Grand Canyon, Arizona - The Grand Canyon has long inspired deep emotions and responses. For the Native Americans who lived there, the canyon was home, full of sacred meanings. For the first European settlers to see it, the canyon drove them to great exploration adventures and Wild West dreams of wealth. The canyon also held deep importance for America’s pioneer conservationists such as Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold, and it played a central role in the emerging environmental movement.
The Grand Canyon became a microcosm of the history and evolving values of the National Park Service, long conflicted between encouraging tourism and protecting nature. Many vivid characters shaped the canyon’s past. Its largest story is one of cultural history and changing American visions of the land.
Grand Canyon: A History of a Natural Wonder and National Park is a mixture of great storytelling, unlikely characters, and important ideas. The book will appeal to both general readers and scholars interested in seeking a broader understanding of the canyon.
Don Lago has done extensive research into Grand Canyon history. His book Canyon of Dreams: Stories from Grand Canyon History documents many previously unknown events. He is also the author of a park best seller, Grand Canyon Trivia. Lago has published more than fifty personal nature and astronomy essays in national magazines and literary journals. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. Reviews
“Once again, Don Lago has proven he is not only a great writer, but the best Grand Canyon historian of his time.” —Tom Myers, coauthor of Grand Obsession: Harvey Burchart and the Exploration of Grand Canyon
“In Grand Canyon: A History of a Natural Wonder and National Park, Don Lago delivers with plainspoken ease and doses of sly humor the epic saga of one of the country’s greatest national parks.” —Seth Muller, author of Canyon Crossing: Experiencing the Grand Canyon from Rim to Rim
“Don Lago’s thorough research reveals the famous personalities, not usually associated with Grand Canyon, who came here to experience its grandeur and majesty. Lago presents an often overlooked but important aspect of the Grand Canyon’s human history.” —Wayne Ranney, President, Grand Canyon Historical Society
"Grand Canyon is a superb primer for anyone planning a Canyon visit, one that will genuinely enrich the experience. Lago's history will also be worthwhile to experienced Canyon enthuiasts who will enjoy his original observations about the cultural forces that have shaped our perceptions of the Grand Canyon."—The Journal of Arizona History
“Lago paints a vivid picture of the Grand Canyon and human attempts to make sense of it. In doing so, he delivers a well-rounded and accessible book that should appeal to general readers as well as scholars interested in gaining a greater understanding of the canyon.” —Western Historical Quarterly