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U.S. National Parks

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXUSW201. Buy these 3 items as a set for $46 including shipping, 20% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire

by Edward Abbey

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1990
  • PAPER
  • 303 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

One of the great works on the value of the desert, eloquent and laugh-out-loud funny. Although Abbey writes specifically about his experiences as a ranger at Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah, his message is universal. (DES02, $16.00)

Wapiti Wilderness

Wapiti Wilderness

by Margaret Murie | Olaus Murie

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 302 PAGES

Margaret and her biologist husband (who did the illustrations for the book) write of a winter, and especially the elk, at a ranch in Jackson Hole. They alternate chapters, mixing tales of work as a field biologist with stories of life in the region, where they lived for 37 years. (USW68, $24.95)

USA Southwest, Southern Rockies Map

USA Southwest, Southern Rockies Map

by Borch Maps

  • 2007
  • MAP

A map of the American Southwest at a scale of 1:3,000,000 with roads, parks and topography. (SWU21, $9.95)

 
Grand Canyon National Park Map 261

Grand Canyon National Park Map 261


by Trails Illustrated

  • 2012
  • MAP

A detailed hiker's map (1:35,000) of Colorado River miles 60-98, perfect for those hiking to Bright Angel and Indian Gardens campgrounds. (USW332, $11.95)

Grand Teton National Park Map

Grand Teton National Park Map


by Trails Illustrated

  • MAP

A detailed topographic map of Grand Teton National Park. (USW34, $11.95)

Yellowstone National Park Map

Yellowstone National Park Map


by Trails Illustrated

  • 2011
  • MAP

A visitor's overview map of the park at a scale of 1:126,000 with good topographic relief. (USW32, $11.95)

Zion National Park

Zion National Park


by Trails Illustrated

  • 2009
  • MAP

This hiker's map (1:28,000) is printed on tear-resistant, waterproof paper. (USW144, $11.95)

Yellowstone, A Visitor's Companion

Yellowstone, A Visitor's Companion


by George Wuerthner

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 218 PAGES

A handbook to the geology, ecology, wildlife and plants of Yellowstone. Includes photographs, a bird list and brief field guide with black-and-white drawings. (USW54, $15.95)

Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest

Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest


by Stephen Plog | Amy Elizabeth Grey

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

This illustrated introduction provides an in-depth look at the ancient cultures that first inhabited the pueblos and cliff dwellings of the American Southwest. Organized chronologically, it features hundreds of maps, mostly black-and-white photographs and site diagrams. (USW131, $26.95)

How the Canyon Became Grand, A Short History

How the Canyon Became Grand, A Short History


by Stephen J. Pyne

  • HISTORY
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 199 PAGES

The history of the idea and allure of the Grand Canyon, and its transformation from worthless real estate to marvel of nature. (USW76, $15.00)

Beyond the Hundredth Meridian, John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West

Beyond the Hundredth Meridian, John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West


by Wallace Stegner

  • EXPLORATION
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 438 PAGES

The classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of explorer John Wesley Powell by the great Wallace Stegner, first published in 1954. It's both an adventure and an insightful look at the politics of development in the American West. (USW78, $17.00)

In Search of the Old Ones, Exploring the Anasazi World of the Southwest

In Search of the Old Ones, Exploring the Anasazi World of the Southwest


by David D. Roberts

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 271 PAGES

An exuberant, engaging account of archaeological adventures in the desert Southwest. Roberts investigates the factors that may have led to the demise of the Anasazi civilization and looks into longstanding controversies. (USW157, $16.00)

The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons

The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons


by John Wesley Powell

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 397 PAGES

The classic tale of adventure and exploration of the rivers and canyonlands of the Colorado Plateau, originally published in 1875 -- and still terrific reading for any traveler to the Grand Canyon. (USW80, $17.00)

Lost in My Own Backyard

Lost in My Own Backyard


by Tim Cahill

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2004
  • HARD COVER
  • 160 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

Cahill mixes tales of walks, hikes and treks with history, lore and gee-whiz wonder in this celebration of America's first national park. (USW430, $16.95)

