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An Adventure Reading List

Do you read books related to your destination while you travel or look for travel inspiration through reading? Of course, a good travel guide like Moon Guides or Lonely Planet can come in handy. However, sometimes a fiction novel or non-fiction story will ignite a curiosity about a place you wouldn’t have imagined otherwise.

Do you love haunting ghost stories or mysteries? Perhaps you’re a reader of historical fiction. Or maybe a modern love story is more your style. Whatever sparks your interest, there’s bound to be an interesting read set in your travel destination to discover.

Where To Find A Good Adventure Book

Don’t pass up a chance to pop into visitor centers wherever you’re traveling. Most of them will have, at the very least, a small section of books about local history or written by local authors. Certainly, you’ll find a wealth of literature in national parks, as many of them have their own bookstores.

Here’s a reading list curated by the New York Public Library of books about national parks.

Check out this Condé Nast article, “The Best Travel Books of All Time, According To Authors”

The Smithsonian Magazine’s “Ten Best Books About Travel in 2023” is sure to stir up the wanderlust in you.

“10 of the Best Travel Books” published by The Guardian in 2020 is quite the curation of adventurous travel stories from around the world.

A person holds up a book titled "Into The Wild" by Jon Krakauer on a trail in Denali National Park

Road Trip Reads

One of these will satisfy your adventure reading itch on any upcoming adventure.

Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

The Desert

Joining the Canyons of the West adventure? Pack one of these page-turners in your carry-on!

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey

The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide by by Eric Magrane (Editor), Christopher Cokinos (Editor), Paul Mirocha (Illustrator)

In a Land of Awe: Finding Reverence in the Search for Wild Horses by Chad Hanson

Indigenous & Alaska Native Culture

Read one of these while exploring the American West on the National Parks Loop or Canyons of the West adventure or learning about Native history in Alaska.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

One Good Story, That One by Thomas King

As We Have Always Done by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

This list from the Colorado Sun is an awesome compilation of stories about the American West.

Dive deeper into Alaska Native culture with this list of books compiled by the Alaska State Library.

Alaska & Canadian Rockies

Ready to hop on board one of the wild and unforgettable Alaska and Canadian Rockies adventures? Bring along one of these adventurous reads on the Caribou Crawler, Rockies Rambler, or Denali Dream adventures.

The Sun Is A Compass by Caroline Van Hemert

Being Caribou: Five Months On Foot With An Arctic Herd by Karsten Heuer

The Only Kayak: A Journey Into The Heart of Alaska by Kim Heacox

Denali Ranger: A Life of Drama and Adventure on America’s Tallest Peak by Lew Freedman

Furthermore, this list of Last Frontier books from Moon Guides is wonderful, too.


These are all good reads if you’re joining us for the California Sun, Yosemite Weekend, or Coastal Explorer adventures!

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

The Mountains of California by John Muir