National Geographic Rates the Best Parks
Who can resist a 'Best Of' list? They are as much fun to read as they are to debate. The most recent edition of National Geographic Adventure Magazine has a feature they are calling the 'Best Parks of 2007'. They have subdivided the parks into 'best' categories, hiking, paddling, wildlife viewing, trekking, driving, climbing and lodges. Each subdivided category has more detail about the park, and why it qualifies as 'best of'. Have a look at the list. What do you think, did they get it right?
I've scanned the list a couple of times, and I'd say the list is pretty well done. I was initially surprised to see Olympic National Park lead the 'best climbing' category, but after reading the explanation, I had a quick shrug and thought, 'yeah, I guess that makes sense'. I guess I would have expected to see Yosemite with its famed El Capitan in that same category, but no go. The editors of the list were probably looking to highlight a lot of different parks around the country, and to give exposure to some lesser known parks along the way. For instance, I was glad to see Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota listed as among the best for wildlife viewing, a park that doesn't typically make these type of 'best of' list, but one that is worthy of a little attention as an out of the way destination.
Before you leave the 'Adventure Mag' website, have a look at the 'Weird and Wild' quiz about parks they put together. I would have scored higher if I had realized at the beginning some of the parks were in Canada. Other than that, I actually scored pretty well.