Alt, David, and Donald W. Hyndman. Roadside Geology of Montana. Missoula : Mountain Press, 1986. A comprehensive road-by-road guide to Montana’s unique geology. For those willing to read slowly, there’s a wealth of information.
Anderson, Bob. Beartooth Country. Montana Geographic Series, no. 7. Helena : Montana magazine, 1984. An environmentally conscious look at Montana’s highest country.
Bass, Rick. The Ninemile Wolves. Livingston: Clark City Press, 1992. Passionate book-length essay chronicling wolves’ return to northwestern Montana.
Chronic, Halka. Pages of Stone: Geology of Western National Parks and Monuments, Vol. 1: Rocky Mountains and Western Great Plains. Seattle: The Mountaineers, 1984. A clearly written and untechnical geology of the West, including Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.
Dingus, Lowell. Hell Creek, Montana: America’s Key to the Prehistoric Past. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2004. The story of rich fossil digs in eastern Montana overlain by a tableau of Jordan-area personalities and politics.
Gildart, Robert C., and Jan Wassink. Montana Wildlife. Montana Geographic Series, no. 3. Helena : Montana magazine, 1982. An illustrated study of Montana’s wildlife heritage and its many ecosystems and species.
Hart, Jeff. Montana: Native Plants and Early Peoples. Helena : Montana Historical Society , 1976. Well-illustrated and engagingly written, this is the best book on ceremonial and medicinal plant usage by native Montanans.
Horner, Jack, and James Gorman. Digging Dinosaurs. New York: Harper Collins, 1990. Read this before visiting Choteau or the Museum of the Rockies and you’ll be able to keep up with the seven-year-olds.
Kavanagh, James. Montana Trees and Wildflowers. Phoenix: Waterford Press, 2005. A pocket-size guide to Montana’s flora, good for young naturalists.
Manning, Richard. Last Stand. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 1991. Manning went after the story of logging in Montana and lost his position as the Missoulian’s environmental reporter.
McEneaney, Terry. Birders’ Guide to Montana. Helena : Falcon Press, 1993. Montana’s best birding sites and tips on planning a birding trip.
McMillion, Scott. Mark of the Grizzly. Helena : Falcon Press, 1998. Well-told stories of grizzly attacks on humans. Dare you to read it in the tent.
McPhee, John. Rising from the Plains. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1986. OK, so it’s about Wyoming. It’s still a good read, and the most lucid account of Rocky Mountain geology in print.
Peacock, Andrea. Libby, Montana: Asbestos and the Deadly Silence of an American Corporation. Boulder, Colo.: Johnson Books, 2003. A well-researched and very readable account of the public health tragedy in Libby.
Reese, Rick. Greater Yellowstone. Montana Geographic Series, no. 6. Helena : Montana magazine, 1984. One of the best of this series, with a strong focus on environmental issues.
Schneider, Andrew, and David McCumber. An Air That Kills. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2004. The shocking story of widespread asbestos poisoning in Libby, by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter who brought attention to the issue.
Van Bruggen, Theodore. Wildflowers, Grasses, and Other Plants of the Northern Plains and Black Hills. Interior, S.D.: Badlands Natural History Association, 1971. A good guide to the plant life of Montana’s arid plains, with photographs.