrance fees, the location of the visitors
center (a great source for brochures or information is also online),
park headquarters, and information on where to stay, campgrounds or
lodging. There are phone numbers, addresses, and website addresses
provided. Each entry is followed by six suggestions for nearby
excursions. After each region section is a wonderful Hit the Road
section which helps with planning on visiting more than one park on your
trip because many are in close proximity to each other. Also there are
notes on special advisories that you need to keep in mind when visiting
parks, such as stay away from wild animals, expect RV detours, and,
especially important, know that cell phone service may be limited or not
available, so don't expect to rely on your cell phone.
Once you have your trip planned, pull out the 2nd edition of National Geographic Secrets of the National Parks: The Experts' Guide to the Best Experiences Beyond the Tourist Trail and look for the secrets and less traveled areas along you planned trip. The guide is organized into the same regions as National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States: East, Midwest, South Central, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. After the Table of Contents, there is a map of the USA with the parks marked in the How to Use this Guide opening section. For each of the parks in the guide, there are lesser known experiences, places to visit that are less crowded, hard-to-find sights, and other secrets known by the local park rangers, outfitters, and guides who know the parks the best. Every national park is not included, but there are enough to make this a valuable companion to the National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of these guides from National Geographic for TLC Book Tours.
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