The Wonder of US National Parks: Library Resources

From snow-capped mountains to colorful coral reefs, rolling grasslands to monochromatic deserts, the United States boasts incredibly diverse landscapes and natural splendor, especially as found in its iconic national parks.

These  63 national parks are congressionally designated protected areas operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior.  National parks are designated for their natural beauty, unique geological features, diverse ecosystems, and recreational opportunities.  

National parks draw millions of visitors a year to unique natural wonders and unforgettable terrains. These open spaces offer everything from wonderful hiking trails, photography and wildlife viewing opportunities, to stargazing or even boating and climbing. They are great for all ages, educational and most of all, the serenity of parks makes for a very relaxing and rewarding experience.

If you are considering visiting a national or state park this summer, or in any season, the Library has resources that can help you plan your trip.

Guidebooks 

Accessible Vacations : An Insider’s Guide To 10 National Parks by Simon J. Hayhoe

Banff, Jasper & Glacier National Parks

The Complete Guide To The National Parks : All 63 Treasures From Coast To Coast by Erika Hueneke

Explorer’s Guide: Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks by Jeff Welsch

Fodor’s The Complete Guide To The National Parks Of The USA

Lonely Planet Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks

100 Great American Parks by Stephanie Pearson

Subpar Parks : America’s Most Extraordinary National Parks And Their Least Impressed Visitors by Amber Share

U S & Canadian Rocky Mountains Road Trip : Drive The Continental Divide And Explore 9 National Parks by Becky Lomax

The World Almanac Road Trippers’ Guide To National Parks : 5,001 Things To Do, Learn, And See For  Yourself by John Rosenthal

Your Guide To The National Parks by Michael Joseph Oswald

Nonfiction Reads

Historic Yellowstone National Park : The Stories Behind The World’s First National Park by Bruce T. Gourley

This book captures the most interesting moments in the park’s history.  There’s the presence of Native Americans in the early years of the area’s history, the early explorers and expeditions, its debut as the very first national park, the explosive growth of tourism, and the people who made history in this astonishing and mysterious Rocky Mountain landscape.

American Wolf (unabridged book on CD) : A True Story Of Survival And Obsession In The West by Nate Blakeslee

The story of the rise of a Yellowstone wolf, and what her life and death and death tell us about the struggle for the American West.

Leave It As It Is : A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness by David Gessner

Naturalist Gessner delivers a thoughtful consideration of Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation legacy as president. According to this book, there is “practically speaking, no greater savior” of U.S. wilderness than Roosevelt, who created five national parks, 150 national forests, and 51 bird and four national game preserves, as well as the United States Forest Service.

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 Power Of Scenery : Frederick Law Olmsted And The Origin Of National Parks by Dennis Drabelle

 Tells the story of how America’s national parks came to be, with Frederick Law Olmsted’s insights and energy serving to link three jewels: Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Niagara Falls State Park.

Saving Yellowstone : Exploration And Preservation In Reconstruction America by Megan Kate Nelson

 The propulsive and vividly told story of how Yellowstone became the world’s first national park amid the nationwide turmoil and racial violence of the Reconstruction era.  A narrative of adventure and exploration, Saving Yellowstone is also a story of Indigenous resistance, the expansive reach of railroad, photographic, and publishing technologies, and the struggles of Black southerners to bring racial terrorists to justice.

Where The Deer And The Antelope Play : The Pastoral Observations Of One Ignorant American Who Loves To Walk Outside by Nick Offerman

With wit, heartwarming stories and a keen insight into new and exciting ways to see both the past and the future of the country, the actor, writer and woodworker takes a literary journey to America’s frontier to celebrate the people and landscape that have made it great.

Hoopla offers several ebooks, audiobooks and movies related to national parks for viewing on your screens.

-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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