Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau
Wayne Ranney, Ron Blakey
When you are standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or at the base of one of the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, it’s often difficult for the layperson to imagine the forces of oceans, rivers and sand dunes that once covered these lands to create the landscapes we now see in the incredible southwestern United States today. What Wayne Ranney and Ron Blakey have done in words and exquisite artwork is create those ancient landscapes for us to help us better understand the forces that came before in ways that you’ll enjoy immensely. Highly recommended for anyone interested in understanding our gorgeous landscape!
Hiking Arizona’s Geology
Another book from a favorite series of mine, the Hiking Geology series from The Mountaineers Books. After describing rock types, geologic time, and the various geologic forces, the book goes on to describe the geology of 41 popular trails throughout Arizona in easy-to-understand language. Hiking Arizona’s Geology includes the South Kaibab and Tanner trails. Also available in Amazon’s Kindle format! For a book completely on Grand Canyon’s trails, check out Hiking the Grand Canyon’s Geology.
Wayne Ranney is not only a geologist but also an excellent trail guide who leads people on geology trips into Grand Canyon. Wayne is passionate about the Canyon and is able pass that love of knowledge about the formation of this amazing place on to anyone lucky enough to be in his presence. Carving Grand Canyon is the essence of Wayne; it’s like taking him in your pocket and listening to the theories and asking the questions that still abound surrounding the formation of Grand Canyon. It answers those about what is known and suggests what might have happened from things we surmise. And he does it all in easy-to-understand intelligent layperson language.
There is a book I really enjoy and feel is a great resource for hiking or traveling in the desert, which of course the Grand Canyon’s Inner Gorge is! I’m very excited about it because it is a manual for desert adventurers—a topic dismally ignored by most books on the subject of outdoor adventure. There are plenty of books covering oceans, mountains, and prairies, but you’d almost think the desert didn’t exist judging by how few books cover it. And I guarantee that hiking in the mountains and the desert are completely different from one another. This is an invaluable book for those hiking in Canyon Country. Also available in Kindle Edition.
Hiking the Grand Canyon’s Geology
Lon Abbott & Terri Cook
The Mountaineers Books has a great series of books that I really enjoy and use often. They are the Hiking Geology series, and what better place to cover geology than Grand Canyon?! This guide takes you down various trails in the canyon while describing the incredible geology you are able to reach out and touch. This intimate connection makes the learning the geology most enjoyable!
Naturalist’s Guide to Canyon Country
This Falcon Guide is an excellent companion for those traveling around the Colorado Plateau. Combined with the excellent illustrations of Gloria Brown, the book’s wonderful descriptions of the geology, plants and animals provide those traveling through the Southwest with one of the best nature guides anywhere.
David Williams was a ranger naturalist at Moab for many years and became frustrated with the guides that were available for the area-so he decided to write his own. In his own words:
“I had several goals in putting together this book. I wanted to reveal the often overlooked plants and animals of the region, as well as addressing the fragility of high desert ecosystems. Special close-ups on cryptobiotic soil crusts, desert varnish, pothole life and hanging gardens focus on aspects usually omitted from other desert-oriented books. I included humorous and arcane tidbits, quotations from authors like Steinbeck and Twain, whimsical observations from early naturalists, and information on the origins of plant names to make the book more than just a litany of facts.”
This book belongs in any Colorado Plateau enthusiast’s library. It’s bound to become a well-used favorite!
Grand Canyon: A Natural History Guide
This is my all around favorite natural history guide on the Grand Canyon. It is so obvious when you read this book that the author, Jeremy Schmidt, loves this place. Not a stuffy book by any means! If you’ve ever been put off of Natural History by books that spoke in language that no layman could understand, you’ll be delighted with the way this one describes the geology, flora and fauna, and earth processes of Grand Canyon. Truly a joy to read, Jeremy Schmidt explains how the canyon came to be in a way that makes sense. Reading this will deepen your appreciation of the beauty and magic of the Grand Canyon and surrounding area. Highly recommended!