Suggested Reading List
Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley: A History
Author: Phyllis Smith
Description: The author states that this is the story of those who traveled through, or later settled in, the Gallatin Valley region in successive migrations for perhaps as far back as thirty thousand years. She reviewed newspapers, memoirs, letters and other sources to put together this narrative history of Montana’s fertile Gallatin Valley and its urban hub, Bozeman. The Treasure State’s Valley of Flowers comes to life through beautifully written text illustrated with some 300 photographs, etchings and maps. Subjects ranging from famous frontiersmen, agriculture, transportation, crime and recreation to geology, notorious events and architecture reveal a rich and colorful past.
The Bloody Bozeman: The Perilous Trail to Montana's Gold
Author: Dorothy Johnson
Description: Part of the Western Trail series, The Bloody Bozeman showcases some of the American West’s most colorful personalities, memorable events and personal stories of the men and women who emigrated to Montana over this trail and others. The author reviews the creation of the Bozeman Trail in 1862 and traces events along its length from 1863 through 1868. The bloody Bozeman Trail through Wyoming and Montana was known for the violence and peril that shadowed it as travelers faced hostile Indians, hard climates, outlaws and solitude. This historical book describes how the trail developed, why it was used, who utilized it and why the Army abandoned the forts it had established along the trail. Dorothy Johnson, a true storyteller touches on the other gold fields of early Montana, Road Agents, Vigilantes and Frontier Justice.
A Ranger's Guide to Yellowstone Day Hikes
Author: Roger Anderson and Carol Shively Anderson
Description: Consider wildlife etiquette and tips for hiking in bear country then choose trails by area, difficulty and distance; appreciate highlights and naturalist notes while on the trail.
A River Runs Through It
Author: Norman Maclean
Description: Lean, penetrating lyrics of words describe a time and a life based in Norman Maclean’s childhood experiences. Descriptions of life, of fly fishing in Montana’s Big Sky country along the Big Blackfoot River is an exquisite blended word painting of land, water and family. Come fish in the Rockies and read this novella which begins:
In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ's disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.
Yellowstone Place Names, 2nd edition
Author: Lee Whittlesey
Description: Yellowstone National Park Historian's well-researched and entertaining reference source for information on many of Yellowstone's place names and their origins.
Windows into the Earth: The Geologic Story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
Author: Robert B. Smith and Lee J. Siegel
Description: Find out about the forces that shaped and continue to shape the Greater Yellowstone-Teton region. Illustrations and driving tours of both parks help visitors enjoy and understand the Earth's creative forces in this wondrous region.
A Field Guide to Mammal Tracking in North America
Author: James Halfpenny
Description: Discover how tracks tell the story by learning to read all the evidence left by critters - including scat and gait patterns. Become a nature detective by unraveling these impressions to identify the animal and its behavior. Clearly written, amply illustrated and easy to use.
Scorched Earth: How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America
Author: Rocky Barker
Description: The Yellowstone fires brought to the forefront longstanding conflict over whether federal land management should go with immediate fire suppression procedures or the ‘let it burn’ philosophy. The author, who experienced the Yellowstone fires of 1988 as an environmental reporter there, reviews US wildlands fire history by highlighting wildlands fire management. Discussion of this history and the history of federal lands management considers how these policies shaped the protection of public lands in the US today. Further explained are the details behind the creation of Yellowstone National Park and the role the US Army played in ‘protecting Yellowstone and shaping public lands in the West.’
The Last Best Place, A Montana Anthology
Author: William Kittredge & Annick Smith, editors
Description: This anthology preserves Montana's rich literary heritage from myths and stories of the earliest Native American inhabitants to works of contemporary authors. Read accounts written by early explorers and visitors including Lewis and Clark, Osborne Russell and James Audubon and by miners, cowboys and settlers. This literature that has been birthed in the Last Best Place - diaries, essays, legends, journals, tall tales, poetry - reflects the remarkable nature of the Treasure State.
Letters from Yellowstone
Author: Diane Smith
Description: Through correspondence - detailed letters and telegrams - follow an 1898 scientific expedition whose purpose is to collect flora unique to Yellowstone National Park. Learn of the park's early history, trials of pioneer scientists and the engrossing and often funny story of Cornell medical student and amateur botanist, Alexandria Bartram, who emerges as a brave leader and serious scientist. Delightful fiction.
Searching for Yellowstone: Ecology and Wonder in the Last Wilderness
Author: Paul Schullery
Description: Eloquent, elegant, truthful and practical - an environmental history of America's best idea, Yellowstone.