Do you love exploring the beautiful US National Parks and would you like to learn more about them? These are the best books on National Parks to inspire you!
The U.S. National Parks are also known as America’s best idea and they are fascinating to explore. To learn more about these gorgeous places, it’s useful to have a book or two about the national parks.
There are many different kinds of books about America’s National Parks. In this list, you’ll learn about the best national park books that cover national parks in a specific region, great national park itineraries, and coffee table books with beautiful pictures taken in the national parks. These books can be a fantastic gift for both national park lovers and nature lovers. Let’s get started!
The Best US National Parks Coffee Table Books & Travel Guides
A coffee table book is a large book and is usually hard-covered. It is filled with large photos and interesting information. A coffee table book is not only fun to browse through, but it is also fun to use as decoration in your house. These are the best coffee table books on National Parks.
National Geographic Atlas of the National Parks
This beautiful atlas showcases all of the American National Parks. Besides many beautiful photographs, it also has a collection of maps, interesting information about the history of each park, and fun infographics. It’s written by Jon Waterman, who used to be a park ranger of the national park service and a wilderness guide.
Buy the National Geographic Atlas of the National Parks on Amazon.
Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 63 Parks
This travel guide by Moon is also a great coffee table book about the National Parks of the USA. With almost 800 pages of information and photographs, it is a big book. But a great one! It has fun lists (like the best national parks to go to for hiking), handy planning tools, and maps and it’s a practical guide for each US National Park.
Buy Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 63 Parks on Amazon.
USA National Parks: Lands of Wonder
DK Eyewitness has some great travel guides, and they also made this gorgeous coffee table book about national parks in the united states. It is filled with beautiful photos and has practical tips for each of the national parks.
Buy USA National Parks: Lands of Wonder on Amazon.
National Parks of the USA
This great book by Kate Siber (author) and Chris Turnham (illustrator) is a perfect gift for children between 2 and 9 years old. It is one of the best children’s books on national parks and has beautiful illustrations and covers the most iconic national parks. But be careful, this book will probably turn your kid into a national parks lover and then you actually need to visit those gorgeous national parks.
Buy National Parks of the USA on Amazon.
Lonely Planet National Parks of America
Lonely Planet is well-known for its great comprehensive travel guides, but they also produce some amazing coffee table books. Their National Parks of America is absolutely stunning and filled with gorgeous pictures. In addition, there are fun detailed itineraries for each park.
Buy Lonely Planet National Parks of America on Amazon.
Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 63 National Parks
This book is written by Michael Joseph Oswald, an award-winning travel journalist. He makes sure that you’ll get a very detailed and comprehensive guide to all the US National Parks. The book has over 700 pages and contains tips that are suitable for everyone, whether you’re a thrill seeker or just want to visit the parks with your family. It also has very large and details maps.
Buy Your Guide to the National Parks on Amazon.
100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do
This National Geographic guide does not only cover the national parks in the USA but also in Canada! It is a very useful book to get inspired and plan an amazing national park trip.
Buy 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas on Amazon.
Mapping America’s National Parks: Preserving Our Natural and Cultural Treasures
Would you like to more about the geology and preservation of national parks, monuments, and other historic sites? Then this is the book for you! This book contains many interesting maps and shows you how the National Park System uses GIS (geographic information software) to keep a balance between preservation and enjoyment. Very interesting!
Buy Mapping America’s National Parks on Amazon.
Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America’s National Parks
Looking for the best national parks coffee table book with photographs? This is it! QT Luong (photographer, author, and environmentalist) was the first person to take (large format) photographs in all of America’s National Parks. It took him about 300 visits in 25 years and the result is this breathtaking book with over 600 images.
Buy Treasured Lands on Amazon.
Tip! QT Luong also published a book called Our National Monuments: America’s Hidden Gems, full of incredible photographs of (lesser-known) National Monuments.
