Get Outdoors this Summer with Help From GPO

July is National Parks & Recreation Month in the U.S., which delivers a reminder of the staggeringly beautiful images from the thousands of national parks around our great Nation. Perhaps this is the year that you finally pack up the family in the car or RV and spend a long weekend camping in the hills and enjoying the incredible wonder that is our naturally beautiful landscape.

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is here to help you with the research and planning that can make any summer vacation into the one you tell stories about for years to come. The most important step of that epic road trip is first and foremost choosing where to go and where to stay. The U.S. Government Bookstore offers more than a few options on how to figure that out.

The National Parks Index offers a complete administrative listing of the National Park System and can help you figure out which parks are in your area and what they have to offer. Also, if you’re a more visual person, there is the National Park System Wall Map Poster which would allow you map out your trip visually, and you could even hang it on the wall in your house and use pushpins to track your progress in visiting all the parks our country has to offer.

While you’re on your trip, you may want to bring along a camera to capture some of the breath taking scenes you’re sure to see. The best photographers know that the key to beautiful pictures is the inspiration, and the book A Photographer’s Path: Images of National Parks Near the Nation’s Capital is full of incredible photos that are sure to light your creative fires and inspire you to take a couple of photos worthy of printing and hanging on your wall.

Another great thing our national parks offer is free or discounted fees to visit for active duty and retired military members due to the National Parks Freedom Pass Act which was passed by the House of Representatives in 2011.

To find other bills and laws that Congress has passed to protect and preserve our park system, visit and search “national parks.”

You can also search the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications to find a list of titles that will allow you to learn more about the parks and monuments available near you, like:

Make GPO your first stop when planning your next national park trip, and visit our sites to learn more about the great history of our Government preserving the parks for our future generations. Happy camping!


Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above in the blog post.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Scott Pauley is a Writer and Editor in GPO’s Library Services and Content Management office.

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