Ranger Confidential Book Review – National Park Rangers, Rescues, and more

Ranger Confidential Book Review

First Thoughts:

What a phenomenal, quick read! I truly could not put it down. It might have been the fastest I’ve read a book in my adult years since I completed The Hunger Games trilogy (yes, all three) in less than a month my Sophomore year of college.

I was reading for 10 minutes on the elliptical each morning while I warmed up for my workout. I was breaking it out during my prep period at school. And I was even allotting 10 minutes before bed to read a chapter. I’m telling you, if you love outdoor adventure and our National Parks, you will turn these pages faster than you can plan your next hike. 

Ranger Confidential


Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks by Andrea Lankford provides the real stories behind the beauty of America’s National Parks. This book really sheds some light on a job that so many outdoor enthusiasts claim to be their dream job. Park Rangers really dedicate their heart and soul to the parks they protect; after reading this book you’ll understand just how selfless a career this is.

In this publication, you’ll meet numerous rangers and park staff that Lankford works alongside. You will travel to some of the Nations most popular parks and learn about their landscape. I found myself continuously astounded at just what these park rangers need to do in order to earn their keep; you won’t be impressed with their keep either. It’s a truly unique look into the life of a Park Ranger and all of the bullsh*t they deal with on a daily basis.

How Did This Book Make Me Feel?

Ranger Confidential is a collection of stories and each chapter is one-of-a-kind. Some endings will leave you in tears – I physically wept onto the pages of this book – and others will leave you laughing or cheering for girl power in a male-dominated world. This book made me feel eternally grateful for the Park Rangers that protect the people and wild spaces of the places I love.

I plan on thanking a ranger and other park staff members every time I encounter one since finishing Ranger Confidential. It’s also caused me to rethink some of my actions within the park’s boundaries. Knowing that one simple miscalculation or thoughtless action can result in an epically ruined day for both myself and the park staff can really put things into perspective.

What Are the Negatives of This Book?

Honestly, I had no negatives regarding this book until I wrote this post. I had seen this book on the National Park Visitor Center shelves for years before making the purchase.

I’ve published nearly 100 posts on this blog. These posts include travel tips, full National Park itineraries, and more and yet this post has received the most comments of them all. Every comment has one thing in common, it’s hating on the author of Ranger Confidential. I’ve yet to conduct enough research to know why Andrea Lankford is so deeply hated by the people of the internet – but it does interest me!

Would I Purchase Ranger Confidential?

If you are an outdoor enthusiast who is looking to be hit in all the feels, Ranger Confidential is 100% the book for you. If you love our great nations National Parks, I suggest it even more. Some of these back country stories are absolutely insane; hearing the whole truth about them from a retired ranger is pretty epic! 

11 thoughts on “Ranger Confidential Book Review – National Park Rangers, Rescues, and more”

  1. Well for one the authors an a.. hole who insulted park tourist on her website before the publisher made her remove the insults. 2. She lied about her “origin” story. 3. She usually brags about her accomplishments while ignoring the people who completed them or aided her in them. And she’s an egomaniac who thinks only she knows what’s right check out the search and rescue scam site

    1. I’m not entirely sure why this post sparks so much hate in peoples hearts… I found the book to be an interesting, quick read. That is all! Luckily, if you don’t like a book or its author, you are not required to read it 🙂

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