National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of Canada (2011)

Genre: Nonfiction
Interest Level: Adult
National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of CanadaHey, did you know Waterton Lakes National Park is home to Western Canada’s first oil rig? And Canada was the first country on Earth to dedicate a national park service. Cool. So this book is packed with some interesting things, but it just feels all wrong. It’s the size of a handbook (handy for taking on a trip), but with about 40 parks spread across our 10,000,000 square kms, it’s hardly useful as a travel guide. The pictures are impressive but too small in this format, so it’s not a coffee table book either. On average, there are about eight pages dedicated to each park, when in fact each park probably deserves five times that. I wish they’d published regional versions and given each park some decent ink. Even so, the authors do an excellent job. The book hits the highlights. For instance, I examined the entry on Waterton Lakes National Park, where you’ll find the hike to Cameron Falls, Wall Lake (technically outside the park) and the history of Prince of Wales Hotel. The authors also note the stunning alpine wildflowers and the spectacular fall scenery, and they make mention of the wildlife. On a fairly recent visit, I saw grizzlies, black bears, Rocky mountain goats, butting bighorn sheep, marmots and squirrels. Amazing.
It’s the official guidebook published by National Geographic with the stamp of Parks Canada on the cover, and serves as an excellent introduction to our wild spaces. Just don’t stop with this one. I just ordered a copy of Popular Day Hikes 2: Canadian Rockies, so watch for a review of that later in the summer/early fall.
More discussion and reviews of this title: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11994281-national-geographic-guide-to-the-national-parks-of-canada

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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