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea
This famous book by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns is not the most recent book on this list (it’s from 2009), but it might be the best book ever written about the US National Parks. It was part of a 12-hour PBS documentary series about the US National Parks. The book teaches you about the history of National Parks, starting with the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. A must-read if you want to learn more.
Buy The National Parks: America’s Best Idea on Amazon.
Fodor’s The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the USA: All 63 parks from Maine to American Samoa
Fodor’s has some great national park guides and this is one of their masterpieces. In addition to beautiful photography and information about each of the parks, it also features fun itineraries, trip-planning tools, and detailed maps.
Buy Fodor’s The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the USA on Amazon.
The Art of the National Parks
This is a unique book with beautiful illustrations of theNational Parks. It is a contemporary take on the famous posters from the 1930s.
Buy The Art of the National Parks on Amazon.
Subpar Parks: America’s Most Extraordinary National Parks and Their Least Impressed Visitors
From Instagram to a book! That’s what Subpar did. Subpar has over 400k followers on Instagram and they combine bad reviews with beautiful images of the national parks. It’s hilarious! In addition, they’ll add some interesting tips that they got from park rangers.
Buy Subpar Parks on Amazon.
Best books on National Park Road Trips & Trip Planning
Are you planning a national park road trip? These books might come in handy.
Rand McNally 2023 Road Atlas & National Park Guide
Rand McNally’s road maps are iconic and they’ve made one that focuses on the US National Parks. This is not just a book with detailed maps, it is a road atlas and a travel guide in one. A perfect book to plan a fun road trip.
Buy Rand McNally 2023 Road Atlas & National Park Guide on Amazon.
Roaming America: Exploring All the National Parks
This is a coffee table book and a practical travel guide in one. It has beautiful photographs, practical information about road-tripping, where to stay, and great routes and itineraries. In addition, you’ll also get some photography tips.
Buy Roaming America on Amazon.
Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges
As you might know, most National Parks have unique places to stay the night. In this book, you’ll find an overview of every single lodge in the National Parks and the National Monuments. It includes photographs and prices.
Buy Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges on Amazon.
Fodor’s The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the West: with the Best Scenic Road Trips
Do you want to visit multiple national parks in the western USA like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Yosemite National Park? This book will help you plan your trip! It has more than 70 detailed maps, great example itineraries, and useful tips from locals. An unmissable guide!
Buy Fodor’s The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the West on Amazon.
Walks of a Lifetime in America’s National Parks: Extraordinary Hikes in Exceptional Places
Are you a hiker and do you want to learn everything about the most scenic hikes in the National Parks? Make sure to check out this guide! From really short nature trails to full-day hikes and multiday backpacking trips. It’s all in this book.
Buy Walks of a Lifetime in America’s National Parks on Amazon.
Inspiring stories about the National Parks
The National Parks have inspired many people from all over the world to learn more about nature. These are some really inspiring books filled with stories about the beauty of the national parks.
Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir
John Muir is probably the most famous adventurer in the USA and he was the founder of the National Park System. He wrote many books about his travels (mainly in California). This book is a biography of John Muir, and tells you the story of his journey from Scotland, to Wisconsin and California.
Buy The Life of John Muir on Amazon.
Death, Daring, & Disaster – Search and Rescue in the National Parks
Visiting the wilderness in America’s National Parks is not without risks. In this book, you’ll learn that over 150,000 rescue missions were carried out since the opening of the first national park in 1872. There are 375 stories about disasters, getting lost, and tragedy. Not a fun light read, but definitely interesting.
Buy Death, Daring, & Disaster on Amazon.
The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History
President Theodore Roosevelt was really passionate about nature and conservation. Under his presidency, he doubled the number of US National Parks. Read more about his story in this entertaining biography.
Buy The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt on Amazon.
Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park
Conor Knighton is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning and he decided to visit each of the national parks within a year. In this book, he tells you the story of his journey and shares his best experiences. It’s not just a guidebook, he also shares some about his personal life and at some points, the book is quite funny.
