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America's Canyonlands

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

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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)

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)

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)

Eyewitness Guide Southwest and Las Vegas

Eyewitness Guide Southwest and Las Vegas

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

This thorough, gorgeously illustrated guidebook provides an excellent overview of the Southwest, its history, traditions, cultures and sights. (SWU147, $23.00)

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)

 
Bryce Canyon National Park Map

Bryce Canyon National Park Map


by Trails Illustrated

  • 2006
  • MAP

With portions of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and surrounding parks. (USW143, $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)

Grand Canyon, The Complete Guide

Grand Canyon, The Complete Guide


by James Kaiser

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A full-color guide on where to go, what to do, and how to get the most out of your adventures. (SWU190, $19.95)

The Southwest Inside Out, An Illustrated Guide to the Land and its History

The Southwest Inside Out, An Illustrated Guide to the Land and its History


by Thomas Wiewandt | Maureen Wilks

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2010
  • FLEXI-BOUND
  • 208 PAGES

An outstanding guide to understanding the geomorphology of the Southwest, featuring the author's color photographs of canyons, dunes and other landforms. (USW345, $24.95)

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)

Masked Gods, Navaho and Pueblo Ceremonialism

Masked Gods, Navaho and Pueblo Ceremonialism


by Frank Waters

  • HISTORY
  • 1984
  • PAPER
  • 433 PAGES

An excellent overview of Pueblo life and their many ceremonies. (USW220, $22.95)

Sedona


by Sedona Historical Society

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 126 PAGES

This lovingly produced collection of 200 archival photographs shows the transformation of Sedona from a tiny outpost along Oak Creek Canyon to a popular recreational destination. (SWU241, $21.99)

The West: An Illustrated History

The West: An Illustrated History


by Ken Burns | Geoffrey C. Ward

  • HISTORY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 464 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE
  • >

The lavish illustrated companion to the PBS series with essays from seven renowned writers and historian. (USW674, $27.99)

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, $18.00)

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)

Miles from Nowhere

Miles from Nowhere


by Dayton Duncan

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Touring the American West from the Rio Grande to the Cascades in a GMC Suburban, covering more than 30,000 miles, Duncan paints a vivid, perceptive portrait of frontier life in contemporary America. (USW675, $19.95)

The Man Who Walked Through Time

The Man Who Walked Through Time


by Colin Fletcher

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 247 PAGES

Fletcher's much-loved account of a remarkable two-month odyssey below the rim of the Grand Canyon, first published in 1967. (USW94, $16.00)

The Best of the West, An Anthology of Classic Writing from the American West

The Best of the West, An Anthology of Classic Writing from the American West


by Tony Hillerman

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 528 PAGES

A campfire collection of unforgettable portraits of the West, this anthology takes in travelers, homesteaders, Navajos, government officials, pioneers and authors as diverse as Meriwether Lewis, John Steinbeck and Edward Abbey. (USW87, $18.99)

The Blessing Way

The Blessing Way


by Tony Hillerman

  • MYSTERY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Hillerman's first mystery in the popular series introduces Detective Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police, as well as Hillerman's now-trademark attention to Southwestern peoples' cultures and histories. (SWU94, $9.99)

The Grand Canyon Reader

The Grand Canyon Reader


by Lance Newman

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 245 PAGES

Both an English professor and river guide, Lance Newman selects well from the accounts of early explorers, popular fiction and contemporary literature by writers as diverse as John McPhee, Ann Zwinger, Edward Abbey and Barry Lopez. (SWU490, $20.95)

The Laughing Boy

The Laughing Boy


by Oliver La Farge

  • LITERATURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 193 PAGES

An ethnographer and archaeologist, La Farge captures the flavor of the landscapes and ways of life in Northern Arizona in the early 20th century in this Pulitzer Prize-winning short novel. (USW240, $14.95)

Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest

Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest


by Jon Ortner

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2010
  • HARD COVER
  • 240 PAGES

Bryce, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands and Grand Canyon are all featured in this photographic tribute, a miniature version (7 x 5 1/4 inches) of Jon Ortner's stunning oversized original. (USW632, $18.95)

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)

Pages of Stone: Geology of Western National Parks and Monuments, Grand Canyon and the Plateau Country

Pages of Stone: Geology of Western National Parks and Monuments, Grand Canyon and the Plateau Country


by Halka Chronic

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 158 PAGES

An informative guide to the geology of the Colorado Plateau, some of the most ruggedly beautiful land in the Southwest. With mostly black-and-white photographs, maps, diagrams and glossary. (USW380, $21.95)

Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert

Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert


by Terry Tempest Williams

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

A series of lyrical, thoughtful essays on the power and beauty of the Red Rock Wilderness of southern Utah, including Grand Staircase, Canyonlands, Glen Canyon, Moab and the Great Basin. (USW398, $15.95)

River Notes, A Natural and Human History of the Colorado

River Notes, A Natural and Human History of the Colorado


by Wade Davis

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 162 PAGES

A hymn to the Colorado River, including thrilling accounts of Davis' rafting adventures in the Grand Canyon and a vivid report on the state of the American West. The author includes excellent quotes from his heroes Edward Abbey, Eliot Porter, Aldo Leopold and others. (RKY128, $17.50)

The National Parks, America's Best Idea

The National Parks, America's Best Idea


by Ken Burns | Dayton Duncan

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

Now in a paper edition, this lavishly illustrated tale by the dynamic PBS duo brings to life the conservationists, politicians, presidents and dreamers who created our national park system. (USA356, $32.50)

Field Guide to the Grand Canyon

Field Guide to the Grand Canyon


by Pocket Naturalist

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2001
  • PLASTIC CARD

This handy, laminated card features color illustrations of commonly encountered birds, mammals and reptiles of the Grand Canyon and can be easily slipped in your pocket. (USW334, $6.95)

National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southwestern States: Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah

National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southwestern States: Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah


by Peter Alden

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

A compact photographic guide to the wildflowers, trees, mosses, butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals of the American Southwest. (SWU14, $22.00)

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.