Saturday, December 26, 2009

Free e-Guide for US National Parks

If you're a die-hard national parks fan, or have been just recently inspired to get out and explore by Ken Burns' documentary series The National Parks: America's Best Idea, then the National Park Foundation (NPF) has a freebie you'll want to download today. The America's National Parks Owners Guide 2009 overflows with good stuff, including pointers toward visiting little-known National Park Service (NPS) sites (for example, war memorials, maritime history sites and literary homes in the San Francisco Bay area).

The owners' guide, which you can download as a free PDF or browse through online, is organized into 20-plus regions, including Alaska and even Caribbean and Pacific Islands. Whether you're looking for new parks in your own backyard or maybe you're a planning an epic cross-country trip for next summer, check out the "Don't Miss" boxed texts. For more trip-planning advice, the NPF website also has a handful of short, snappy travel ideas.

Of course, if you're going to knock a few dozen more NPS sites off your life list in 2010, you're going to need an America the Beautiful annual pass ($80), valid at every national park and most federal recreation lands (a lifetime pass costs $10 for seniors, free for those with disabilities). Buy passes online or at any national park. While you're at it, consider making a donation to the National Parks Foundation. Anyone who contributes at least $50 gets a subscription to Parks magazine, which offers behind-the-scenes looks at what's happening in your parks right now.

Which national park is first on your list for 2010? Inspire us by posting a comment below.

Related posts:
Freeze and Stay Cheap (or Even Free!) in Yosemite
Free Online Vacation Planner for Hawaii
National Park Service Spotlights Route 66


  1. Sam thanks for posting about little-known sites in the SF Bay Area. Next time I'm in the the East Bay area, I think it would be quite an adventure to find the Rosie the Riveter NPS site. That place is definitely on my personal life list.

  2. Hi Sara,
    Thanks for this great post and the link. As a national park lover, I appreciate it very much. I might also mention our websites, which provide in-depth content, all free, to help people plan trips to Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion or Rocky Mountain national parks.
    In addition to user-generated videos, interactive Maps & Itineraries, visitor trip notes and extensive "Things to Do" information, we also include free trip planner kits via direct mail and email.
    Just mentioning this as a further service to national park enthusiasts considering a trip to one of the aforementioned national park wonders.
    Thanks for your continuing great blog posts and insightful information.