Buy Leave Only Footprints on Amazon.
National Parks logbooks
Would you like to record all your adventures in the national parks? There are several fun logbooks to keep track of your visits.
National Parks Book: National Park Passport & Bucket List
This book helps you plan and log all your visits. It has checklists and you can write down whatever you want about the park you’ve visited. Fun fact, this book was made by Adam (19) and his grandfather who used to be a National Parks employee and guide.
Buy National Parks Book: National Park Passport & Bucket List on Amazon.
U.S. NATIONAL PARKS: Adventure Planner & Passport Stamp Book
This is another great logbook. It has two pages of every park where you can tick off the most popular sights, there’s space for the official stamp (you can get a stamp in every US National Park), and there’s room for some personal notes.
Buy U.S. NATIONAL PARKS: Adventure Planner & Passport Stamp Book on Amazon.
The National Parks Journal: Plan & Record Your Trips to the US National Parks
This logbook by Stephanie Payne is different from the previous books and very useful. It has a list of the national parks, which makes it easy to check off the parks you’ve already visited. In addition, there are many diary pages to document all your visits.
Buy The National Parks Journal on Amazon.
63 National Park Adventure Guide: 2022 Edition
Looking for a logbook that’s perfect for kids? Make sure to get this one! This book has beautiful illustrations of each park, stickers and of course, you can keep track of all your visits and adventures.
Buy 63 National Park Adventure Guide on Amazon.
Other fun National Park gifts
In addition to this list of best books on national parks, there are also other fun national park items you can give as a gift. Here are a few fun ideas.
Enno Vatti US National Parks Scratch Off Poster – All 63 National Parks
Do you know which of the National Parks you’ve visited so far? Use this fun scratch-off poster to keep track.
Buy Enno Vatti US National Parks Scratch Off Poster on Amazon.
National Park Sticker Pack Set
This National Park Sticker Set contains 100 beautiful stickers with images of the national parks. Use them to decorate your water bottle, notebook, or any other item. The stickers are waterproof and can be pasted multiple times.
Buy the National Park Sticker Pack Set on Amazon.
Knitting the National Parks: 63 Easy-to-Follow Designs for Beautiful Beanies Inspired by the US National Parks
Do you into knitting? Or do you know someone that loves knitting? Then this might be a perfect gift! This book contains 63 beautiful knitting patterns for beanies. There’s a design for every park. How cool would it be to have one of these beanies?
Buy Knitting the National Parks on Amazon.
Vintage National Park Posters
Would you like to decorate your house with the US National Parks? This set contains nine different vintage national park posters and they’re so beautiful!
Buy Vintage National Park Posters on Amazon.
Personalized National Parks Pin Map
This wooden pin map is another great gift idea for national park lovers. It’s unique since you can personalize it by adding a name and you can use little wooden trees to pin the parks you’ve already visited.
Buy the Personalized National Parks Pin Map on Amazon.
The Art of the National Parks: Coloring Book
Do you want to feel like an artist? This coloring book contains the posters of the coffee table book The Art of the National Parks. Next to each poster, there’s a description of which colors to use. But if you want to use different colors, it’s totally up to you. You’re the artist!
Buy The Art of the National Parks Coloring Book on Amazon.
National Parks of the USA: Activity Book: With More Than 15 Activities, A Fold-out Poster, and 50 Stickers!
Entertain your kids with this fun National Park activity book! With this book, they’ll learn about plants and animals that live in the national parks. It also contains fun facts, a poster, and stickers. A great gift!
Buy National Parks of the USA: Activity Book on Amazon.
Read more about America’s National Parks
I’ve traveled from the Netherlands to the USA several times over the past few years and visited many National Parks and National Monuments. That’s why you can read a lot about America’s National Parks on this website. You might like to read these articles as well:
- Overview: US National Parks list by state
- Utah National Parks: nature at its best!
- Visiting the Grand Canyon: practical tips & the best things to do
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