Book Review - National Geographic’s Guide to National Parks

We were born to be outdoors. We are linked to nature by evolution and spirit. And in America we have taken steps to secure vast tracts of land to honor our heritage and our future. We call these our National Parks.  Yet many of us do not fully take advantage of the incredible stunning beauty of our collective parks - these temples of vistas and waterfalls, shrines of trees and forests, these cathedrals of granite and sandstone. Admittedly I have been to few of the places listed in National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States-8th Edition, so as I thumbed through the pages of this book, through the cool facts and figures, through the captivating images, the book did exactly as it was intended - it inspired me, made me crave to travel and place my feet on ancient soil, wrap my hands around verdant plants and breathe in the scents only magnificent natural surrounds can do. Yeah, you probably know and maybe have visited the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Yosemite. But do you know anything about IsleRoyale in Michigan, or Dry Tortugas in Florida? The book details 59 National Parks including the Channel Islands in my backyard of Santa Barbara.

I have written four Moon travel books so I know firsthand the tremendous amount of work that goes into a book like this. I love the precise detail for each of the parks, practical information you may not always know. Aside from that I’m a fan of quirky – and this book provides odds and ends too, like the fact that Capital Reef in Utah is, “so remote the nearest traffic light is 78 miles away.” Or try this on - in California’s Sequoia National Park, there are spots, “farther from a road than any other place in the lower 48 states.” This is not a book for a select few. This is a book for everyone, a book you need to own even if you never plan on taking a plane anywhere - the photos alone will transport you. But this is also a book about celebration and about how our respect and admiration of our planet can be literally manifested in our ability to protect natural beauty so that we may always stand in awe of the world around us.

National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States/8th Edition
$28 - 494 Pages

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