History, Non-Fiction

The Santa Catalina Mountains, close to Tucson and long a place beloved by residents and visitors, have inspired – and featured in – a number of books.

No single book will be comprehensive, and everyone’s interests will vary -if you are deeply interested in the range probably everything in this section is worth reading – but here are my top picks for books to start with:

#1 – Look to the Mountains, An in-depth look into the lives and times of the people who shaped the history of the Catalina Mountains – This is an easy choice for the #1 slot – a wide variety of well researched interesting material is accompanied by fascinating historic photographs – this is a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in the mountain! The printings of this book were limited but thankfully it is generally still easy to find and well worth the effort!

#2 – Frog Mountain Blues – Several readings over a number of years and I always find something to enjoy, something to disagree with and something to think about in this classic from Charles Bowden and Jack Dykinga – the book covers some history but might be better described as a long essay about the mountain.

#3 – Islands in the Desert – More clearly an academic work than the previous two choices and, occasionally, a bit dry – but there are so many interesting details and more than the other books here it helps place the Santa Catalina Mountains (and the other Sky Island ranges) into a broader context.

Trail Guides


Natural History, Field Guides

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