WASHINGTON (Jan. 20, 2012)—The newest edition of the best-selling NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GUIDE TO THE NATIONAL PARKS OF THE UNITED STATES (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-0869; on-sale March 13, 2012; trade paperback; $26) has been completely updated and provides the most up-to-the-minute information on the 58 scenic national parks.
The book contains the most color photographs and maps of any U.S. parks guidebook. Half the 380 images in the seventh edition are new, and many have never been published before. With its stunning photographs and 80 detailed, full-color maps, the volume serves as both guide and keepsake to these national natural treasures.
Last year, the United States national parks saw more than 281 million visitors, a number predicted to grow over the next decade. National Geographic has been associated with the National Park Service since the NPS’s creation in 1916 and has the unmatched expertise and authority for this trusted, time-tested guidebook, of which 1.1 million copies are in print.
The chapters cover “The East,” “The Southwest,” “The Colorado Plateau,” “The Pacific Southwest,” “The Rocky Mountains,” “The Pacific Northwest” and “Alaska,” and provide descriptions of each park, travel planning tips, best times to visit, itineraries and directions, activities, hotels and campground locations.
The text is written by veteran parks writers who have insider knowledge and are intimately familiar with the national parks based on years of firsthand experience. They suggest sight-by-sight tours tailored to the time visitors have available to spend at a given park, and they share their favorite spots for viewing sunsets, wildlife, scenery and more. For example:
- Learn where you can visit the sugar pines and Douglas firs that cloak the western Cascades where the Rogue River emerges from underground lava water tubes.
- If one has just a day to visit Mount Rainier, drive from the Nisqually entrance in the southwest to the flowered fields of Paradise, then on to Sunrise, the highest point accessible by car, open early July to early October.
- Visit Big Bend in Texas year round, though fall and winter may be the best seasons. Deciduous leaves turn color in the mountains in autumn; winters are mild. Summer temperatures in the desert can exceed 110°F; the Chisos Mountains remain cooler. If enough rain falls, the desert blooms stunningly in early spring and again in late summer.
Researchers have verified all facts in this new edition, including hours of operation, phone numbers and admission fees, and have updated all other information, including the changes in parks based on recent natural disasters.
From planning a trip to making the most of every minute, this guidebook has all the information one could want on the scenic parks.
National Geographic is simultaneously publishing a children’s book based on the adult guide. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS NATIONAL PARKS GUIDE U.S.A: The Most Amazing Sights, Scenes, and Cool Activities from Coast to Coast! (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4263-0932-8; on sale March 13, 2012; $21.95) highlights key family-friendly destinations and is loaded with fun boredom-busters like games, information on animals and conservation, sidebars, lists, fun facts, activities and more.