South of the border, a spectacular range of ancient volcanoes rises from the desert floor just a few miles from the Sea of Cortez. Virtually untraveled, the Sierra Pinacate in northwestern Mexico beckons adventurers and scientists. Here, in words and pictures, is a remarkable introduction to this place of almost surreal beauty. Sometimes veiled in clouds or dust storms, the Pinacate have long been shrouded in mystery as well. From prehistoric times until today, people of Sonora have told tales of giants, men and animals, bottomless pits, endless tunnels, hostile Indians, smoking caverns, and ever-present dangers found in the Pinacate. This book takes readers deep into the heart of this fascinating area. Julian Hayden, who worked and traveled in the Pinacate for four decades, introduces the natural history, archaeology, geology, and human history of the area. Spectacular color photographs by Jack Dykinga capture the magic and the isolation of this stunning region. Hayden's text is presented in both English and Spanish. The Mexican government has already declared the Pinacate an officially protected biosphere reserve; still pending is its inclusion in the Man and the Biosphere program of the United Nations. More than a natural history, The Sierra Pinacate is an elegant appreciation of a place of wonder.
A field archaeologist by avocation, Julian Hayden (1911-1998) began exploring and mapping the Sierra Pinacate in 1958. His pioneering work, innovative theories, lively curiosity, and distinctive personality made him legendary among southwestern scholars and desert rats. He was the author of three books and numerous scholarly articles, chapters, and reviews. He died in Tucson at the age of 87.