National Parks

National Park Books for Everyone

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If you enjoy exploring the National Parks, then read a book about or set in the U.S. National Parks. Find books on National Park history, travelogues and guide books for your next trip. Here’s 9 books about the National Parks.

Dear Bob and Sue by Matt and Karen Smith

A pair of young retirees, Karen and Matt Smith, take off and hit the road to see all the national parks. In a series of emails to Bob and Sue, the friends they left back home, get a park-by-park account.

A must for anyone gearing up to explore the U.S. with their spouse in tow. Get truthful accounts of the popular tours and trails. And find tips for sneaking beer into lodges along with the best pizza joints near the parks in this humorous read.

And the near plane crash in Alaska explains why I’m leery of small planes.

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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

Grab a walking stick and set out to walk from Georgia to Maine with your favorite bearded travel writer, Bill Bryson.  A pair of middle-aged dad bods are pushed to the limits and packed down with junk food as they try to ford streams in the middle of the wilderness along the AT, or Appalachian Trail. Equal parts funny and informative and possibly Bryson’s best book.

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National Geographic The National Parks: An Illustrated History

Let the photographers at National Geographic show you the most beautiful spots. Great for the traveler or the photography lover on your list.

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Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 62 Parks (Travel Guide)

I’ve used Moon Guides for years and appreciate the common sense tips along with up-to-date information. Here’s an updated  guide covering all 62 National Parks. Find it packed with information for your next National Park getaway.

Along with individual write-ups for the parks, find lots of general parks facts and tips in the front. And the photos are inspiring.

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9 Nonprofits that the U.S. National Parks 

Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service by Heather Hansen

An easy-to-read book packed with interesting facts and stories from the first 100 years of the NPS. Learn the history, the politics and the characters surrounding the legendary U.S. parks.

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The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley

For serious student of the national parks, Brinkley offers over 800 pages of history into the complex president who shaped the National Parks. It’s an engaging and thoughtful analysis from a historian.

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Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park by Lee Whittlesey

Get a detailed account of how to die in Yellowstone National Park. Should be required reading for volunteers and contract workers spending their first summer in the park. Through the seasons and over the years, learn about how the weather, the animals and the skirmishes can be deadly. Not suitable for sensitive readers or young kids.

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Lonely Planet USA’s National Parks

I have a shelf full of Lonely Planet guides. This guides provides an overview of the parks. Buy the individual guides for detailed information for specific parks.

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Camping and Tramping with Roosevelt

Relive the early days of conservation in the U.S. as told by Borroughs. He accompanied President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir during a pivotal camping trip in the Sierra Mountains. A small book that makes a good stocking stuffer.

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Catherine Parker has a passion for travel that’s driven her across North America. She’s visited all 50 U.S. states, seven Canadian provinces along top destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, she’s landed in nearly every North American airport at least once. Find her work in books, she contributed to Compass--The Onboard Magazine of Holland America Line and Disney Cruise Line Wonder Onboard Guide, both for Alaskan National Parks. She written for US News and World Report Best Cities: Austin. Catherine has written feature stories for Meredith Media’s Family Fun magazine, Chicago’s Suburban Parent, covering Newberry National Volcanic Monument. She is a regular travel contributor to Texas Farm and Home magazine. Catherine writes reviews for Popular Science. She also writes feature articles for Austin, Texas, publications, like Taylor 76574 magazine that won the 2020 Texas Press Association’s 3rd Place for Best Magazine. She’s the National Parks contributor at, the largest independent family travel website in North America. Catherine contributed to and CaliforniaTravelMedia.

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