The grand Canyon is a source of catalyst for all river runners. It’s the ultimate bucket perform trip, and as such, it has actually spawned more good books than any kind of other rafting location in the world. Indigenous the early on explorations of john Wesley Powell come the daring speed document of Kenton Grua, the literature of the cool Canyon is a genre depend itself. Here we’ve collected the ideal of the best. If she planning a expedition to the canyon or searching for an armchair adventure, you’ll want to put a couple of of these captivating and informative cool Canyon books on your must-read list.

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Must-Read grand Canyon Books: epic Tales and More…

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1) The exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons | By man Wesley Powell

In 1869, a one-armed major John Wesley Powell set out to map the grand Canyon. Nobody had ever floated the Colorado River through Grand Canyon before, and also Powell’s journal of discovery is an absolute classic of adventure literature. That writes with army precision about the progress and also difficulties that his expedition, yet the canyon also instills a feeling of timeless wonder that he gift with imaginative flourishes. If friend are searching for an adventure, and also want to travel into the unknown, climate The expedition of the Colorado River and also its Canyons

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is the book for you.

Of course, there’s likewise some debate around the accuracy of Powell’s journals and other writers have actually woven with each other multiple points of watch to call the “true story” the what really occurred on that historic first descent of grand Canyon. Therefore if you just can’t get sufficient of this real-life adventure story, friend can likewise check out Down the great Unknown

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by Edward Dolnick and also First through Grand Canyon
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through Michael Ghiglieri.

2) The Emerald Mile | by Kevin Fedarko

The Emerald Mile

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is the rare book where you find out a lot during a page-turning adventure. The story adheres to veteran overview Kenton Grua that attempts the fastest time with the canyon during a record-setting overwhelming in the feather of 1983. Along the way you gain interesting insight about valley Canyon Dam, the rapids that the mighty Colorado, the conservation movement taking hold, and the vivid lives of personalities who do the river your home. If you’re walking to review one book around the grand Canyon prior to your trip, this is it.

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3) yes This River…Grand Canyon Boatman story | by Christa Sadler

Take a seat alongside several of the ideal storytellers in cool Canyon—the guides. A colorful cast of personalities tell the story of their regularly hilarious, sometimes dangerous, and always entertaining adventures. No one knows the flow better, and also this publication is her insider’s overview to the tight-knit community of flow runners. It’s choose sitting approximately the campfire, the town hall shadows dance upon the canyon wall, while you hear to several of the ideal stories from the river. There’s This River

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is a must-read because that those who reap the old-fashion arts of storytelling.

4) Breaking right into the Current: Boatwomen the the cool Canyon | through Louise Teal

Written by very early Grand Canyon rafting guide, Breaking right into the present

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speak the stories of the phenomenal group of ladies who were amongst the an initial generation of females to occupational in the canyon together commercial river guides. Hear indigenous women like Marilyn Sayre, Ellen Tibbets, and Martha Clark, who share your love because that the canyon, enthusiasm for guiding and also their experiences working in a profession dominated by males at the time.

5) Sunk without a Sound | by Brad Dimock

In 1928, Glen and Bessie Hyde embarked on a honeymoon expedition through the grand Canyon. When they failed to return, one investigation right into their whereabouts discovered their boat upright, completely loaded with supplies. Sunk there is no a Sound

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 looks into their secret disappearance. Part adventure story, component murder mystery, the twists and turns keep you top top edge together you shot to decipher truth from fiction. If you delighted in Into the Wild, you will do it love this book. It has the very same sense the idealistic youth embarking top top a wild adventure through organic beauty through a tragic finishing that’s shrouded in mystery.

6) The surprise Canyon | By john Blaustein

In The concealed Canyon

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, the tremendous photographs of man Blaustein space paired v Edward Abbey’s above prose to offer you one intimate feeling of the cool Canyon native the river (a watch that most people never see). Through Abbey’s journal entries, we travel down the river together in wry, awestruck moments. It’s a memorable trip, and perhaps no book far better captures the awe, beauty, and also sheer wonder that a cool Canyon river trip.

7) The man Who Walked with Time
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| by Colin Fletcher

Colin Fletcher was the first man to ever walk the length of grand Canyon listed below the rim. Very first published in 1967, The guy Who Walked through Time

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is the grueling an individual account that Fletcher’s amazing two-month odyssey and spiritual journey v the canyon.

8) The grand Canyon: between River and also Rim | through Pete McBride and also Kevin Fedarko

Fast forward five decades and also photographer Pete McBride and Emerald Mile author, Kevin Fedarko, are the latest adventurers to tackle the 750-mile length of cool Canyon in between river and rim through foot. In enhancement to your 2019 documentary, Into the Canyon, this gorgeous coffee table book

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with photos by McBride and also essays by Fedarko will take you along on your grueling and eye-opening journey through a wilderness under threat.

