Books About Rivers

idaho-raftingRivers have inspired authors around the world. We in Idaho are fortunate that author Cort Conley has written eloquently about much of the history along Idaho's major rivers and has co-authored three books on the Lower Salmon River, Middle Fork of the Salmon and Snake River.

Be sure to see our river-specific reading lists for each river we run. You'll add depth and meaning to your river rafting vacation by enjoying some of these great books before or after your river trip.

Below is a recommended reading list about rivers compiled by the ROW Founder, Peter Grubb:

  • A River Runs Through It by Norman McLean
  • American West and Living Space by Wallace Stegner
  • Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West by Wallace Stegner
  • Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner
  • Down The Columbia by Lewis Freeman
  • Earth Is Enough by Harry Middleton
  • Floating the Missouri by James Willard Shultz
  • From the Andes to the Amazon by Kenneth Grubb
  • Gathered Waters (an anthology of river poems ed. Cort Conley)
  • Goodbye to a River by Robert Graves
  • Great Heart by James Davidson and John Rugge
  • Habits of Rivers by Ted Leeson
  • Huck Finn by Mark Twain
  • Life on the Colorado by Charles Hood
  • Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
  • Long Legged House by Wendell Barry
  • Methow River Poems by William Stafford
  • My Story as Told by Water by David James Duncan
  • Old Glory by Jonathan Rabin
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  • Riding the Tiger's Back by Richard Bangs
  • River (poems) by Ted Hughes
  • River of No Return by Johnny Carrey & Cort Conley
  • River-Horse: A Voyage Across America by William Least-Heat Moon
  • River Lost by Blaine Harden
  • River Notes by Barry Lopez
  • Run, River Run by Anne Zwinger
  • Running the Amazon by Joe Kane
  • Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
  • Snake River Country by Bill Gulick
  • Survival of the Bark Canoe by John McPhee
  • Sutree by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Middle Fork (of the Salmon) by Johnny Carrey and Cort Conley
  • The River and I by John Niehart
  • The River at the Center of the World by Simon Winchester
  • The Snake River in Hells Canyon by Johnny Carrey and Cort Conley
  • The Place No One Knew: Glen Canyon on the Colorado by Eliot Porter
  • Theory and Practice of Rivers (poetry) by Jim Harrison
  • Week on the Concord and Merrimac by Henry David Thoreau