Customer Review

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No guidebook to Yellowstone can be all things to all people, but this quite good in some ways, but not even adequate in others, October 12, 2009
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This review is from: Compass American Guides: Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, 1st Edition (Full-color Travel Guide) (Paperback)
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Brian Kevin has done his homework on the tourist-accommodation related aspects of Yellowstone and Teton National Parks. There is helpful information throughout this guide book, and Jeff Vanuga's photography is top-notch. You will find info about lodging, food, top-priority things to see, and where to go in the park to see or access them. There are also useful tips for people going into the park for the first time (that info is in the back of the book - don't miss it, especially guidelines about interacting with animals in the park).

The book includes the author's list of "bests" - that is, the best places to see and things to do in the parks. Of course these are his personal favorites, though they are generally good recommendations. There is also a section near the front of the book that describes some history of the region and of events leading to the establishment of Yellowstone as one of the first national parks in the world.

Other sections of the book focus on different regions within the park, including narrative descriptions of what you are likely to find in each area, supported by more photos. Each section has a map, but, alas, none of the maps in the book have distances marked between junctions, etc. (though a map legend is provided, but is tough to use because the roads in the park wind around so much). The maps do, however, show all picnic areas, camp sites, and other stops of interest. That's nice.

Supporting information about restaurants and hotels tend to focus on facilities within the park itself and on pricier accommodations outside of the park, but only in places like West Yellowstone, MT, or Jackson, WY. I was surprised that there was no mention of places a bit farther outside of the park like Island Park, St. Anthony, Ashton, or even Rexburg, Idaho, all of which are within easy driving distance of the park, though Cody, WY, gets a nod from the author.

There are areas in which this guidebook is sadly lacking...barely adequate...not even that! I was quite surprised that the section devoted to geology is only three pages long...scant info for one of the most geologically interesting places in all of North America! There are only six pages devoted to flora of the park, and those pages address only a total of six different kinds of plants (with another four that show up a few pages later), and the section on fauna provides info on only 13 species of animals. As I mentioned, no guidebook can be all things to all people, but please!!! only 10 kinds of plants and 13 animals!? Forgive me, but as a biologist I find this extremely lightweight treatment of the flora and fauna to be nearly criminal...not to mention the lack of info on geology. Ouch!

If you are interesting in learning more about the flora and fauna and geology of the parks you must pick up another book or two on the flora, fauna, and natural history of the region.

The photographs are top-notch, but I almost wish there were fewer of them so the book could include more useful information. When you start flipping through the book you can get caught up in the photos so much that you might start to think that this is a small format coffee table book rather than a guidebook to the region. Don't get me wrong, the photos are great!

There are very strong points and very weak points in this guidebook. That's why my review gives it only 3 stars.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 29, 2010 12:53:14 PM PDT
very rarely does this book actually say how much time to devote to a given hike or attraction. Therefore, the book has not helped me as much as hoped.
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ARH
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Location: The Shadow of the Tetons

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