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A short list of favorite Grand Canyon Books

The book links will take you to where you can learn more about the titles or order the book directly from

Just Out! Hiking the Grand Canyon: The Corridor Trails by Ken McNamara and Rob Kleine.

This video will help you prepare to hike the Grand Canyon backcountry. Check it out!

Grand Canyon Trail Guides

Hiking the Grand Canyon (A Sierra Club Totebook) by John Annerino

This is the Grand Canyon trail guide I turn to most often. Anyone someone asks me a Grand Canyon question I can't answer off the top of my head, this is the book I pull from the shelf. This squat paperback is full of good info (e.g., mean temps by month, brief cultural, geologic, and natural histories) . Trail descriptions leave a lot to the imagination and are a bit dated, but useful nonetheless. (To get a feel for where Annerino comes from take a look at Annerino's book "Running Wild."

Click to purchase On Foot in the Grand Canyon from Amazon.comOn Foot in the Grand Canyon: Hiking the Trails of the South Rim by Sharon Spangler

Spangler offers intimate accounts of her experiences backpacking a number of the Grand Canyon's trails. Her mix of personal reactions, history, and folklore makes an enticing read. Lots of books detail the trails of the Grand Canyon. This books provides a sense of what it feels like to backpack the Grand Canyon's trails.

Click to purchase The Man Who Walked Through Time from Amazon.comThe Man Who Walked Through Time by Colin Fletcher

The Man Who Walked Through Time (TMWWTT) is a chronicle of Fletcher's hike from the Western end of Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) to the GCNP's Eastern boundary. I first read this book many years ago, while in high school. It is rare for me to read a title more than once, yet. I've reread TMWWTT many times since. And I find myself entranced each time. I also find myself longing to load my pack and revisit my favorite National Park.

Click to purchase Grand Canyon Treks from Amazon.comGrand Canyon Treks : 12,000 Miles Through the Grand Canyon by Harvey Butchart

Harvey Butchart is the undisputed king of Grand Canyon hikers/backpackers. Butchart's meticulous trip notes make clear that he has covered more of the Grand Canyon than any other living person. Grand Canyon Treks is a compilation of three volumes, now out of print, published originally by La Siesta Press. Those original volumes became classics because of they provided the only published documentation of many remote Grand Canyon routes and because of Butchart's breezy writing style. Butchart, who was for many years a professor of math at Northern Arizona University, is a man of few words. He is also a man of refined climbing and route finding skills. What Butchart describes as a 'sporty climb,' many of us would look at and say, "You've got to be kidding!"

Grand Canyon Treks contains slightly edited versions of the original Grand Canyon Treks route descriptions. One consequence of the edits is that the book contains legal disclaimers and advice for novice Grand Canyon hikers. Historically, Butchart assumed competence among his readers. I suppose this is a reflection of our late 90's risk-intolerant culture. Sigh.

Bottom line: I consider Grand Canyon Treks essential reading for experienced Grand Canyon backcountry hikers.

Grand Canyon Loop Hikes I by George Steck. A classic collection of Grand Canyon hikes. Hiking in the Grand Canyon Back Country
by John D. Green, Jim Olhman
Best Easy Day Hikes Grand Canyon (FalconGuide) by Ron Adkison. Details 17 day hikes you can take during your visit to the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon History
Kolb Brothers of Grand Canyon : Being a Collection of Tales of High Adventure, Memorable Incidents and Humorous Anecdotes by William C. Suran, P. Frazier (Editor), R. Houk (Editor). Adventures of the Grand Canyon's most famous (and adventurous) brothers.
Living at the Edge : Explorers, Exploiters and Settlers of the Grand Canyon Region by Michael F. Anderson, Pamela Frazier

On the Edge of Splendor : Exploring Grand Canyon's Human Past by Douglas W. Schwartz.

A nice concise overview of the Grand Canyon's human pre-history.

The Chaco Meridian : Centers of Political Power in the Ancient Southwest
by Stephen H. Lekson

Archaeology of the Southwest
by Linda Cordell

In the House of Stone and Light by J. Donald Hughes
Maps and Other Useful Stuff

TOPO! Interactive Maps on CD-ROM: Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion National Parks

For planning Grand Canyon backpack trips, I've come to rely on the TOPO! Grand Canyon maps on CD-ROM. Featuring USGS topographic maps of GCNP in its entirety, this handy program lets you plot a route, view it at any of several scales, view an elevation profile that depicts the ups and downs of your route, and many other tasks. Although you can print out color topographic maps of your route, I find it easier to purchase 7.5' topo maps from the USGS.

Geologic Map (Eastern Part of Grand Canyon National Park) by Breed, Huntoon, Billingsely

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