Recommended Hell's Canyon Book: Tracy Vallier's Islands & Rapids

A potential downside to any GSOC field trip is information overload. At every stop and around every bend, our expert guides tell us far more than we can possibly store in our brains. That's what books are for — and for our recent Lewiston trip, the book to read is Islands and Rapids by Tracy Vallier. Our trip guide Keegan Schmidt recommended it as the best book on Hell’s Canyon available.


Islands and Rapids is based on Vallier's 30+ years of work along the Snake. Starting with a helpful primer of geologic time, geologic processes and canyon stratigraphy, he then presents a detailed river guide from Oxbow Dam to the Grande Ronde, complete with maps and photos. GSOCers on our recent trip will recognize many of the features they saw and will wish that the jetboat had gone much farther.  Numerous sidebars with historical tales and Vallier's personal anecdotes provide a human dimension to the geologic story. A comprehensive bibliography and a glossary complete the package. This book is a valuable addition to any GSOCer’s library. 

Review by Bo Nonn  / Photo JKR


After posting this review, we received this note from Dr. Vallier:

If your colleagues would like to buy "Island and Rapids," have them contact me directly for either wrapped and unsigned, or unwrapped and signed copies. I'll send them for $13 each, plus postage of $3.50 ($11 each for five or more to one address, plus postage of $6.00). I also have other books (fiction) that may interest them.

More information on Hell's Canyon Geology can be found at his beautiful website.