Alaska Vistas Book Store

Stikine River Handbook
The Stikine River and its major tributary, the Spatsizi, traverse some 640 kilometers of spectacular wilderness area in Canada's northwestern British Columbia. This self-contained, comprehensive guide provides information for anyone planning a guided or self-paced paddling trip by canoe, kayak or raft. It includes general trip planning tips, and specific information on routes including 32 river maps, rapids descriptions, hikes, flora, fauna, geology and history. This unique guide to the Stikine River is available directly from the Alaska Vistas Company for $17.50US postpaid via priority mail. Just drop us a note with your contact information and we will be glad to send this great Stikine River resource. Alaska Vistas accepts Visa and MasterCard. See our contact page for more information.
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Reviewer: A reader from New York City
Out of all the travel books I purchased for my Alaska trip this one proved to be the most entertaining and useful. When I received this book I expected just another guide book but I couldn't stop reading - the anecdotes and suggestions were as compelling as a good novel. It felt like a nice, long letter from a friend who wanted to be sure I had a great trip. While traveling I found most of their suggestions right on the money. I tried the activities they suggested and was glad I steered clear of their warnings! It turned out to be the only guide book I brought along that I actually used regularly on the trip. One drawback is that there are very few maps of the smaller local areas and the maps that are included do not give you a sense of scale. Also, the title is a bit of a misnomer, I almost did not order this book because I thought "adventure guide" meant it was only for sportspeople, kayakers and campers. But that is far from the truth, this book is great for the independent traveler who wants a leisurely trip, as well as a person who wants something a little more challenging.

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"This is the best researched book available for travel in SE Alaska"

Natural History: 

Alaska Trees and Shrubs
by Leslie A. Viereck and Elbert L. Little, Jr. 

The Nature of Southeast Alaska : A Guide to Plants, Animals, and Habitats
by Rita M. O'Clair, Robert H. Armstrong and Illustrated by Richard Carstensen.

The Nature of Southeast Alaska takes you beyond the usual field or nature guide. This book contains comprehensive descriptions of native mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, fungi, plants and habitats. The liberal use of graphs, photographs, drawings and charts help explain these diverse interactive ecosystems that occur in our part of the state. Included is a bibliography, list of common (and not so common) names and an index. 

Discovering Wild Plants : Alaska, Western Canada, the Northwest
by Janice F. Schofield and Janice J. Schofield.

A compilation of explicit botanical descriptions, New and Old World folk history, harvest and habitat information, and recipes. Arranged by habitat (bog, beach...). Covers 149 plants native to Alaska, western Canada, Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Illustrated with some 200 good color plates, and dozens of excellent line drawings by Richard W. Tyler. 

Guide to Marine Mammals of Alaska, Second Edition
by Kate Wynn.

Guide to Marine Mammals of Alaska is the only book that extensively covers all 29 marine mammal species of Alaska. Each whale, porpoise, dolphin, seal, sea lion, walrus, sea otter, and polar bear species is described and illustrated. Color photos and surface profile drawings show all Alaska marine mammals and compare similar species, and color range maps show distribution. Mammal characteristics and descriptions are presented in a format that allows fast, accurate identification at sea. The 80-page, richly illustrated book is printed on durable water resistant paper, and is spiral bound to give years of service outdoors and in the office, classroom, and home. The second edition has text updates and a few new photos. 

Guide to the Birds of Alaska
by Robert H. Armstrong.

This is the comprehensive guide to all 443 species of Alaskan birds. Detailed descriptions of field marks, distribution, behavior, voice and habitat, make this a must for birders who plan to visit Alaska. Full-color photographs of the regularly occurring bird species, with a list of casual and incidental visitors to our state. Includes biogeographic region maps, checklist, reading list and index. This is one book that is stowed on everyone of our boats. 

Adventure With Eagles
by David Hancock. 

Stikine - The Great River
by Gary Fiegehene.

Known to the Tlingit people simply as "The Great River," the legendary Stikine rises in northwestern British Columbia's Spatsizi Plateau. It then carves a path to the sea through a spectacular landscape sculpted by intense volcanic activity and the giant glaciers of the last ice age. Photographer Gary Fiegehen's remarkable images capture the Stikine in all its wildness and beauty, creating an unforgettable portrait of one of the world's great watersheds. 

Between Pacific Tides
by Edward Flanders Ricketts

The best guide to marine fauna of the Northwest and Alaska. A comprehensive presentation and study of the basic concepts of coastal zones. This book covers areas geographically and by tidal zones. Every Marine Biologist and aspiring naturalist should have this book in their library. 

Roadside Geology of Alaska
by Cathy Connor and Daniel O'Haire.

John Muir:

Travels in Alaska 
by John Muir, Introduction by Richard Nelson.

