The Emerald Mile - Kevin Fedarko

The Emerald Mile

By Kevin Fedarko

  • Release Date: 2013-05-07
  • Genre: United States
Score: 4.5
From 233 Ratings


From one of Outside magazine’s “Literary All-Stars” comes the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983.

In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named “The Emerald Mile” at the head of the Grand Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd, but downright suicidal.

The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled—by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself—down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, this remarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in The Emerald Mile.


  • An educational adventure!

    By Abracagal
    Having done the Colorado for two weeks during the late ‘70s, in hair raising high water through Crystal and Lava Falls, I was anxious to revisit one of my life’s most breathtaking adventures; riding the rapids in a 5-man raft. And, along with that familiarity came a wealth of knowledge about the Canyon, the dams, the geology, politics and the history of this uniquely American treasure, including its discovery and exploration. All I can say is that it’s a helluva great read. I enjoyed every moment of this journey that I’ve urged so many others to take.
  • Best Description of The River

    By p3taitunes
    Ive spent every year on the lake and I never tire of its majesty. The author described the beauty of the river and put words to his it makes me feel. Thank You
  • Spectacular!

    By Da'Judge
    Maybe the best adventure book I’ve ever read.
  • Great read!

    By Custmpaint16
    One of those adventure books that you can't put down
  • The Emerald Mile

    By kidzbopkidd!
    Loved it. Makes me want to do something significant outside. Great book. Thought of during a long trail run yesterday and it motivated me and I ran an extra five miles.
  • Awesome book!

    By The then's
    We rafted down the Colorado a few years ago and had an amazing experience. We also toured and rafted Glen Canyon with the AICF. With this background, this book is truly an amazing read as we "know " where the events are taking plane and can only imagine the power with a water level of this magnitude. We love this book and have so much respect for the "river people" and their passion for the canyon!
  • A must read for river lovers

    By Smitt-y-z
    Simply one of the best books I've ever read. Gives great history of Gand Canyon, but not too much. The way author describes moving water is amazing.
  • Bk

    By Krulewi
    Amazing book blending beautiful writing with masterful story telling. A must read
  • Great book!!!

    By Stettty
    The author did a great job informing you and creating the scene perfectly. The story keeps you wanting more and making it harder to put the book down. Very good story and having grown up in Salt Lake City and visited lake Powell many times, this book hits home, I really enjoyed learning the history of the Colorado river, and the Grand Canyon. If your looking for a good book don't let this one pass you by. Well done.
  • The emerald mile

    By Broknt
    History,science,and crisis woven seamlessly.