Death Comes for the Archbishop

Death Comes for the Archbishop


by Willa Cather

  • LITERATURE
  • 1990
  • PAPER
  • 297 PAGES

Based in part on the life of Bishop Jean Baptiste L'Amy, this classic novel of missionary life in New Mexico is rich in the texture of Old Santa Fe and New Mexican landscapes. (USW79, $14.00)

Mesa Verde National Park, Shadows of the Centuries


by Duane Smith

  • LITERATURE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

A cultural and archaeological guide to Mesa Verde, including a history of the Anasazi, the story of the creation of the national park and the impact of modern tourism. (SWU159, $17.95)

The Spell of New Mexico

The Spell of New Mexico


by Tony Hillerman

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1984
  • PAPER
  • 105 PAGES

A selection of 12 thoughtful essays on the New Mexico state of mind by great writers, including C.G. Jung, Mary Austin, D.H. Lawrence and Lawrence Clark Powell. Hillerman succeeds in communicating the lure of the desert Southwest in this wonderful, literate introduction to the state. (USW134, $16.95)

The Wandering Hill


by Larry McMurtry

  • LITERATURE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 406 PAGES

The second volume in McMurty's engrossing Berrybender saga set in Yellowstone. (USW449, $8.99)

Downcanyon, A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon

Downcanyon, A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon


by Ann Zwinger

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

A vivid overview of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River, from Mile 0 at Lees Ferry to Mile 278 at Grand Wash Fault. Zwinger interweaves geology, plants, animals and human history in her account. (USW11, $19.95)

Rising from the Plains

Rising from the Plains


by John McPhee

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1986
  • PAPER
  • 213 PAGES

McPhee's elegant and accessible essays show the geology of the Rockies through his travels with U.S. Geological Survey scientist David Love. (USW18, $16.00)

Searching For Yellowstone, Ecology and Wonder in the Last Wilderness

Searching For Yellowstone, Ecology and Wonder in the Last Wilderness


by Paul D. Schullery

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 338 PAGES

An engaging social and environmental history of Yellowstone from the Pleistocene to the present focusing on the park since its founding in 1872. Schullery has worked in Yellowstone as a ranger, a historian and the chief of cultural resources. (USW59, $19.95)

Spectacular Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

Spectacular Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks


by Charles R. Preston

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2008
  • HARD COVER
  • 132 PAGES

Three hundred color photographs, including panoramic six-page foldout spreads, archival pictures and essays on history and ecology, capture the splendor of these national parks. (USW547, $50.00)

Windows into the Earth, The Geologic Story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

Windows into the Earth, The Geologic Story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks


by Robert B. Smith | Lee J. Siegel

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

A geologic history and tour of the northern Rockies, particularly Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. With an outstanding overview of the geologic formation of the region and 50 color photographs. (USW356, $29.95)

A Field Guide to the Grand Canyon

A Field Guide to the Grand Canyon


by Stephen Whitney

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 268 PAGES

A compact guide to the natural history of the Grand Canyon with 71 handsome color plates, maps and illustrations. (USW06, $19.95)

A Naturalist's Guide to Canyon Country

A Naturalist's Guide to Canyon Country


by David Williams | Gloria Brown

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 188 PAGES

A compact field guide to the wildlife of the high desert of the Colorado Plateau and the nine national parks of the region. Williams includes an overview of the history, geology and ecology of the high desert along with basic information on identifying common plants and animals. (USW289, $24.95)

Mac's Field Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Birds and Mammals


by Craig MacGowan

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1999
  • PLASTIC CARD

This laminated card is waterproof and small enough to slip into your backpack. (USW195, $4.95)

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America


by David Sibley

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 474 PAGES

A compact, geographically specific version of the Sibley Guide with all new range maps, the same glorious illustrations and expanded, extremely valuable descriptions of each bird. (USW418, $19.95)

Yellowstone Trees & Wildflowers

Yellowstone Trees & Wildflowers


by James Kavanagh

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2006
  • PLASTIC CARD

A handy, laminated fold-up card. (USW501, $6.95)

Yellowstone Wildlife

Yellowstone Wildlife


by Pocket Naturalist

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2006
  • PLASTIC CARD

This handy plastic card illustrates the birds, mammals, fishes, amphibians and reptiles of Yellowstone. We also carry its companion, Yellowstone Trees & Wildflowers (Item USW501). (RKY88, $5.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.