SGMF Insiders Guide: Our Favorite Nature Books

“A Sand Country Almanac” by Aldo Leopold
“This great naturalist author will transform your thinking with a land ethic where humans are no longer seen as the center of the the natural world. Leopold earns my award as Wilderness Warrior Extraordinaire.” – John Monsen, Sierra Club

“Day Hiking: Los Angeles” by Casey Schreiner
“Great book written by Casey from ModernHiker.com on hiking trails in the Los Angeles Area, including the San Gabriel Mountains. Also happy to see that SGMF is listed as a resource in the appendix!” — Amy Wong, SGMF

“Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer
“I now walk into the wild.” — Andrew Pineda, Amigos de los Rios

“Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv
“It is the book that defined ‘nature deficiency’ and details how lack of direct exposure to nature can negatively impact childhood development.” — Roberto Morales, Sierra Club

“The Monkey Wrench Gang” by Edward Abbey
“As I backpacked in the amazing Paria Canyon-Buckskin Gultch area upstream of Glen Canyon Dam, I read this inspirational novel that argues for the dam’s forcible removal and the restoration of the awe-inpiring Utah Canyon Country it inundated.” – John Monsen, Sierra Club

“The Mountains of California” by John Muir
“John Muir is the supreme naturalist, astute movement leader and the most enthusiastic outdoors person you will ever read who recounts in Mountains of California climbing up a 100 foot Douglas fir to get a better view of the lightening. Unforgettable.” — John Monsen, Sierra Club

The Poetry of Robert Frost
“I was introduced to the poetry of Robert Frost when I was a kid. I loved how I could see and feel the magic and power of the natural places he included in many of his poems — the trees, fields, sand dunes, birds.” — Stef McDonald, Climate Resolve

“Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era” by Sterling North
“My father read this book to me and I read it to my son… so maybe it’s a nostalgic favorite. I love that it’s simple and mischievous enough to delight kids, with enough depth for adults… and set in an era when children spent a great deal of time outdoors.” – Andrea Alday, The Wilderness Society

“The San Gabriels” by John Robinson
“Everything you wanted to know about the natural and cultural history of the San Gabriel Mountains.” — Steve Evans, Friends of the River

“Sierra South: 100 Backcountry Trips California’s Sierra Nevada” 
“Start doing the hikes in this book and you will fall in love with the Sierra Nevadas as they transform your life and your relationship with the natural world.” — John Monsen, Sierra Club

“The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard DeVoto” by Wallace Stegner
“One of America’s best loved columnists in the 1930s to 1950s, Bernard DeVoto played a major role in protecting federal land from privatization . . . hey, some things never change.” — Jonathan Parfrey, Climate Resolve