How To Best See These Gorgeous U.S. National Parks

For nature lovers, adventure seekers and history buffs, the new 560-page hardcover National Geographic Complete national parks of the United Statescompletely revised 3rd edition; out this month from National Geographic Books – provides enriching details on more than 400 parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, scenic trails, recreation areas and seashores. Written by veteran travel and natural history writer Mel White, this comprehensive, well-organized, weighty guide encourages both travelers and travelers to consider the immeasurable beauty and bounty of America’s wild blues yonder. Lose yourself happily in the inviting, insightful and imagination-stimulating descriptions. Now is a particularly ideal time to appreciate the wonders of America’s magnificent forests, lands and waters served by our National Park Service – more than 85 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and four US territories. Finally, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused countries around the world to close borders, many Americans were deeply grateful for these wondrous outdoor escapes closer to home.

White explains the importance of each site, offers tips for planning visits, and suggests favorite activities unique to the site, such as biking, bird watching, camping, cross-country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, picnicking, river rafting, rock climbing , snowshoeing, swimming and visiting unique buildings. Helpful maps, sidebars with quick facts, and colorful photos abound. In the introduction, Allyson Johnson, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Books, says this issue celebrates the unique heritage of our park system – one that started a global movement, supported by numerous nations, to protect and preserve natural landscapes. She also notes that “luminaries from novelist Wallace Stegner to documentary filmmaker Ken Burns have called national parks America’s best idea.” Here is a selection of images from the book to spark your interest.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee

Indiana Dunes National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota

Glacier National Park in Montana

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

White Sands National Park in New Mexico

Zion National Park in Utah

Death Valley National Park in California

Gates of Arctic National Parks and Preserves in Alaska

More information about the National Geographic Society can be found here.

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