• Connect With Us:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

The National Parks: America's Best Idea

Last Updated by Brittni Willis on

Nearly a decade in the making, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA features some of the most extensive, breathtaking images of the national parks system ever captured on film. A total of 391 units were visited in the film, including 58 national parks and 333 national monuments and historical sites.

 It is more than a film of America's most beautiful and pristine lands, but a story about people. People who fought to protect these sacred lands and believed that they should be available for everyone to appreciate-not just the rich. 

This six part series explores the first accounts of these national parks featuring historical figures and personal memories with over 40 interviews. All of these characters share something in common--a deep affinity and passion for America's most sacred lands. Just as Theodoore Rosevelt fought to protect Yellowstone in the early 1900's, people like Japanese immigrant George Masa has continued that legacy with photographs of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee that served in the fight to protect the region as a national park. 

The film contains the most contemporary footage of any Ken Burns film since Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery. Shot by Chief Cinnemetogrpher Buddy Squires (who has filmed all of Burns's documentaries), long-time Florentine cameraman Allen Moore, Lincoln Else (a former ranger at Yosemite) and Burns himself.

Help us celebrate 100 years of national parks! #NationalParksPBS 

What's your favorite national park? Share your story on https://www.facebook.com/PBSNationalParks or tweet at us at @NWPTV with #NationalParksPBS