The cover of David Muench's new book. [Courtesy image]

David Muench’s stunning photographs and Ruth Rudner’s moving essays come together in a beautiful book titled “David Muench’s National Parks,” which will be featured during a Thursday, April 16 presentation at the Moab Information Center.

The 6 p.m. reading, slideshow and book-signing event is part of the Canyonlands Natural History Association (CNHA) free lecture series that goes from mid-March to mid-October.

“David’s book on the national parks is a masterpiece,” CNHA operations manager Sam Wainer said. “He’s such an amazing photographer. Adding Ruth’s prose is a perfect combination.”

Muench truly captures the beauty and majesty of America’s national parks and wilderness. Two-hundred of his prints have been archived at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The photos can be viewed at Muench’s website,

The revered landscape photographer has documented the parks his entire life. His photographs of Organ Pipe National Monument were published on the front and back covers of “Arizona Highways” when he was just a teenager.

“I love the parks very much,” Muench said. “I’m passionate about the whole national park idea.”

He remembers visiting his first national park – Kings Canyon in California’s southern Sierra Nevada – as a kid, when he accompanied his parents into the backcountry with pack animals. Another early memory was hiking to the bottom of Grand Canyon with his father in 100-plus degree heat.

Of the nation’s 59 national parks, “David Muench’s National Parks” from Graphic Arts Books features 54 in 25 states, including the popular Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon and Yosemite national parks, as well as the lesser-known parks such as Channel Islands off the coast of California, and Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska.

Rudner is an award-winning nature writer who has published 13 books about wilderness and wildlife. In addition to reading essay excerpts from “David Muench’s National Parks,” Rudner will share prose from another collaboration – “Windstone,” which features southeastern Utah’s iconic scenery.

“What we wanted to emphasize was wilderness,” Rudner said. “So what I’ve written has to do with the idea of wildness – a subject precious to us both.”

Rudner spent seven years as a backcountry wrangler helping to lead guided trips into Yellowstone National Park – where, “for the most part I stayed away from bears,” she said. “Wildlife interests me enormously. I’d be very happy to run into a wolf. Wildlife for me is part of the wild land.”

When wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone, “they really completed the park,” she said.

Muench will also be promoting and signing copies of his book “Plateau Light” – one of his favorite books, he said, about a “favorite subject” – the red-rock country of the Colorado Plateau. Both “Plateau Light” and “David Muench’s National Parks” are available in paperbound editions.

“I love a variety of landscapes,” Muench said. “Canyon country everywhere is a favorite. The last thing I’d like to do is walk up a wash and into eternity.”

When Muench’s new book, “Monument Valley: Navajo Tribal Park” is released later this spring, Muench will have published 60 exhibit-format books. The book, with text by Anne Markward, will be launched June 16, at Goulding’s Lodge in Monument Valley, Graphic Arts marketing manager Angela Zbornik said.

The Canyonlands Natural History Association is a nonprofit group that assists the National Park Service with educational, interpretive and scientific programs in southeast Utah. On Friday, April 17, Muench and Rudner will do a book signing at the Arches National Park Visitor Center bookstore from 1 to 3 p.m.

“David Muench’s National Parks” and “Plateau Light” are both available at Back of Beyond Books, 83 N. Main St.

Free lecture series at Moab Information Center features David Muench

“I love a variety of landscapes … Canyon country everywhere is a favorite. The last thing I’d like to do is walk up a wash and into eternity.”

What: Canyonlands Natural History Association free lecture series featuring renowned landscape photographer David Muench and award-winning author Ruth Rudner. The pair will read, show slides and sign copies of “David Muench’s National Parks.”

When: Thursday, April 16, 6 p.m.

Where: Moab Information Center, corner of Main and Center streets in downtown Moab.


What: “David Muench’s National Parks” and “Plateau Light” book signings by landscape photographer David Muench and award-winning author Ruth Rudner

When: Friday, April 17, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Arches National Park’s Visitor Center bookstore

Information: 435-259-6003;;