A Zion Canyon Reader

Published in Partnership with Zion Natural History Association. 

Zion National Park is one of the country’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 numerous 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. 

Nathan N. Waite works for the Joseph Smith Papers Project in Salt Lake City, Utah. He holds an MA in American studies and environmental humanities from the University of Utah Although he now resides in northern Utah, he still considers his native St. George his home. He and his wife, Michelle, regularly take their three kids to Zion National Park. 
Reid L. Neilson is managing director of the Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is the award-winning author or editor of over twenty books, including Tales from the World Tour; Proclamation to the People: Nineteenth-Century Mormonism and the Pacific Basin Frontier (with Laurie Maffly-Kipp, University of Utah Press, 2010); and Early Mormon Missionary Activities in Japan, 1901–1924. He lives in Bountiful, Utah, with his wife, Shelly, and their three children.

Table of Contents:
List of Figures
Foreword by Lyman Hafen
Introduction: Imagining Zion, by Nathan N. Waite

1. Water and the Geology of Zion National Park (2005) ~ Robert L. Eves
2. Flora and Fauna (1988) ~ J. L. Crawford
3. Zion’s Story (2007) ~ Greer K. Chesher
4. Origin of the Pai-Utes (circa 1871) ~ John Wesley Powell
5. From the Beginning (2001) ~ Martha C. Knack
6. The Land Nobody Wanted... (1942) ~ Wallace Stegner

7. An Overland Trip to the Grand Cañon (1875) ~ John Wesley Powell
8. The Vermilion Cliffs, and Valley of the Virgen (1882) ~ Clarence E. Dutton
9. A New Valley of Wonders (1904) ~ Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

10. Journal, July 5–11, 1914 ~ George C. Fraser
11. The Canyon Sublime: Mukuntuweap So Named (1916) ~ Frederick Vining Fisher
12. Zion Canyon: Utah’s New Wonderland (1917) ~ Howard S. Nichols
13. Zion Canyon and the Colob Plateau (1919) ~ LeRoy Jeffers
14. Zion National Park with Some Reminiscences Fifty Years Later (1969) ~ 
A. Karl Larson
15. All Aboard for Zion (1926) ~ Henry Irving Dodge
16. The Great White Throne: Has It Ever Been Climbed? (1930) ~ Angus M. Woodbury
17. Letters (1931) ~ Everett Ruess
18. Amid the Mighty Walls of Zion (1954) ~ Lewis F. Clark

19. Story of Zion Cable (1923) ~ David A. Flanigan
20. Zion Park Lodge (2002) ~ Christine Barnes
21. The Zion Tunnel: From Slickrock to Switchback (1989) ~ Donald T. Garate
22. Polemic: Industrial Tourism and the National Parks (1968) ~ Edward Abbey
23. Zion Park, Town Clash over Development (1991) ~ Maura Dolan

24. The Land That God Forgot (1958) ~ Juanita Brooks
25. Rough Hike through the Wrong Canyon (1966) ~ Edwin O. Reed
26. Canyons, Colours, and Birds: An Interview with Olivier Messiaen (1979) ~ Harriet Watts
27. The Spirit of Kinesava (1996) ~ Lyman Hafen
28. Kolob Backcountry: Paradise Found (1996) ~ Paul W. Rea
29. Zion Pioneers and Spirituality in the Land of Zion (2006) ~ Eileen M. Smith-Cavros

Further Reading
Sources and Permissions

Praise and Reviews:
“There is not a collection of writings representing the human experience of and in Zion Canyon quite like this one.”
—Louise Excell, Professor Emeritus, Dixie State University

“I found it fascinating. The content has such a variety—water, flora and fauna, Native Americans, famous authors, trip journals, historical events such as the dedication, the Zion Tunnel, the building of the lodge, naming the mountains, rail access to the canyon and the Union Pacific facilities, geology, and the Zion Cable. Important authors are included and their pieces are significant.”
—Douglas Alder, professor of history, Dixie State University

A Zion Canyon Reader is a lovely volume full of history, wonder, ecological insight, and nostalgia. The editors and writers have created a fun, vivid, and fascinating collection of works on a multifaceted and legendary place.”—Utah Historical Quarterly