9) No Barriers: A remote Man’s trip to Kayak the cool Canyon | By girlfriend Levy and also Erik Weihenmayer

Erik Weihenmayer was first recognized as being the just blind human being to summit Mt. Everest, but due to the fact that then, he’s included kayaking the grand Canyon come his perform of astonishing achievements. No Barriers

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is not only a harrowing adventure tale that chronicles his journey through the canyon, but it’s an inspiring read around the possibilities the the human spirit.

10) The grand Canyon Reader
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| Edited by Lance Newman

Both an English professor and river guide, Lance Newman has actually selected well from the account of beforehand explorers, renowned fiction and modern literature—by authors as diverse as man McPhee, Ann Zwinger, Edward Abbey and also Terry tempest Williams—for this an option anthology. Organized into sections on the rim, the river and also people, The grand Canyon Reader

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and its compelling stories of the an excellent unknown that expectancy five centuries are simply the thing for cool Canyon visitors.

Books around the organic & Human history of cool Canyon

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11) Canyon
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| by Michael Ghiglieri

In Canyon

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, you’ll travel downstream from Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek in the firm of an proficient guide and ecologist. Ghiglieri mixes a take trip account v high adventure, drama and a an excellent deal of details on the history, geology and also ecology the the Colorado.

12) down the River
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| by Edward Abbey

Down the River

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is a arsenal of essays that record author and also environmentalist Ed Abbey’s experiences experimenting some that the West’s many treasured waterways, consisting of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. It’s additionally a heartfelt speak to to activity to protect our national heritage and also our lands in ~ stake.

13) running Dry
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| by Jonathan Waterman

Weaving background and high tales, adventures on the river and also conservation, Running Dry

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is an taking in account of a pilgrimage on the Colorado river from Lake Powell come the Gulf of California. The book additionally explores the numerous demands and also threats come the river’s fragile ecosystem v snapshots of regional farmers, boatmen, park rangers and also engineers.

14) how the Canyon ended up being Grand: A quick History
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| by Stephen J. Pyne

In How the Canyon became Grand

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, an acclaimed chronicler explores the idea and also allure the the grand Canyon, and its change from worthless real estate to marvel the nature in the American psyche.

15) Downcanyon: A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the grand Canyon
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| through Ann Zwinger

Naturalist Ann Zwinger, who has actually intimately learned every facet of the canyon v the seasons, interweaves geology, plants, animals and also captivating stories of human history into this lively account the the cool Canyon and Colorado flow from Mile 0 in ~ Lees Ferry come Mile 278 at grand Wash Fault. Even if it is you’re setting out ~ above a cool Canyon rafting trip, or want to suffer the magic and also wonder of the canyon from your coziest reading chair, Downriver

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will move you there and guide you downstream.

16) flow Notes: A Natural and also Human background of the Colorado
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| By go Davis

River Notes

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is a hymn come the Colorado River, tremble account that Wade’s rafting adventures in the grand Canyon and vivid report top top the state the the American West.

Grand Canyon Guide publications & ar Guides

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17) grand Canyon: The finish Guide
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| by James Kaiser

If you’re walk to obtain one cool Canyon overview book, do it this one. Together a photographer and national park guide publication author, James Kaiser, has spent months of his life experimenting Grand Canyon from rim to river. With stunning photography, insider tips and also detailed maps, Grand Canyon: The finish Guide

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helps visitors have actually an unforgettable suffer in the park.

18) Belknap’s Waterproof grand Canyon River guide | by Buzz Belknap and Lori Belknap Evans

If girlfriend are an ext the literal meaning type, and don’t need a story come whisk friend away past the story of the canyon itself, then Belknap’s Waterproof cool Canyon flow Guide

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is the publication for you. It’s likewise the finest book to bring while ~ above your grand Canyon adventure. There space sections to help you know the geology, wildlife, rapids, and social history. Make notes in it as you go around the camps you stay at, favourite side hikes, or other notable events and also it’ll come to be an annotated guide to her trip. It’s a must-have that will enhance your journey v the canyon.

19) A field Guide come the grand Canyon
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| through Stephen Whitney

For the aspiring naturalist, this compact ar guide

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—the only one dedicated solely to grand Canyon—includes in-depth information on an ext than 480 varieties of plants and also animals uncovered within the canyon, geologic history of the region, handsome full-page color plates, illustrations, maps and also more.

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*An earlier version of this write-up written by Tim Gibbins first appeared top top the blog in 2017 and has since been updated.

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