31 August 2017

Geology Underfoot in Southern Idaho, by Shawn Willsey

Posted by Callan Bentley

I love the “Geology Underfoot” series published by Mountain Press – the same folks who have published dozens of titles under the “Roadside Geology” theme. “Underfoot” is better than “Roadside,” I think, because it tells the story of discrete places, suggesting ideal places to visit. Each chapter is self-contained and useful without extraneous details, and avoids the redundancy of many roads crossing through near-identical geology. The latest title in the series, by Shawn Willsey, is Geology Underfoot in Southern Idaho. I read it last week, thanks to Mountain Press sending me a review copy.

It’s good: good enough that in spite of not being in southern Idaho, I read it with interest from cover to cover. Willsey does a great job covering the essentials of geology with a minimum of jargon and a high level of enthusiasm. I enjoyed reading about places I’ve been (Redfish Lake, Craters of the Moon), places I’ve been meaning to go to (Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument), and places I’ve never heard of (Black Magic Canyon). Southern Idaho has a lot to offer the geological traveler, from opal to meterorite impacts to dunes to landslides to fossils to caves to plenty of lava. This is a useful book to show you how to find the best of the best, and put the landscape and outcrops into regional contrast. Recommended!