Classic River Books
While none of these books made the New York Times Best Seller list, at least I am going to assume that, I found some real gems amongst the books shelves. All of these books are long out of print, and a little outdated, but worth taking a look at. These books are filled with great photos, drawings, river information, and gear to check out.
The Big Drops: Ten Legendary Rapids
Robert O. Collins and Roderick Nash have brought together stories, history, and the lore of the North Americas legendary rapids! Learn about the history of a handful of the best rivers and what makes their rapids so notorious. This book is filled with excellent stories and some great photos of early river runnings going big!
Handbook To The Illinois River
This is one of my favorite river books of all time! It is filled with some great natural history on the Illinois Valley as well as the only guide book for the river. James M. Quinn, James W. Quinn, and James G. King put a huge amount of time into this book. This book really got my attention with the great photography. Tons of fun photos of 70s and 80s rafting at its prime. These guys even took the time to fly a plane over the river for arial photos of the rapids. This is one of the more difficult books to find, but grab a copy if you see one.
So you want to learn everything from all the different ways to rig a raft to the difference between venomous to non venomous snakes this book is for you. That is if you want to learn the ways from the mid 70s. However, this book is filled with some excellent information on river hydrology and old school equipment, but maybe hold off on their procedure for dealing with snake bites. William McGinnis put together some awesome information in Whitewater Rafting.
The Complete Book Of Rafting, Canoeing, And Kayaking Down The Froth And Foam Called Whitewater
The 70s brought us another gem of a “complete whitewater” book. This one from Norman Strung, Sam Curtis, and Early Perry give you all the information you could be looking for. Curious about ferry angles, this book has great diagrams and descriptions. Working on your canoe strokes? This book has it!
California Whitewater: A Guide To Rivers
Want to paddle the rivers of California? Pick up this one from Jim Cassidy and Frayar Calhoun. This book has awesome maps, descriptions, and some great photos. While some of the information is outdated, it is still a classic to add to your river book collection.
Idaho: The Whitewater State
Grant Amaral and friends spent years paddling, collecting notes, and finally decided to share their river knowledge in the form of this book. This book is filled with great information on different stretches of river from obscure to now popular commercial runs. If you are looking to explore the whitewater of Idaho this is a must have book!
Have a favorite book not on the list? Share it with us in the comments below.