top of page
cover for web.jpg



Wyoming defines the American West. It was the home of the Mountain Men, the Immigrant Trail, Red Cloud's War, and the birthplace of American Women's right to vote. It was where the gregarious Butch Cassidy made his home,  the Pony Express mail service ran over the prairie,  and the decadent Hell-on-Wheels towns of the Union Pacific Railroad became an American legend. Wyoming has been at the center of the most colorful and influential eras in the history of the western United States, and the best of it is here in Sam Lightner Jr.'s Wyoming: A History of the American West. Written in a timeline that runs tandem with the significant events of the greater world, this human-history links the best stories in Wyoming's past. It is comical, poignant, and always entertaining. The book covers well documented events like the Teapot Dome Scandal, as well as lesser known known parts of our history like the election of first female governor in the United States and the civil war with Utah. Lightner's Wyoming is a page-turner for history buffs and anyone who just wants to know how the Equality State became the foundation of what we call the Wild West.  

bbcff45052_LOGO-New PBS Blue.png

See Sam discuss the book and Wyoming's History with Craig Blumenshine on PBS


'Lightner brings history to life in a way that few others can.' 

 Kyle Mills

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Order to Kill


'As a historian I am pleased that Wyoming finally has a volume of history that is as readable and enjoyable as a great western novel.'

Professor William Walker, PhD History, Dartmouth University


'Sam Lightner has done the people of Wyoming a big service — he has created a book featuring the most exciting events in our long history. It is a fun read and I learned a lot.  Well done!'

Bill Sniffin, author of the best-selling Wyoming Trilogy

'Heavy Green is one of the best researched and most entertaining books of historical fiction I have read on this aspect of the 'secret war' in Laos.' 

 Carl A. Wattenberg, Jr, Army Intelligence Officer with the Green Berets, 1963-1964 

'All Elevations Unknown is memorable and exciting. Lightner's detailed account of his expedition and the climbing culture will enthuse readers who love to travel, and make those who prefer armchairs wonder what they're missing.'

Carol Memmott,   USA Today


'Lightner's unadorned voice manages to keep both these incredible adventures very immediate and utterly affecting.'

Kirkus Reviews


'What Lightner does do is create a wickedly honest portrait of the pressures on the modern-day adventurer.'

Fiona Cohen, Bellingham Herald


'If you've wondered where the next Jon Krakauer is, Check out Sam Lightner, Jr. This is a climbing tale like no other.'

Book Review, Third Place Books


'This book has a down-to-Earth humanistic flavor and is a delight  to read'

Lynn Arave, Deseret News


'The success  of this book lies not in Lightner and Company reaching  the top of Batu Lawi but in the historical references and vivid descriptions'

Lindley Kirksey, Explorers Club Book Review


…a breezily told tale, one that will bring you as close to Borneo's bamboo vipers, foot rot, and sweat bees as you may want to get."

Caroline Fraser, Outside Magazine


“…a real page turner… The writing achieves the excitement of a paperback thriller at times, which is no mean feat for a climbing book.”

Cat Klerks, Wild Life

Other Titles


The Collision of two Unlikely

Missions in America's Secret War 

By 1967 the Pentagon could see that stopping the flow of weapons into South Vietnam was the only way the United States could win the war. Key to this effort was the aerial bombing of certain supply depots and constriction points along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, but the weather and air defenses of North Vietnam made that task nearly impossible. Taking advantage of the rugged terrain of Laos, and with the help of the Thai Special Forces and the Laotian hill tribes, the CIA put into place a covert program that could pinpoint each of the bombing raids. This top secret operation would tilt the axis of the war, and the North Vietnamese had to counter it. Meticulously researched and based on information classified until 1988, Heavy Green is a historical novel that tells the true story of this secret operation and the daring raid that was designed to bring it down. 

One Move Too Many...

Rock climbers exert unique stress on their bodies  during the focused moments of ascent. The effort behind this sport exposes these athletes to risk of injury. For those who have made one move too many, German sports medicine doctors Volker Schoeffl and Thomas Hochholzer, and with the help of Sam Lightner, Jr., have put together an in-depth examination of these injuries, as well as their prevention and treatment

Roads Through Time:

 A Roadside History of Jackson Hole

 "Roads Through Time" has been called the single best history book on northwest Wyoming. It is laid out so that people traveling in a car know the history of what they are seeing, or what may have been there in the past. If you are taking a vacation to Jackson Hole or Grand Teton National Park, your trip will be greatly enriched with this book.

All Elevations     Unknown

In the spring of 1999, armed with little more than a description from a book and a map labeled “all elevations unknown,” Sam Lightner and his German rock-climbing buddy, Volker, found themselves in the jungles of Borneo on a mission to climb a mountain that was only rumored to exist. What little they knew about the mountain they had learned from the memoirs of Major Tom Harrisson, a British World War II soldier who in 1945 had been assigned the near-impossible mission of parachuting blindly into the thick Bornean rainforest–where the natives had a grisly habit of collecting heads–to try to reclaim the island for the Allies. A captivating, utterly original combination of travel adventure memoir and historical re-creation, All Elevations Unknown charts Lightner’s  harrowing quest to ascend the mountain Batu Lawi in the face of leeches, vipers, and sweat bees, all while telling Major Harrison's WWII story that took place around the same mountain.

Thailand: A Climbing Guide

With amazing rock faces rising from perfect beaches and the blue sea, Thailand is a dreamy destination for rock climbers all over the world. This guidebook not only tells you all you need to know about the hundreds of rock climbs that exist in Thailand, but also gives the do's and don'ts of travel in The Kingdom. Accompanied with first hand stories and a complete history of the region, this guidebook is a must for any climber traveling to Thailand.

Rock Climbing       Wyoming

Rock Climbing Wyoming describes 11 major climbing areas in the state of Wyoming. It offers approximately 550 climbing routes for beginners and experts alike. Maps, color topos, and stunning action photos accompany clearly written descriptions of the routes. The historical references and colorful stories help to make this an indispensable resource for  climbing in "Wonderful Wyoming". 

   Roads Through Time:

             A Roadside

         History of Moab

Meticulously researched and written with his irreverent humor, Sam Lightner, Jr.'s Roads Through Time has a special place with visitors to southeast Utah. The desert  comes alive in this roadside-history of the region. Your trip to Moab will be greatly enhanced if accompanied by Roads Through Time.

bottom of page