by Mike Milligan
Utah State University Press, 2024
eISBN: 978-1-64642-545-7 | Cloth: 978-1-64642-544-0 | Paper: 978-1-64642-608-9
Library of Congress Classification F834.W477M55 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 917.925

Westwater Lost and Found: Expanded Edition is the continuing story of Westwater—a relatively short, deep canyon near the Utah-Colorado state line that has become one of the most popular river-running destinations in the Southwest—and its lasting significance to the study of the Upper Colorado River. Thousands of recreational river runners have pushed this backwater place into the foreground of modern popular culture in the West. Westwater represents one common sequence in western history: the late opening of unexplored territories, the sporadic and ultimately often unsuccessful attempts to develop them, their renewed obscurity when development doesn’t succeed, their attraction to a marginal society of dreamers and schemers, and the modern rediscovery of them due to new cultural motives, especially outdoor recreation, which has brought many people into thousands of remote corners of the West.
This expanded edition brings to light historical events and explores how Westwater’s location greatly contributed to early Grand (Upper) Colorado River boaters’ knowledge and how the lush Westwater Valley and Cisco became critical stops for water, wood, and grass along the North Branch of the Old Spanish Trail. Other new additions include explorer Ellsworth Kolb’s unpublished manuscript describing his 1916–1917 boating experiences on the Grand and Gunnison Rivers; two stories relating to Outlaw Cave, one of which expands upon the mystery of the outlaw brothers; a letter from James E. Miller to Frederick S. Dellenbaugh in 1906 revealing new information about his boating excursion with Oro DeGarmo Babcock on the Grand River in 1897; and a portion of botanist Frederick Kreutzfeld’s little-known journal of 1853 that describes Captain John W. Gunnison’s railroad survey.
Loaded with extensive information and river-running history, Milligan’s guide is sure to enhance readers’ knowledge of the Upper Colorado River and Grand Canyon regions. Boaters, river guides, scholars of the American West, and historians of the Colorado, Green, and Gunnison Rivers or the Old Spanish Trail will gain much from this new edition.