“Booking” U.S. National Parks

“Booking” U.S. National Parks

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Last January I wrote about the importance of planning your summer visits to U.S. National Parks in the Western U.S. well in advance of your trip.

(Joshua Tree National Park Flickr Photo)

Even though it is still officially winter throughout America, you should act now to make your dreams of a national park vacation come true for one very important reason: The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary this coming August, and that alone may prompt even more tourists to head to the hills, valleys, mountains and geothermal features of the most popular parks, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite.

Here are two recently published books that will fuel those park-visit fantasies and help you decide which parks to put on your “bucket list” of places to make it to this year.

A Poster Is Worth A Thousand Words

In honor of a century of service by the park rangers and other NPS employees, Joel and Nathan Anderson of the Anderson Design Group of Nashville, Tennessee has put out a wonderful coffee-table book entitled 59 Illustrated National Parks: Celebrating 100 Years of Wilderness and Wonder in both hardcover and paperback editions which “includes all 59 of our National Park posters, plus 12 oil paintings, historic photos, a map of the USA, facts, travel tips, and the 100-year history of the National Park Service.”

Forty-odd years ago, my wife and I decorated our apartment with colorful posters based on Sunset magazine covers depicting the Western U.S. back in the early decades of the 20th century.

The Anderson’s new book contains national park posters they made in the same, “retro” style as those Sunset covers, including ones for all of the famous Western parks I’ve personally visited, such as the two “Y” parks, Crater Lake, Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon, plus Acadia in Maine, which I will add to my “national parks life-list” in June.

Golden Spots in The Golden State

If you are headed to California this year, or live in the “Golden State,” check out Travel Features & Photos: California’s National Parks,  Monuments, Trails, Seashores and Historic Sites, an anthology of travel stories published by the San Francisco-based non-profit association of professional travel writers and photographers, Bay Area Travel Writers (batw.org). You can purchase the large paperback edition (which includes a free iPad version).

This is an “A-To-Y” book (alas, there is no national park unit in California whose name begins with “Z”) that covers not only the best known NPS locations in California, such as Point Reyes National Seashore, and Yosemite, but lesser-known gems, such as Lassen Volcanic National Park (including one of my own stories) and Lava Beds National Monument tucked away in the northeast corner of the state, and Rosie The Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond, north across the bay from San Francisco.

Several of the stories were previously published elsewhere, and all are richly illustrated with photographs.

Like the Anderson’s book, Travel Features & Photos: California’s National Parks,  Monuments, Trails, Seashores and Historic Sites was published specifically to celebrate the National Park Service centennial.

(For more on U.S. National Parks, see the January, 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine. Purchases made from Amazon.com through links on this page helps Tales Told From The Road continue to bring you a wide range of travel-related stories.)


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