« Return to this article

Know the West

Exploring “The Crown of the Continent” in photos

Photographer Steven Gnam takes readers into the one of the most remote stretches of wilderness, along the ridge of the Northern Rockies.


The Crown of the Continent: The Wildest Rockies
Steven Gnam
193 pages,
softcover: $29.95
Mountaineers Books, 2014

The only place in North America where no plant or animal, including  the grizzly bear, has gone extinct in the last century is a corridor of remote Rocky Mountain wilderness stretching from Montana into southern Canada. Photographer Steven Gnam has been exploring this region since he was a child. Those early forays — often carried out solo and inadequately prepared — inspired his first book, The Crown of the Continent. His goal, he writes, is to “take people into the far reaches of the Crown, up into the mountains, down under the clear waters, deep into its forests. I also wanted to share the views you could see on foot, the views you see with a little sweat and persistence.” The book features 150 full-color photos along with three essays exploring the region’s biodiversity and describing recent conservation efforts. Gnam’s photographs will be on display this October at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana.