Noted writer and photographer Stephen Trimble mixes eloquent accounts of personal experiences with clear explication of natural history. His photographs capture some of the most spectacular but least-known scenery in the western states. The Great Basin Desert sweeps from the Sierra to the Rockies, from the Snake River Plain to the Mojave Desert. "Biogeography" would be one way to sum up Trimble's focus on the land: what lives where, and why. He introduces concepts of desert ecology and discusses living communities of animals and plants that band Great Basin mountains—from the exhilarating emptiness of dry lake-beds to alpine regions at the summits of the 13,000-foot Basin ranges.
This is the best general introduction to the ecology and spirit of the Great Basin, a place where "the desert almost seems to mirror the sky in size," where mountains hold "ravens, bristlecone pines, winter stillness—and unseen, but satisfying, the possibility of bighorn sheep." Trimble's photographs come from the backcountry of this rugged land, from months of exploring and hiking the Great Basin wilderness in all seasons; and his well-chosen words come from a rare intimacy with the West.