Lately engaged in a tug-of-war between archaeologists and energy developers, Nine Mile Canyon lies in the middle of hundreds of square miles of empty space on the map of eastern Utah. But for half a century, from 1886 to 1936, it was frequented by freighters, cowboys, outlaws, soldiers and a few rugged ranchers. Last Chance Byway: The History of Nine Mile Canyon by Jerry D. Spangler and Donna Kemp Spangler (University of Utah Press, $34.95) chronicles that era in minute detail. The authors make a valuable contribution to the boom-and-bust history typical of the Western frontier.
Given its focus, the book breezes past the earlier occupation of Nine Mile Canyon by Indians who left behind unparalleled ruins and rock art—but you will come to know most every white person who left tracks there.
—Rod Miller, author of The Lost Frontier: Momentous Moments in the Old West You May Have Missed