Book data

Wild America
David Muench   Roly Smith  
21 April 2016
UK price £14.99
96pp, 235 x 210mm, 550g

Wild America

A personal celebration of the National Parks


David Muench Roly Smith

Out of stock

"This is a distinguished work - the writing crisp, and the photos captivating" - Lee Stetson (John Muir Live)

Wild America brings together David Muench, the eminent wilderness photographer (American), with Roly Smith, the respected outdoor writer (British). This book celebrates their personal choice of America’s National Parks and protected areas.

Its publication marks the centenary of the ‘Organic Act’, the federal law that established the world’s first National Park Service. Share their personal selection, in Smith’s words and Muench’s superb photographs, of 21 of America’s stunning wildernesses.

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Contents and intro
Zion National Park
Antelope Canyon Navajo Tribal Park
Shenandoah National Park

Excerpt from review in Publishers Weekly

Landscape photographer Muench (Monument Valley) and travel writer Smith honor the centennial of America’s National Parks by sharing a personal selection of photos and experiences from 17 national parks and four protected areas. The included parks, organized alphabetically from Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah, are mostly located in the West, their natural and monstrous beauty easily captured in Muench’s colorful landscape photos. The most notable photos feature mountains reflected in waters, including Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, Kearsarge Pinnacles, and El Capitan. The text notes when each park was established and includes heights of peaks and historical tidbits … [He] quotes from more eloquent writers such as John Muir, Frank Lloyd Wright, Edward Abbey, and Rudyard Kipling. Smith also pays deserved homage to the Civilian Conservation Corps. More than Smith’s narration, Muench’s photos will seductively encourage tourists to “find your park.”

From Publishers Weekly, Jun 20, 2016

Reviewed by Andrew McCloy for the Ramblers

This personal celebration of 21 of America’s national parks and protected areas combines the stunning photography of David Muench and Roly Smith’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable text. The hardback, landscape-style format works well, giving free rein to over 90 spectacular and richly colourful images – from Crater Lake and Monument Valley to Bryce Canyon and the Badlands. Alongside the photos, Roly Smith explores the origin of the national park idea, culminating in the designation of the world’s first at Yellowstone in 1872, and the book’s publication marks the centenary of the US federal law that established the world’s first national park service.

Walk Magazine, summer 2016 page 83

Excerpt from review in Outdoor Focus magazine

Roly Smith outlines the story of the national parks and then describes each park succinctly and clearly, with his love of these wild places shining through and a few of his own adventures thrown in – the last giving the book a nice personal touch. Along with his words. the glorious photogaphs of David Muench really show the beauty and majesty of these landscapes. I’ve been to nine of the places in the book. Now there are twelve more I want to visit!

The book has been well-designed and produced by Rucksack Readers and looks wonderful. I read it straight through but will undoubtedly dip into it again and again. It’s not long, just 96 pages, but in those pages there’s an astonishing amount to excite and inspire every lover of wild nature.

Reviewed by Chris Townsend on page 12 of Outdoor Focus (Winter 2015/16)

From a review at

This is a super book which has inspired me to add a few of the American national parks to my bucket list. For me the photos are simply stunning, but it does more than provide a feast for the eyes. The narrative is relatively brief but informative. What it does really well is encourage you to want to make the trip yourself. I also liked how each location was plotted on a mini map of the USA. The book itself is more rucksack-sized than coffee table boast book – all the better for that, I think. I loved it.

Don Panik, a Vine Voice

Excerpt from a review at

A beautiful looking book. … you get to see mankind in only a couple of photos. The rest of the book is pure nature and wilderness. You are truly out in the wilds. The photography is absolutely stunning. A very inspiring book.

Ross Boardman, a Vine Voice

Reviewed by Lee Stetson, the respected John Muir interpreter and scholar

This is a distinguished work – the writing crisp, and the photos captivating: you will yearn to visit every wild place that it covers. Roly Smith’s lively text makes damn good reading – sprinkled with just the right of amount of history, geology and personal anecdote. The dazzling images, so dramatically captured by the brilliant David Muench, seem to suspend time as you ponder them, lingering long after you’ve turned the page. This remarkable book artfully nourishes our instinctive love for wild and lovely places; it inspires us to protect them; and, best of all, it encourages us to get on our boots and engage with them.

Lee Stetson, Yosemite Centennial Ambassador 2016

Excerpt from a review at

The writing style is proudly informative and it’s truly fantastic in its history – lots of details about the explorers who originally found the parks with unknown facts woven in. The photographs are stunning, there’s a little map of the USA on each pointing to where it is, and the ratio of photographs to text is just right. It will absolutely make you want to go to at least 10 of them right now!

E Fox, a Vine Voice

Excerpt from a review at

For any outdoor lover, this is a lovely book to dip into. Written by experienced UK outdoor writer Roly Smith with sumptious photographs by another veteran, David Muench, for those like myself unfamiliar with the US national parks – Yosemite and Yellowstone excluded – it serves as a great primer for the visitor.

Jago Wells, a Vine Voice