Book Review: 59 Illustrated National Parks

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The United State’s National Park system is a shining star of achievement for the preservation of amazing national resources for generations to come. The National Parks Service, which is the agency that watches over the parks, is getting ready to celebrate its 100th year in existence in 2016. To honor that achievement the Anderson Design Group has released a book entitled 59 Illustrated National Parks, that serves to pay homage to the history and beauty of these protected areas.

As a photographer and lover of national parks myself, I have been eagerly awaiting this book ever since I heard about it’s release 6 months ago. One of my treasured memories is looking through the old national park posters when I was a kid, and to now see them reinvigorated with new life is exciting. 59 Illustrated National Parks showcases these beautiful new posters by giving each a full page spread to introduce the parks as you flip the pages. You can even purchase prints of these art pieces to hang in your home or office as well.

The book is presented in chronological order from when each park became a part of the National Parks System, there is even a small timeline at the bottom of each content page that shows when the park became protected. I had known that Yellowstone was the first park, but I was surprised to realize that Sequoia was the second, even before Yosemite. Since the book is being released this year they also have Pinnacles National Park in California, which is the newest entry to the National Park system that President Obama designated during his time in office.

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Kings Canyon National Park is located in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Fresno, California

The book also has a few pages in the front that talks about the history of the parks system and the uphill battle that they faced to save these stunning places. There is also a section on the artist that talks about the work that went into creating these posters, which look old but still have a modern feel to them.

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When I finally dove into the book I found myself engulfed as I turned page after page to both admire the artwork and read about the parks themselves. Many of the pages even have small sections on where the best place is to photograph in the park and when the best time is to visit, something that I am sure I will reference often when exploring new parks.

I can honestly say that this book has exceeded my expectations. The posters that have been created to pay tribute to the parks system and the thought that went into creating an engaging and unique book has secured its spot on my coffee table for years to come. If you are anything like me and love both the parks and nostalgia of beautiful old designs then you should do yourself a favor and pick this book up. You might even find a new park you didn’t know existed to add to your bucket list.

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Arches National Park is located in southeast Utah

Insider Tip
The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016. Find Your Park Experiences, offered by the National Park Service, are available both in person and online. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @nancydbrown, follow Josh McNair @cathroughmylens and follow @NatlParkService for #FindYourPark tips.

Where to buy
59 Illustrated National Parks (
By Joel & Nathan Anderson
Published By Anderson Design Group, Inc

59 Illustrated National Parks book review is a guest post by California-based travel blogger Josh McNair. Anderson Design Group, Inc supplied him with this book for review purposes. All opinions are his own.