Travels in Alaska, which John Muir was working on at the time of his death, is based on journals Muir wrote during his visits to Alaska in 1879, 1880, 1881, 1890, and 1899. From the moment he embarked from San Francisco in May, 1879, "off for icy Alaska," Muir sensed he was on an extraordinary adventure. Venturing on foot, by canoe and dogsled, he experienced equal excitement discovering an unfamiliar species of flower, bird, or tree, or the spectacular Glacier Bay -- all of which he conveys with consummate artistry. Here also is a record of such harrowing experiences as rescuing his companion while the two hung over a thousand-foot precipice and narrowly escaping. death between grinding walls of glacial ice. Travels in Alaska culminates with Muir's vivid description of the "supreme, serene, supernal beauty" of Alaskan auroras observed during his penultimate trip in 1890. "Men like Muir (Robert Marshall was another) continue for us the spiritual reclamation of North America. At their keenest, they evoke for us something of the freshness of an hour and a day when, before the intervention of culture, men saw the world for the first time as something wonderful and new."

by John Muir

This adventure story, set on the top of an Alaskan glacier, is great reading just for the adventure. But in the telling, Muir shows us that our "horizontal brothers" are not merely intelligent, but share many of the emotions, fears, and joys that we have.

Alaska Days With John Muir
by Samuel Hall Young

Samuel Hall Young, a Presbyterian clergyman, met John Muir when the great naturalist's steamboat docked at Fort Wrangell, in southeastern Alaska, where Young was a missionary to the Stickeen Indians. In Alaska Days With John Muir he describes this 1879 meeting: "A hearty grip of the hand and we seemed to coalesce in a friendship which, to me at least, has been one of the very best things in a life full of blessings."

This book, first published in 1915, describes two journeys of discovery taken in company with Muir in 1879 and 1880. Despite the pleas of his missionary colleagues that he not risk life and limb with "that wild Muir", Young accompanied Muir in the exploration of Glacier Bay. Upon Muir's return to Alaska in 1880, they traveled together and mapped the inside route to Sitka. Young describes Muir's ability to "slide" up glaciers, the broad Scottish he used when he was enjoying himself, and his natural affinity for Indian wisdom and theistic religion. From the gripping account of their near-disastrous ascent of Glenora Peak to Young's perspective on Muir's famous dog story Stickeen, Alaska Days is an engaging record of a friendship grounded in the shared wonders of Alaska's wild landscapes.

Native History:

Two Old Women - An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
by Velma Wallis and illustrated by Jim Grant

Growing up Gwich'in (one of the 11 distinct ethnic peoples of Alaska) in Fort Yukon, closer to the Arctic Circle than Fairbanks, Wallis had been hearing all her life the legend of the two old women abandoned to die by their starving tribe. Their own children abetted the cruel (not, incidentally, just to Western civilization) tribal decision. Wallis' rendition in serviceable prose of this culturally famous story is somewhere between translation and what is sometimes called re-creation. The tale (which has a happy ending) deserves a place in every regional collection but has a greater appeal, too.

Heroes and Heroines in Tlingit Haida Legend
by Mary L. Beck.

Shamans and Kushtakas - North Coast Tales of the Supernatural
by Mary Giraudo Beck and illustrated by Marvin Oliver.

Art of the Totem - Totem Poles of the Northwest Coastal Indians
by Marius Barbeau.

Guide Books:

The Coastal Companion - A Guide for the Alaska Bound Traveler
by Joe Upton

Let's Go 98 Alaska & the Pacific Northwest (Annual)
by Lindsey M. Turrentine (Editor) and Robert MacDougall (Editor).

From the bestselling LET'S GO budget travel series, compiled by a team of researchers who travel all over the globe to rewrite and rediscover each destination. Each guide offers more choices than any other budget series, with detailed color maps and up-to-date information for any traveler, including gay and Lesbian travelers, the disabled, and women traveling alone

Water Sports:

The Essential Sea Kayaker: A Complete Course for the Open-Water Paddler
by David Seidman and illustrated by Andy Singer

Writing with his experienced instructor, the author (himself only recently a beginning kayaker) has created a comprehensive yet compact guide for beginners and initiates alike. Richly illustrated with photographs and drawings that always appear on the same spread with the topics and techniques they illustrate.

The Complete Whitewater Rafter
by Jeff Bennett

Simply the best, most comprehensive guide to whitewater rafting, this is also perhaps the most entertaining. The thrill of trips down wild rivers is communicated vividly on nearly every page. Visually appealing and written in easygoing, friendly style, this guide is aimed at skill levels from beginner to expert. Author Jeff Bennett begins with an introduction to whitewater river running's dramatic history and chronicles recent advances in the sport, which every year attracts new legions of independent adventurers making unguided river runs.

For further information on your vacation to the beautiful Tongass National Forest, the world's largest temperate rainforest, see the Alaska Vistas contact page.

PO Box 2245, Wrangell, Alaska 99929 City Dock   l
(907) 874-3006  | 874-3006  |  Fax (907) 874-3030
Store Open in Season: June - Sept: 07:00 - 18:00 M-F, 08:00 - 18:00 Sat-Sun
Alaska Vistas is an equal opportunity provider permitted to operate in the Tongass National Forest