Customer Reviews: National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States, Fourth Edition
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VINE VOICEon December 5, 2003
National Geographic has produced an excellent introduction to our national park system.
This book briefly covers national parks and monuments of the entire country. A description is given over a page or so (a bit longer for majors like Yosemite) which includes helpful visiting hints, the main attractions at each and other details that could help the day or short visitor hit the highlights. Information is also included on the best time of year to travel, places to stay, park rules and contact information. Also very informative are "side excursion" briefs for each major attraction.
The books' maps are very well done and it contains beautiful pictures that show our national treasures in all their glories.
Besides being well organized and informative, this is a very attractive book that makes one want to venture out and see some of the natural wonders of our country. Great for the national park enthusiast and would-be traveler.
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on May 20, 2003
This is a well written travelogue that is easily packed for a journey to any of the parks in the country. The guide offers a brief overview of the park and then breaks down tours of the parks into length of miles and length of time. It also offers advice on visiting the various parks (complete with rattlesnake warnings and backpack camping rules, etc.). The book offers real life information and does not merely glorify the parks (though many of the photographs certainly does). For instance, in describing the South Unit of Badlands it recommends bringing a USGS topographic map but warns people will still probably get lost (not a pleasant thought, if you've ever been there before).
This is a handy book that most people will be able to use. There are side trips to other sites listed after the main park is described. It is more than a coffeetable conversation piece but is still fun to peruse when cabin fever strikes.
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on February 17, 1999
This book has a section on each National Park which describes how to get there, the best times to go, and what to do when you arrive. It includes color pictures and maps of each park. The maps show all the park's visitor centers, main roads, trails and campgrounds. It gives suggestions on what to do if you can spend a half day or full day, etc. It also includes information on facilities for the disabled. Nearby motels and campgrounds are also listed together with the address and phone number of each park's headquarters. I take this book with me to each park we visit and stamp the front page of book with the offical park stamp found in each visitor's center. I've been to 24 of the parks so far and hope to someday visit all of them. This book has been a valuable guide for me
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on July 26, 2001
This book is a must have for every National Park or nature fan. We bought this book 3 week before visiting Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier National Park. every thing the book said was correct. To test it, we tried some trails that the book had not reommended, and realized that the authors were correct.
This book is not intended to be an all inclusive giuide to any specific park. It covers most parks in about 4-6 pages. People spending 1-3 days per park are the target audience. the book provides day iteniaries which we found very helpful while planning our trip.
We use this book as our National Park passport. We stamp the book at each National Park and hope t have all 55 park descriptions stamped soon.
Highly recommend this book.
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This is an excellent book to use as a planning guide for trips to any of the National Parks in the US. I have been to many of the parks, and without exception the book's advice about how to get there, when to go, what to look for, etc., is excellent in every way. The book is filled with excellent color photography, and accompanying explanatory text with detailed entrance information that is particularly useful in some of the busier parks. There is also some good introductory safety information presented, but as always, it is a good idea to talk to local authorities when arriving (this is especially a good idea in the Alaska parks, many of which are veritably full of bears.)

All the parks are worth seeing, and this book gives a good introduction to them. Among the favorites that I have been to and particularly recommend are Denali National Park, an easy drive from Anchorage, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, on the island of Hawaii (the "Big Island"), Zion National park in Utah, home of some of the most spectacular desert landscape in the world, and Badlands National Park in South Dakota, featuring not only spectacular landscapes, but amazing animals in abundance.

This book is a great place to start; now get going and enjoy the beautiful National Parks!
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on January 18, 2000
Like all National Geographic titles this book is packed full of great photographs and details about the parks. Having visited many parks already - I am amazed by how up to date all the comments are, together with very good suggestions for times to visit and accomodation available. The layout of the book is superb - its like a travel directory - taking you from one park to another without stepping outside your front door. I feel this guide is essential for anyone visiting America's National Parks - its also just the right size to take with you !. My aim is to visit all the parks - this book has made it easier ! Please get in touch if you have any questions.
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on September 1, 2001
This is an excellent and extremely informative book. I took it along with me when I visited the Grand Canyon (North Rim), and Zion. I refer to it before I go to any national park, and I find it extremely helpful and loaded with excellent information.
I am reading up on Mount Rainier before we visit there next month.
This guide has beautiful color and glossy photos. It also mentions National Recreation Areas; such as Lake Mead and Lake Powell (Glen Canyon NRA).
One thing I felt it should have mentioned is the incredibly stunning POINT SUBLIME viewing point area in the Grand Canyon. (North Rim). This I found out about in another National Park book, as well as from a park ranger. Sublime is an extremly remote and "off-the-beaten path" viewing area. The views from this point are absolutely spectacular. It is very remote, and you have to take a 2 hour 4-wheeing trip through the forests and rocky, rough roads to get there; but it is well worth it. We found it to be the best view by far of the Canyon and Colorado River. Very breathtaking indeed.
All in all, this is one of the best National Park books I have found by far. I highly recommend it.
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on October 28, 2003
This visually stunning and well made guide is an excellent basic introduction to America's National Parks. This book features overviews of what to see in each of the parks. Filled with necessary information such as contacts and regulations--this book is a must for those seeking to visit the parks.
The parks listed in this book are organized broadly by region. Recommended day trips are given in some detail. Other sites of interest in the region are listed after each park entry.
My family and I took up camping this summer and have set ourselves the goal of visiting all of our country's National Parks. This book, along with National Geographic's Road Atlas and topographic maps have been very useful.
The one thing I do wish this book listed is America's National Lakeshores and Seashores. They too are National Parks--and are often some of the most stunning places to visit.
I give this little book my full recommendation.
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on May 8, 2001
I recently started my quest to visit the U.S. National Parks, and purchased this book. It's a pheonomenal guide, with wonderful photographs and loads of information. I've decided to do Acadia, Channel Islands and St. John this year, and hope to visit them all someday!
The book divides the national parks into geographic sections: east, southwest, colorado plateau, pacific southwest, rocky mountains, pacific northwest, and alaska. Within each section there is a map locating the parks and detailed information on each national park in that area. These individual descriptions provide valuable information such as how to get there and where to go; along with incredibly powerful photographs of each park.
When you decide what parks to visit, there is information about accomodations and special advisories. However, it is probably best to then read specific information on that national park. The NPS operates a great website with a bit of information on each park, and links to more information that you need to visit that park.
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on July 22, 2002
Fifty-five national parks are covered in this wonderful little book, which is knapsack-sized for easy storage and reference.
Capably written and photographed, this guidebook answers nearly all FAQ's about all National Parks except Cuyahoga Valley and Grat Sand Dunes. If you want to know where to go, what to expect to see when you get there, the route to take, where to stay, what kind of weather you will encounter, what hazards to expect and prepare for, etc., etc., this is where you should look.
'Nuff said, except to note that I give the book a well-deserved five-star rating. Buy it and enjoy.
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