National Park Books You Wish Were On Your Back-to-School List

Whether you're stocking up on some last-minute summer reading or picking up a few back-to-school books, these national park page-turners should definitely be on your list. As we celebrate the National Park Service's 100th anniversary, these books will inspire you to head to a park near you before the year is through!

“The National Parks: America's Best Idea” Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns

A companion volume to the 12-hour PBS documentary series of the same name, “The National Parks: America's Best Idea” is a detailed account that traces the entire history of America's national parks back to the original concept: the idea that our most beautiful and historically important landscapes should be preserved for everyone to see and experience.

“Our Great Big Backyard” Jenna Bush Hager and Laura Bush

From the bestselling duo of former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager, “Our Big Backyard” is a beautiful new release to commemorate the National Park Service's centennial year. It's a fun-filled story, beautifully illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, that will get your kids excited about all the sights and sounds of our national parks.

“Color Your Park” hitRECord

The artwork in this stunning all-ages coloring book brings our nation's most cherished parks to life across its 96 beautiful pages. “Color Your Park” features artists and illustrators from all over the world.

“59 Illustrated National Parks” Nathan Anderson and Joel Anderson

A lavishly illustrated book to mark the 100th year of the National Park Service, “59 Illustrated National Parks” includes gorgeous renderings of the most famous parks, along with lesser-known gems. It makes a great gift or coffee-table book!

“National Park Roads” Timothy Davis

As you explore your national parks, you might neglect to notice some of their most important features—the roads that travel through them. In “National Park Roads,” National Park Service historian Timothy Davis tells the fascinating story of roads in national parks, from the factors that determined their course to how they impact the way we experience our parks. All royalties from the sale of this book will support the work of the National Park Foundation.

“Hello, National Parks!” and “Journey Around Our National Parks” Martha Day Zschock

One of many park-themed books published by Applewood Books, “Hello, National Parks!” is perfect for kids ages 2-5, and introduces young readers to NPS sites from the Grand Canyon to the Statue of Liberty.

Journey Around Our National Parks” is a beautifully illustrated follow-up to “Hello, National Parks!” It's aimed at 4th-graders, but makes a great national park field trip companion for all students age 6 and up.

Anna Pigeon series Nevada Barr

Anna Pigeon is a park ranger who finds herself entangled in nail-biting mysteries in this series of novels by best-selling author Nevada Barr. Each story takes place in a different national park, with stunning wilderness landscapes serving as the backdrop to each mystery.

“National Parks Puzzle Book” Grab A Pencil Press

The 15 fact-filled puzzles in the “National Parks Puzzle Book” are a perfect way to get kids to learn more about their parks while having fun. This book is great for passing the time while you're in the car on your way to your favorite park!

Be sure to add these national park books to your reading list this year, or better yet, take one with you when you visit your nearest national park! Think there's a book we should have put on the list? Tell us all about it at!