Zion National Park is one of North America’s most-visited and best-loved national parks. For the first time, lovers of the park have in one volume the best that has been written about the canyon. A Zion Canyon Reader is a collection of historical and literary accounts that presents diverse perspectives on Zion Canyon—and the surrounding southern Utah region—through the eyes of native inhabitants, pioneer settlers, boosters, explorers, artists, park rangers, developers, and spiritual seekers. Through the pages of this book, both the newest visitors to Zion and those who return to the park again and again will come to understand what this place has meant to different people over the centuries.
Among the works included are well-known historical accounts of exploration by John Wesley Powell, Clarence Dutton, and Everett Ruess. Writings by Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, Juanita Brooks, and others enlighten and excite in humorous memorable chapters. Here and there the book bears witness to conflicting viewpoints on controversies associated with the national park, especially development vs. preservation and locals vs. outsiders.
Lyman Hafen, author and executive director of the Zion Natural History Association, calls the book “the most comprehensive, insightful, and inspiring compilation of Zion writing ever assembled.” As readers learn about the plants, animals, geology, history, and people of Zion Canyon, they will discover unfamiliar corners of the park and see favorite hikes in a new light.