John Colter is one of the icons of the American West, at the leading edge of the mountain man era of exploration of the United States west of the Mississippi River. Some might even view him as the leader of the era, tackling the unknown West much as Daniel Boone had in the East decades earlier. Indeed, the two frontiersmen likely swapped stories of their adventures, as they lived closed to one another in their retiring years.
NPT Reviews of Books and other Material
A collection of book reviews to help you pick the perfect read for your national park escape
In "National Park Roads: A Legacy In The American Landscape," Dr. Timothy Davis details the history of a relationship as fragile and monumental as Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road – full of ups and downs, twists and turns, challenges and beauty. It is a story that many of us take for granted; after all, a park’s road serves as a de facto tour guide for most visitors, and that’s due to intricate planning and inventive engineering by park leaders for over 100 years.
Tranquil as it seemed as I ambled across the rolling meadow that gained the moniker “Bloody Angle” for one of the deadliest battles of the Civil War, the images that crept into my mind were vivid.
Because it runs almost 2,500 miles across the United States, there's wisdom in traveling U.S. Route 66 in bites. Such a strategy not only makes it easier to fit into the typical one- or two-week vacation, but it allows you to take a slower pace to enjoy more of the landscape both directly alongside, and nearby, this iconic highway. If your focus is the Land of Enchantment, a good guide for such a trip is New Mexico Kicks On Route 66.
As wondrous as the National Park System is, it holds wild and rugged settings that, frankly, can kill you if you're not prepared. That point is clearly driven home in The Kolob Tragedy: The Lost Tale Of A Canyoneering Calamity, which recounts the missteps of a fatal trip through the backcountry of Zion National Park in Utah.
Ok, the holidays are over, the new year is a month old, and you're starting to think about which national park to visit this year. One tool that you can turn to to help reach a decision is the 2nd edition of Your Guide to the National Parks.
Gaze across the fields of Antietam National Battlefield and the bucolic landscape in many locations speaks of tranquility and an agrarian 19th century society. Scratch beneath that surface, however, and stories roll out about the bloodiest single day of not just the Civil War, but of all American military engagements.
This is a wonderful look at life around Bristol Bay, Alaska. While the bay’s waters are known as the foremost source of sockeye salmon, the mountains surrounding the bay are also sources of great mineral wealth, and therein lies a conflict. Carl Johnson’s gorgeous, and human, photography does a fine job of showcasing a way of life that may be threatened by the Pebble Creek mine that long has been proposed to dig into the landscape.
Death In Glacier National Park: Stories Of Accidents And Foolhardiness In The Crown Of The Continent
With visitation to the National Park System this centennial year at an all-time high, it’s no surprise I suppose that more and more people get in trouble, and some of those pay the ultimate price. Every year Glacier National Park in Montana lures hikers, anglers, employees, and climbers to the park’s high peaks, deep lakes, and raging rivers…and some to their own demise.
100 Classic Hikes Utah: National Parks And Monuments, National Wilderness And Recreation Areas, State Parks, Uintas, Wasatch
Utah is one of the largest outdoor playgrounds in the world, with incredible canyon country, lofty mountains, deep forests, and high desert all waiting to be explored. So it's no surprise that Julie Trevelyan took all of this immense landscape into account when she set out to write a hiking guide to the Beehive State.
Landscapes For The People: George Alexander Grant, First Chief Photographer Of The National Park Service
George Grant, the first chief photographer for the National Park Service, was one of the many little known people who contributed to the flourishing of the NPS and the National Park System in its early decades.
The Western landscape is in flux. Populations are swelling, sprawl is expanding population centers, water is becoming more precious as a result of drought and diversions, land-management philosophies and practices are generating political frictions. In her latest book, Sara Dant brings perspective to these changes by examining the factors that precipitated them.
No one knows more about the history of wildland fire in the United States than Stephen Pyne, a prodigious scholar, prolific writer, and former wildland firefighter who spent 15 years on the ground with the North Rim Hotshots. His encyclopedic knowledge and personal experience of wildland fire are exceptional credentials for writing this book, which traces the history of wildfire in America over the past half century.
There are literally hundreds of books on Yosemite National Park, including the iconic Ansel Adams black and white homage and John Muir’s The Yosemite, and it’s no wonder: it’s 1,200 square miles of mountains and canyons and valleys like nowhere else on Earth, and means so much to so many. And here is another must-have for your library, a rare combination of beautiful images coupled with heartfelt words by two masters of their crafts.