Book Reviews: National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States and National Geographic Secrets of the National Parks

by Katie
Published: Last Updated on

I’m a big fan of getting outside, especially when it means exploring the U.S. National Parks system, so I was thrilled when TLC Book Tours sent me these books for review.

I have an older copy of Guide to the National Parks that I bought before a trip to Yellowstone several years ago and found incredibly useful, so I was eager to start leafing through the new edition and dreaming about future trips. This book devotes a section to each of the sixty-three National Parks in the U.S., as well as some of the other federally protected lands.

Parks are grouped by region of the country, making it easy to plan which ones you can see on the same trip or what’s close to home, and the book features stunning color photography throughout its pages. There is a brief, historical overview for each park followed by information useful to both short-term visitors and those looking to plan longer trips. The main highlights and features of each park are described and options for lodging, dining, and other nearby sights. In addition to the photographs, features such as terrain maps and driving directions help those planning a National Parks trip to know what to expect.

This is a must-have book for any National Parks trip and gives a quick and easy, yet authoritative, way to prepare for your visit.

For those who have already visited a National Park or who want a more off-the-beaten-path experience, Secrets of the National Parks is a great guide. Not only does this book offer suggestions for less-crowded attractions, but it’s also a great resource for those looking to do more strenuous hikes or longer stays at a park. One great feature of the Secrets guide is its information on the most crowded times of the year at a particular park, as well as tips on how to avoid some of the more crowded attractions.

As someone who lives closest to some of the lesser-known parks, I also appreciated that this book had a little more information on those areas, making it easier to plan weekend visits. Secrets of the National Parks will help you find secluded trails that you might not come across in a traditional guidebook and also offers important safety information to those considering longer or more remote excursions within the National Parks system.

Either way, you can’t go wrong grabbing these guidebooks for yourself or the outdoor enthusiast in your life. Even though travel might not be possible right now, the beautiful layouts and photographs in these books will help you dream up your next adventure!

About National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States

• Publisher: National Geographic; 9th edition (February 2, 2021)
• Paperback: 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.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About National Geographic Secrets of the National Parks, 2nd Edition

• Publisher: National Geographic; 2nd edition (December 15, 2020)
• Paperback: 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.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Tour schedule:
Tuesday, February 2nd: Instagram: @thebooksinmylapp
Tuesday, February 2nd: Jathan & Heather
Wednesday, February 3rd: Books, Cooks, and Looks
Thursday, February 4th: Instagram: @storied.adventures
Friday, February 5th: Stranded in Chaos
Monday, February 8th: Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader
Tuesday, February 9th: Instagram: @thebookclubmom
Wednesday, February 10th: Instagram: @the.magicalpages
Thursday, February 11th: Instagram: @intentionallybookish
Monday, February 15th: Instagram: @annmariereads
Tuesday, February 16th: Instagram: @readinginthe419
Wednesday, February 17th: Instagram: @acapricornreads
Thursday, February 18th: Instagram: @pnwbookworm
Friday, February 19th: Instagram: @booksloveandunderstanding
Monday, February 22nd: Instagram: @lyon.brit.andthebookshelf
Tuesday, February 23rd: Lit and Life
Tuesday, February 23rd: Jathan & Heather
Wednesday, February 24th: Instagram: @biancabuysbooks
Thursday, February 25th: Instagram: @bookclubfor1
Friday, February 26th: What Is That Book About
Monday, March 1st: Instagram: @babygotbooks4life
Tuesday, March 2nd: Instagram: @sealedwithabook
Wednesday, March 3rd: Literary Quicksand
Thursday, March 4th: Instagram: @crystals_library
Friday, March 5th: Instagram: @bookswithbean
Monday, March 8th: she treads softly

Related Posts

1 comment

Sara Strand March 6, 2021 - 9:08 pm

I loved these books! I’m trying to plan a quick summer road trip for our family and they are so helpful. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours


Leave a Comment