Must-Read Books about the Grand Canyon
From speed records to eco-anarchists, these reads explore the legend of an iconic place
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In 1955, 22-year-old Boyd Moore tried to cross the Colorado and was never seen again. His story is just one of many in the classic Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon. The book is far from the only one worth reading about the canyon.
Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon by Michael P. Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers
This classic chronicles 550 fatalities in the park, including Boyd Moore, a Northern Arizona University student who tried to cross the Colorado on an inflatable raft, floated downstream, and was never seen again.
The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko
In the spring of 1983, professional river guides Kenton Grua, Rudy Petschek, and Steve Reynolds attempted to set the speed record for descending the canyon, prompted by a massive surge of release from Glen Canyon Dam.
The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
Abbey spent most of his life in the Southwest, and the region was often the subject of his books (see also Desert Solitaire). The Monkey Wrench Gang follows a fictional band of environmentalists as they work to destroy things (bulldozers, trains) that cause damage to the environment, with their main aim being the Glen Canyon Dam.
I Am the Grand Canyon by Stephen Hirst
The story of the Havasupai people, the Grand Canyon’s original inhabitants, from their arrival in North America nearly 20,000 years ago to their modern-day home inside the canyon.
Pure Land: A True Story of Three Lives, Three Cultures, and the Search for Heaven on Earth by Annette McGivney
In 2006, 34-year-old Japanese hiker Tomomi Hanamure was murdered––stabbed 29 times––near the popular tourist destination of Havasu Falls by a member of the Havasupai Tribe. McGivney breaks down the case and dives deep into lives of both the victim and her killer.