Packed with more color photographs (380) and detailed, color maps (80) than any other parks guidebook on the market, this handy, practical, guide, completely updated for the 2012 edition, offers comprehensive information on the crown jewels of the national park system--the 58 scenic national parks that conserve and protect the flora and fauna in some of our nation's last wilderness areas. This guide helps travelers design custom trips, depending on the time and interests they have. The parks are grouped region by region so that vacationers can plan trips to one or more central location. Each chapter is introduced by a map and a geographical profile, followed by the parks in alphabetical order. Individual parks start with a portrait of the natural wonders available, their history, and the ecological setting and stresses they face. A practical "How to Get There" follows with suggestions on when best to visit and a "How to Visit" section with advice on which activities to engage in, how much time to provide for each, and how to savor the beauty of the place. After the descriptions, each park has an "Information & Activities" page with detailed visitor information, including the location of the visitor centers, the fees, pet guidance, special advisories, camping, and lodging details. Suggested brief, nearby excursions are provided to encourage the traveler to explore beyond the park boundaries. This update includes the lastest information on the 2009 Tsunami which devistated America Samoa National Park, information on road changes that resulted from the recent flooding in Olympic National Park, and changes in Arches National Park, including the collapse of Wall Arch in late 2008. The new edition also has 200 new photos by noted nature photographer Phil Schermeister. These pictures, many of which have never been published before, reflect the beauty and grandeur of our national treasures, while the accompanying text, written by experienced National Geographic writers who have traveled the parks, is full of personal, useful, and practical information.
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