If you're planning a summer road trip, or just want to daydream about travels you could take, America's 63 national parks might be calling. Whether you're planning your next vacation, just want to dive into some fascinating history, or enjoy perusing the photographic splendor of the great outdoors, we've pulled together this list of library books that explore all these parks have to offer.
Click the book covers to put them on hold in our catalog. Book descriptions are excerpted from the catalog or the publisher.
"Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park" by Conor Knighton
The Emmy-winning CBS Sunday Morning correspondent chronicles his year traveling to every one of our national parks, discovering the most beautiful places and most interesting people that America has to offer.
"The National Parks Coast to Coast: The 100 Best Hikes" by Ted Alvarez
Explore the crystal clear waters on the Summit Lakes Trail at Lassen Volcanic National Park, take in the expansive views at Shenandoah National Park’s Old Rag Mountain, or traverse the sandstone cliffs at Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. Choose your adventure from any of the forty-four national parks profiled throughout the book. This book delivers jaw-dropping photos, detailed hike descriptions and maps, ranger essays, and more, all of which combine to create an intimate look at the best our national parks have to offer.
"Scenic Science of the National Parks: An Explorer's Guide to Wildlife, Geology, and Botany" by Emily Hoff
Discover a fresh perspective on America's National Parks in a stunning illustrated guide featuring fascinating science, fun trivia, and helpful insider travel tips for sixty parks. What caused the stone arches in Arches National Park? Why are Yellowstone's geothermal pools such wild colors? How did the Badlands get their name? Scenic Science of the National Parks curates and breaks down the most compelling natural science highlights of each park, from volcanic activity, glaciers, and coral reefs to ancient redwood groves, herds of bison, giant bats, and beyond.
"Secrets of the National Parks: The Expert's Guide to the Best Experiences Beyond the Tourist Trail" by National Geographic
The majority of national park visitors often stick to the most celebrated trails and scenic overlooks, missing a whole world of stunning scenery in the process. Informed by park rangers, superintendents, and frequent park visitors, National Geographic Secrets of the National Parks provides inspiration and information to plan your visit beyond the well-trodden, touristy spots in these 32 national parks.
"The National Parks: America's Best Idea: An Illustrated History" by Dayton Duncan
In this evocative and lavishly illustrated narrative, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan delve into the history of the park idea, from the first sighting by white men in 1851 of the valley that would become Yosemite and the creation of the world's first national park at Yellowstone in 1872, through the most recent additions to a system that now encompasses nearly four hundred sites and 84 million acres.
"This is a Book for People who Love the National Parks" by Matt Garczynski
For devoted park-goers and casual campers alike, this charming guide is nothing short of a celebration of America's natural wonders. An introduction to the storied history of the Parks Service is paired with engaging profiles of each of the sixty-one National Parks, from Acadia to Zion and everything in between. Quirky facts and key dates are woven throughout, while refreshingly modern illustrations capture the iconic features of each majestic setting.
"Subpar Parks: America's Most Extraordinary National Parks & Their Least Impressed Visitors" by Amber Share
Millions of travelers enjoy the national parks every year... and some post one-star reviews after their visits. Share celebrates the parks with humor as she uses the visitors' comments as starting points for brief descriptions that include basic facts and history about each park.
"Accessible Vacations: An Insider's Guide to 10 National Parks" by Simon Hayhoe
This book helps readers with access needs visit national parks and visitor centers. It describes a range of techniques and technologies to make visiting easier and shows you what is available for learning through driving, riding, walking, wheeling, or feeling around ten selected national parks.
"Where Should We Camp Next? National Parks: The Best Campgrounds and Unique Outdoor Accommodations in and Around National Parks, Seashores, Monuments, and More" by Stephanie Puglisi
With America's national parks seeing rejuvenated interest from campers, whether it's in tents, RVs, cabins, or yurts, one "question continues to float around camping communities more than any other: "Where should I camp next?" Camping and RV experts Jeremy and Stephanie Puglisi are here with the answers. Where Should We Camp Next?" offers an expert but accessible guide to the best campgrounds and outdoor accommodations in and around over one hundred national parks, lakeshores, monuments, and more. The Puglisis will help you understand the different types of camping accommodations, find hidden gems across the country, and plan your family's next bucket list trip. It's time to make some memories in America's breathtaking national parks system!
"Great American Road Trips: National Parks" by Readers Digest
An inspiring new collection that takes you on a tour of breathtaking views from popular parks across the country. Divided into four regions, this guidebook features 42 of the best national parks America has to offer, all detailed by readers and journalists who’ve traveled them firsthand.