Publisher: Fodor's; 2 edition
Publication Date: April 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: June 15, 2010
If you are planning your trip of a lifetime to visit some of our national parks in the west, you want to be as prepared as possible so you will get the most out of your trip. If you are unsure of which park you want to visit, this is one guide you won't want to pass up. One of its best features is that the information, although not all inclusive, comes from people who either live in the areas or have taken a trip there. There are more than one hundred maps and over "300 color photos" to browse.
National parks listed in this book include the Arches (Utah), Badlands (South Dakota), Banif (Arizona), Big Bend (Texas), Black Canyon of Gunnison (Colorado), Bryce Canyon (Utah), Canyonlands (Utah), Capitol Reef (Utah), Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico), Channel Islands (California), Crater Lake (Oregon), Death Valley (California), Glacier-Waterton Lakes (Montana), Grand Canyon (Arizona), Grand Teton (Wyoming), Great Basin (Nevada), Great Sand Dunes (Colorado), Guadalupe Mountains (Texas), Jasper (Alberta), Joshua Tree (California), Lassen Volcanic (California), Mesa Verde (Colorado), Mount Rainier (Washington), North Cascades (Washington), Olympic (Washington), Petrified Forest (Arizona), Redwood (California), Rocky Mountain (Colorado), Saguaro (Arizona), Sequoia and King's Canyon (California), Theodore Roosevelt (North Dakota), Wind Cave (South Dakota), Yellowstone (Wyoming) Yosemite (California) and Zion (Utah).
What I like best about the Fodor's guides are that they give you a general overview of what to find in an area from restaurants to cell phone reception. You will find out about places to eat, lodging, tours, historic sites, sports and recreation opportunities, and much more. This particular guide, due to the simple fact that there are so many areas included, gives only a general overview of each one.
This is the type of guide I would definitely recommend one purchase as a "decision maker," rather than a guide for any one specific area. If you purchase it as a sole guide for your vacation, you may be sorely disappointed. Once you have decided exactly where you wish to go I would then recommend you purchase something more area specific.
Quill says: Fodor's The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the West is an overview, not an end all, but I must say, if you are looking toward the west for your summer vacation, by all means add this one to your wish list!