Books on Geography and Travel in North America

917 Geography of & travel in North America

Further Reading:

Janet Chapple Yellowstone Treasures: The Traveler’s Companion to the National Park, 2017.

Now in its fifth edition, this guide to Yellowstone National Park provides precise directions for making it through the park’s roadways and trails to see the wildlife, geysers, hot springs, and rivers. In addition, campgrounds, lodgings, stores, and eateries are described, along with information on the plants and animals you may encounter on your trip.

James Kaiser Grand Canyon: The Complete Guide, 2006.

With history, sites, trails, and suppliers, James Kaiser’s guide to the Grand Canyon provides a valuable one-stop source for things to do and places to stay on a visit. In addition, his photographs give a peek at what you can expect to see along the way.

Brian B. King The Appalachian Trail: Celebrating America’s Hiking Trail, 2012.

Bill Bryson, the author of A Walk in the Woods, writes the introduction to this history and guide to the East-coast trail. Use it to plan your hike while understanding what you will encounter along the way.

Jennifer Kingsley Paddlenorth: Adventure, Resilience, and Renewal in the Arctic world, 2014.

Jennifer Kingsley canoes with five friends while encountering harsh terrain but unbelievable beauty on a trip through the Arctic. The story she tells is fantastic, but paired with the journeys of earlier travelers, it is doubly engrossing.

Lonely Planet USA’s Best Trips: Amazing Road Trips, 2014.

This book, revised and republished in 2018, shares 51 road trips around the U.S. highways and backroads. Beyond sharing what you will see, it provides advice on things to take, local laws, and budgeting advice.

John McPhee Coming into the Country, 1977.

Renowned writer John McPhee tells the history of Alaska from the remote bush areas to the urban landscapes of the late 20th century.

Ellen Meloy The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky, 2003.

Artist and nature writer Ellen Meloy looks at the color turquoise as celebrated throughout cultures as diverse as the Mojave Desert to ancient Persia. She shares a unique way of seeing and appreciating our surroundings in her explorations.

Roderick Nash Wilderness and the American Mind, 1967.

History and environmental studies professor Roderick Nash wrote this book to chronicle Americans’ attitudes toward their national wilderness areas. It has been credited with beginning the U.S. environmental movement.

Robert M. Pirsig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, 1974.

This classic meditation on how to live, set in the American northwest, takes place on a summer motorcycle trip taken by a father and son.

Paul Theroux The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas, 1979.

Acclaimed travel writer Paul Theroux tells of his journey from Boston, MA, to the tip of the South American continent entirely by train. Along the way, alternately freezing and sweltering, he spends time with the ignoble and the writer Louis Borges.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see Further Reading: Start Here.

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