Historical books on the Rockies - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 503
Default Historical books on the Rockies

I have an interest in books written by early explorers of the Rockies about their travels and adventures, but as you might imagine these books are hard to come by. I've found a few here and there, but recently stumbled upon the jackpot!


As far as I know this site is 100% legal and it has free downloads in e-reader formats of tens of thousands of out-of-print books, including many by famous explorers of the Rockies. A search for "Canadian Rockies" turns up many of these. I'm currently reading "Old Indian Trails" by Mary Schaeffer (https://archive.org/details/oldindiantrailsi00schaiala). It's a fascinating read so far and many of the others I've read are equally wonderful. The language is a bit different than what I'm used to, but the places, adventure, and spirit they describe are easy to relate to. (As a side note, if you're prone to feeling you've been born a century or two too late, these books will exacerbate that condition!).

I thought some of you might be interested in this type of reading as well, hence the reason for this post. Imagine backpacking to Maligne Pass and reading in your tent that night about its "discovery" over 100 years earlier! For me that's high on my awesome-o-meter!

I'll leave you with a quote from "Old Indian Trails". "Our sleep at Bow Park was broken by ominous rustlings of stiff quills dragging on the ground, gentle squeaks, then a sortie, a dull thud, and the listeners knew one more poor creature had come to his death because of an ungovernable appetite". The books are filled with gems like that.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 11:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Andorra.
Interest: hiking, backpacking, scrambling, climbing
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Very cool, and thanks for sharing. I have a good few of those on my reading list this year, and that's a nice source.

Anyone want to jump on and suggest old Rockies exploration books they've particularly enjoyed?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 11:04 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Grande Prairie, AB, Canada.
Posts: 172

I have made good use of the inter-library loan system to find books on early Rockies exploration.

If you are interested in the Northern Rockies, I enjoyed reading "The Forgotten Explorer" about Samuel Presott Fay's 1914 expedition from Jasper to Hudson's Hope. It is a more recent publication, but is based on his expedition journals.
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