Book Review: National Geographic Guide to National Parks, Eighth Edition


National Geographic Parks

Though its release marks this book’s eighth edition, National Geographic’s Guide to National Parks of the United States is a timely one. 2016 marks the centennial of the U.S. National Parks, which Nat Geo seemed to have a bit of a hand in.

The introduction to this latest version shares a story involving Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, National Geographic’s first editor, who fell in love with the beauty of the sequoias in California’s Sierra Nevada. His vacay inspired him to dedicate the April 1916 issue of his magazine to America’s natural wonders — and give copies out to elected officials in Washington. Apparently, D.C. got the message. That August, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service.

Now, the 2016 edition of National Geographic’s Guide to National Parks of the United States has been updated with on-location research to determine the best spots in each of the 59 national parks for views. Other additions include travel tips, itineraries, contact information, and a list of places to stay. Geographically, the guide is broken down by regions: East, Midwest, South Central, Southwest, Rocky Mountain, Pacific Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. Plus, of course, the scenery is shown through 80 full-color maps and more than 220 photographs. It’s priced at $29.95.

For youngsters, The National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide U.S.A. Centennial Edition (ages 8-12, $14.99) offers a minor take on exploring these parks. Produced in partnership with the National Parks Trust, the book is designed to encourage readers to put down the iPad and go through photos, lists, maps and other attention grabbing pages. Plus: through the Every Kid in a Park program, every fourth grader can visit any national park for free though August 2016!



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