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Hiking and Exploring the Paria River: Including: The Story of John D. Lee and Mountain Meadows Massacre Paperback – April 30, 2004

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The author was born in 1943, and experienced his earliest years of life in eastern Utah's Uinta Basin; first near the town of Myton, then Roosevelt. In 1954, the family moved to Provo, where he attended Provo High School, and later Brigham Young University, where he earned a B.S. degree in Sociology. Shortly thereafter he discovered that was the wrong subject, so he attended the University of Utah, where he received his Master of Science degree in Geography, finishing that in June, 1970.

It was then real life began, for on June 9, 1970, he put a pack on his back and started traveling for the first time. Since then he has seen 223 countries, republics, islands, or island groups. All this wandering has resulted in a number of books written and published by himself. Here are his books, listed in the order they were first published: Climber's and Hiker's Guide to the World's Mountains and Volcanos (4th Edition), Utah Mountaineering Guide (3rd Edition); China on Your Own and the Hiking Guide to China's Nine Sacred Mountains (3rd Edition-Out of Print); Canyon Hiking Guide to the Colorado Plateau (4th Edition); Hiking and Exploring Utah's San Rafael Swell (3rd Edition); Hiking and Exploring Utah's Henry Mountains and Robbers Roost (Revised Edition); Hiking and Exploring the Paria River (3rd Edition); Hiking and Climbing in the Great Basin National Park (Wheeler Peak, Nevada); Boater's Guide to Lake Powell--Featuring Hiking, Camping, Geology, History and Archaeology (2nd Updated Edition); Climbing and Exploring Utah's Mt. Timpanogos; River Guide to Canyonlands National Park & Vicinity; Hiking, Biking and Exploring Canyonlands National Park & Vicinity; The Story of Black Rock, Utah; and Hiking, Climbing and Exploring Western Utah's Jack Watson's Ibex Country.

He also helped his mother Venetta B. Kelsey, write & publish a book about the town she was born and raised in, Life on the Black Rock Desert--A History of Clear Lake, Utah. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kelsey Publishing (Utah); 4 edition (April 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0944510213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0944510216
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,317,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Pete Kosednar on September 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Found this guide book very helpful in a canyoneering trip down this nice canyon. I read the book before an April 2003 Paria Canyon trip starting at White House Trailhead and going all the way to Lee's Ferry. One thing was missing from my pack though....the book!
My trip I carried the BLM map/travel guide you can purchase at the Paria Ranger Station. It was $8.00 and I had a detailed map with camp sites and all known streams for water. The Kelsey Book has little dots or symbols for the sites which were pretty useless when the maps are so small in print. I was glad on the trip I had the BLM Guide for the trip.
Check the weather forecast before you leave and again at the ranger station. The summer of 2003 in September there were flash floods in the canyon from storms over 40 miles away!
The Paria Ranger Station reports temperatures to the weather service and rain/snow amounts. You will have to go to site for the info. Enter Kanab or Salt Lake City in the today's forecast box and then at the bottom of the forecast page will be additional forecast info - press the forecast discussion. On the new page enter state summary and look on the page for Paria Ranger Station!! There the high and low's will be listed with any precipitation amounts. The ranger station calls in the info every day.
Remember to pack the book for your trip to help you with your travels down this great canyon.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have been down the Paria twice now and both times reading this book by Mr. Kelsey made for a well prepared and enjoyable desert hiking experience. Revisiting it last week before I took a solitary second trip on the river after 6 years was once again very valueable in final last minute preparations. His thoroughness in detail of vital survival information like the availibility and location of year round springs, the subtle physical description of the terrane and moisture conditions to be expected in some of the slot canyons, and his own exploration of side tributaries can help a hiker gain access to details she might miss otherwise and to remember to carry the appropriate gear. This book will enhance the overall appreciation of her experience. I laminated his detailed maps of the river before going on my first trip and again used them for this recent trip. I cannot stress how useful they are when you are out there in the wilderness and on your own. Really, get this book before you go.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Erik D. Salo on February 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is outstanding. I'm an avid canyoneer and these books got me started. Many think they're too good. I follow the canyoneering boards and people consistently complain that Kelsey gives away too much information and allows, "just anyone who buys the book" to get in the deepest, darkets canyons. The land managers down right hate these books because people get into trouble. I think a good guidebook tells you about an area and it's up to the individual to be responsible and not exceed their abilities.
Aside from the extermely thorough and detailed area information, Kelsey takes pains to explain the history of the area and to prepare you for what you need to do spend time in these strange lands. I have hundreds of guidebooks from around the world and none of them comes close to Kelsey's in these areas. They are a treat to read.
There are a few quirky things about Kelsey's work. He lists everthing in metric. I agree this makes perfect sense from a technical (the rest of the world is metric and it makes much more sense) point of view but still have to do a poor job of converting everything back to miles in my head. It would be better to list miles in brackets after the kilometers. Kelsey is also (apparently) very fit because his hiking times are impressively rapid. I usually add 50% to his times to get a realistic estimate of how long it will take me.
All in all, I couldn't recommend Kelsey's books more. He is an extremely hard working, dedicated author. His works are jewels for this area and will long be recognized as not only the geographical authority but also the historical authority in this wonderful part of the world. Buy everything he writes.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Black on April 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book, as it's one of the only ones out there with any detailed information on the Paria wilderness, and the reviews looked pretty good. HUGE mistake.

I have many problems with this book, but I'll just cover a few here. First--and probably most important, as it speaks to the safety of those who use this book--Kelsey gives sloppily written and poorly researched instructions into places that require considerable technical and canyoneering skills. These treks are not something to be undertaken lightly, and the only indication that one should perhaps give pause before undertaking one of Kelsey's routes is a half-page proviso near the beginning of the book that says, quite literally, "hey, don't blame me!" Appalling, truly.

Second, what on earth the Mountain Meadows Massacre has to do with a book about hiking the Paria wilderness is beyond me. Aside from Kelsey's horrific bias in relating some (emphasis on "some") of the facts of this event, it's just completely irrelevant, and doesn't belong in the book. He self-publishes this book (another red flag), and so is lacking an editor to rein him in and keep the book focused. Pity.

But my biggest problem with the book is Kelsey's bizarre agenda regarding BLM access and permit process for those wishing to hike into the Coyote Buttes North area (primarily to see the spectacular rock formation known as the Wave). The BLM strictly limits access to the area, because it's fragile and easily damaged, and they began doing so when swarms of people began descending on the Wave. When you have bus after bus full of tourists showing up to trample their way in to a place like this, it's going to have a very negative impact on the area. Kelsey's proposed solution?
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