Our best longreads this year

In 2018, we sought to challenge your most preciously held views of the West.


This year, High Country News followed some of the West’s most important and under-covered stories. As the year comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on those that stuck with us. From the indivisible Borderlands, to climate anxiety, housing crises in Indian Country, and more, these features challenged our region’s stubborn narratives and helped us understand this complicated, ever-changing part of America. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

The pioneer of ruin
Amid a desolate mess in Cisco, Utah, a young woman resurrects a home.

In southern Utah, Navajo voters rise to be heard
San Juan County’s Navajo population has lived for decades with a minority white government. This election could change that.

What are we doing here?
In this rapaciously dry year, drought and dread grip a family in the American Southwest.

Can a California town move back from the sea?
Imperial Beach considers the unthinkable: a retreat from nature.

The rising risks of the West’s latest gas boom
An explosion in suburban Colorado raises questions on safety and accountability.

A separatist state of mind
In the era of Trump, rural discontent settles in the state of Jefferson.

Death in the alpine
Social media is changing our relationship to risk, with deadly consequences.

Cashing in on Standing Rock
How Veterans Stand squandered $1.4 million raised around the #NoDAPL protests.

The desert, divided
The Borderlands thrive on connections. What would it mean to sever them?

A tale of two housing crises, rural and urban
How one Indigenous family is navigating two very different housing problems.

Want more deep dives? Check out our features from this year hereEmail High Country News at [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor.

High Country News Classifieds