The 10 Best of Everything National Parks: 800 Top Picks From Parks Coast to Coast

Overview

National parks are more than the best idea America ever had—they're our country's best playgrounds for millions of vacationers who want to enjoy recreation activities, nature and wildlife, and down-time with friends, family, or as solo travelers. This timely, idea-filled guide covers "classic" parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national battlefields, national scenic trails, and beyond. Hundreds of Top 10 lists highlight every park's best attractions—best lodges, best hikes, best star-gazing ...
See more details below
Paperback
$14.63
BN.com price
(Save 33%)$21.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $13.34   
  • Used (5) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

National parks are more than the best idea America ever had—they're our country's best playgrounds for millions of vacationers who want to enjoy recreation activities, nature and wildlife, and down-time with friends, family, or as solo travelers. This timely, idea-filled guide covers "classic" parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national battlefields, national scenic trails, and beyond. Hundreds of Top 10 lists highlight every park's best attractions—best lodges, best hikes, best star-gazing spots, best campfire meal spots. Destinations are covered by region, theme, season, and occasion. Photos, anecdotes from park rangers, and insider tips, plus traveler resources such as hotels and restaurants, make this the national parks guide travelers have long sought.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“National Geographic has packed 800 ideas…This guide will tell you the best places to find waterfalls, wildflowers, rock art and petroglyphs, fossils, and geological oddities as well as the best places to watch the night sky, take a family-friendly hike, enjoy wind sports, find the best food and the most coveted hotel rooms. And if you don’t like crowds, there’s a list of 10 underappreciated parks.” The Boston Globe
 

“There’s a lot to embrace in the new book.” Baltimore Sun

“I was pretty inspired by the book — it’s obvious that it was put together by a group of people that have a real passion for the national parks system.” –Albany Times Union
 

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426207341
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 4/12/2011
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 185,774
  • Product dimensions: 7.82 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Ten Best Waterfalls
 
· Yosemite National Park (Yosemite, Bridalveil, Vernal, Nevada, Ribbon, and Horsetail Falls)
It’s no coincidence that great scenery and great waterfalls go together. The water needs something to fall from, which usually means cliffs and mountains and canyon walls. California’s Yosemite Valley claims them all and produces spectacular waterfalls at every turn. Bridalveil, near the entrance to the valley, is 620 feet high. A torrent in spring, it becomes a diaphanous, shifting veil as the summer season wears on.
 
· Haleakala National Park (Waimoku Falls)
Waimoku Falls could be a natural haiku, minimal and eloquent but at the same time powerful. It slips rather than falls, sliding 400 feet down a near-vertical lava wall painted with bright green vegetation. Getting there is a delight. The falls is located in the Kipahulu area of the park, on the southeast coast of the island of Maui, reached by driving the Hana Road, which itself is a sort of waterfall alley. Practically every watercourse along the coast offers one or more falls and cascades.
 
· Glacier National Park (McDonald, Redrock, Bird Woman, and Running Eagle Falls)
With its many high mountains, northwest Montana’s Glacier is a wonderland of waterfalls. A high ribbon of white that falls nearly 1,000 feet in two main drops, Bird Woman is typical of the park’s numerous hanging valley waterfalls. Hanging valleys result when a large glacier cuts deeper than a tributary glacier. The tributary, in effect, is left hanging high above the main valley, a perfect recipe for dramatic waterfalls.
 
· Katmai National Park and Preserve (Brooks Falls)
Brooks Falls might warrant no special attention were it not for the brown bear show. Together with leaping salmon and the Alaska landscape, the scene ranks among the world’s top wildlife-viewing experiences. In summer, great numbers of sockeye salmon return from the ocean to spawn. Making their way upriver, they encounter the falls—and a gang of hungry bears waiting for them, sometimes a dozen or more.
 
·  Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Brandywine Falls)
When water levels are low in this Ohio national park, 65-foot Brandywine Falls makes the best use of it. Hardly more than a trickle is needed in the smooth sandstone bed of Brandywine Creek above the falls to become a lovely sheet of water. Below the sandstone, a series of step-like shale ledges at the top spread the water, then set it loose to whisper down the sloping ramp to a lucid pool at its base.
 
· Yellowstone National Park (Lower Falls of the Yellowstone)
Waterfalls often mark the point in a river valley where hard rock gives way to softer rock. The river erodes the soft rock more quickly while the hard rock resists erosion. Nowhere is this more dramatically illustrated than in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, where the Lower Falls drops 308 feet to the bottom of a bright yellow canyon.
 
· Grand Canyon National Park (Deer Creek Falls)
In the enormous sharp-edged gorge of the Grand Canyon there exist hidden grottoes rounded by water, decorated with tender moisture-loving vegetation, frequented by creatures like tree frogs and warblers. The epic landscape hides sweet delicacies. Places like Elves Chasm, Thunder River, and Havasu Canyon stand out.
 
· Little River Canyon National Preserve (Little River Falls and Grace’s High Falls)
They call Little River a mountaintop river because it flows for most of its length on Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama. But it’s also a canyon river, running beneath sandstone walls hundreds of feet high. The Little River Falls stands in the middle. In autumn, when water levels are low, the falls is a peaceful white curtain surrounded by bright yellow and red foliage. Spring floods transform it into a roaring maelstrom.
 
· Zion National Park (Temple of Sinawava Waterfalls)
Speaking of ephemeral flows, a wondrous magic happens in the desert Southwest during heavy rainstorms. Dry streambeds suddenly burst into life. Waterfalls appear where hours ago there was nothing. Where cliffs are high, the result is unforgettable, as in the Temple of Sinawava at the upper end of Zion Canyon in Utah. The red-rock temple is a stunning place any time. High walls glow with reflected light, giving a particular luminescence to leaves of trees and flowers, be they green in the summer or gold in the fall.
 
· Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Grotto, Indian Creek, Toms Branch, Laurel, and Rainbow Falls)
Mountains everywhere are rain catchers, and the higher the better. On average, the upper elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee/North Carolina pull down 85 inches of rain each year. The runoff feeds more than 2,000 miles of streams, which makes for a lot of waterfalls. Seeing the best of them requires some hiking. It’s a pleasant feeling, on a hot summer day, to arrive in a zone of cool, forest-fragrant mist. 
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

The 10 Best of Everything National Parks

800 Top Picks From Parks Coast to Coast
By National Geographic

National Geographic

Copyright © 2011 National Geographic
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781426207341

Ten Best Waterfalls
 
· Yosemite National Park (Yosemite, Bridalveil, Vernal, Nevada, Ribbon, and Horsetail Falls)
It’s no coincidence that great scenery and great waterfalls go together. The water needs something to fall from, which usually means cliffs and mountains and canyon walls. California’s Yosemite Valley claims them all and produces spectacular waterfalls at every turn. Bridalveil, near the entrance to the valley, is 620 feet high. A torrent in spring, it becomes a diaphanous, shifting veil as the summer season wears on.
 
· Haleakala National Park (Waimoku Falls)
Waimoku Falls could be a natural haiku, minimal and eloquent but at the same time powerful. It slips rather than falls, sliding 400 feet down a near-vertical lava wall painted with bright green vegetation. Getting there is a delight. The falls is located in the Kipahulu area of the park, on the southeast coast of the island of Maui, reached by driving the Hana Road, which itself is a sort of waterfall alley. Practically every watercourse along the coast offers one or more falls and cascades.
 
· Glacier National Park (McDonald, Redrock, Bird Woman, and Running Eagle Falls)
With its many high mountains, northwest Montana’s Glacier is a wonderland of waterfalls. A high ribbon of white that falls nearly 1,000 feet in two main drops, Bird Woman is typical of the park’s numerous hanging valley waterfalls. Hanging valleys result when a large glacier cuts deeper than a tributary glacier. The tributary, in effect, is left hanging high above the main valley, a perfect recipe for dramatic waterfalls.
 
· Katmai National Park and Preserve (Brooks Falls)
Brooks Falls might warrant no special attention were it not for the brown bear show. Together with leaping salmon and the Alaska landscape, the scene ranks among the world’s top wildlife-viewing experiences. In summer, great numbers of sockeye salmon return from the ocean to spawn. Making their way upriver, they encounter the falls—and a gang of hungry bears waiting for them, sometimes a dozen or more.
 
·  Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Brandywine Falls)
When water levels are low in this Ohio national park, 65-foot Brandywine Falls makes the best use of it. Hardly more than a trickle is needed in the smooth sandstone bed of Brandywine Creek above the falls to become a lovely sheet of water. Below the sandstone, a series of step-like shale ledges at the top spread the water, then set it loose to whisper down the sloping ramp to a lucid pool at its base.
 
· Yellowstone National Park (Lower Falls of the Yellowstone)
Waterfalls often mark the point in a river valley where hard rock gives way to softer rock. The river erodes the soft rock more quickly while the hard rock resists erosion. Nowhere is this more dramatically illustrated than in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, where the Lower Falls drops 308 feet to the bottom of a bright yellow canyon.
 
· Grand Canyon National Park (Deer Creek Falls)
In the enormous sharp-edged gorge of the Grand Canyon there exist hidden grottoes rounded by water, decorated with tender moisture-loving vegetation, frequented by creatures like tree frogs and warblers. The epic landscape hides sweet delicacies. Places like Elves Chasm, Thunder River, and Havasu Canyon stand out.
 
· Little River Canyon National Preserve (Little River Falls and Grace’s High Falls)
They call Little River a mountaintop river because it flows for most of its length on Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama. But it’s also a canyon river, running beneath sandstone walls hundreds of feet high. The Little River Falls stands in the middle. In autumn, when water levels are low, the falls is a peaceful white curtain surrounded by bright yellow and red foliage. Spring floods transform it into a roaring maelstrom.
 
· Zion National Park (Temple of Sinawava Waterfalls)
Speaking of ephemeral flows, a wondrous magic happens in the desert Southwest during heavy rainstorms. Dry streambeds suddenly burst into life. Waterfalls appear where hours ago there was nothing. Where cliffs are high, the result is unforgettable, as in the Temple of Sinawava at the upper end of Zion Canyon in Utah. The red-rock temple is a stunning place any time. High walls glow with reflected light, giving a particular luminescence to leaves of trees and flowers, be they green in the summer or gold in the fall.
 
· Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Grotto, Indian Creek, Toms Branch, Laurel, and Rainbow Falls)
Mountains everywhere are rain catchers, and the higher the better. On average, the upper elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee/North Carolina pull down 85 inches of rain each year. The runoff feeds more than 2,000 miles of streams, which makes for a lot of waterfalls. Seeing the best of them requires some hiking. It’s a pleasant feeling, on a hot summer day, to arrive in a zone of cool, forest-fragrant mist. 

Continues...

Excerpted from The 10 Best of Everything National Parks by National Geographic Copyright © 2011 by National Geographic. Excerpted by permission of National Geographic, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)