McKenzie Long is a writer, graphic designer, and rock climber living in the Sierra Nevada.
She is fascinated by national monuments. This fascination began through a passion for rock climbing. For nearly a decade she made regular spring and fall trips to Indian Creek, Utah to rock climb, and there she fell in love with not only the challenging, smooth, red sandstone cracks, but the entire lustrous desert landscape. When controversy about Bears Ears National Monument—which included her beloved Indian Creek— made national news, she paid attention. This started her on a journey of exploration and discovery that has expanded to include national monuments across the country.
McKenzie has been writing about the outdoors in a slightly different capacity for years. She wrote gear reviews for the website OutdoorGearLab.com for six years, starting with the company before the website was officially launched and working up to a managing editor position where she was responsible for hiring, editing, and product selection as well as content creation.
She has also co-written two climbing guidebooks. For one of them, Supertopo’s second edition of High Sierra Climbing, McKenzie took over the title, explored and added new routes to the book, rewrote, and redesigned the whole thing without any continuous collaboration from the previous author. McKenzie is now taking this penchant for writing about place to its next evolution: rather than a guidebook or a gear review focused on helping visitors or consumers, she wants to reevaluate the human relationship with landscapes. Rather than focus on what can be taken from the land, she wants to show that the human-land relationship is symbiotic and reciprocal. For a glimpse of the places she is visiting and writing about, visit her National Monuments page.
McKenzie was named the 2019 Terry Tempest Williams Fellow for Land and Justice at the Mesa Refuge. She was also chosen for AWP’s 2020 Writer to Writer mentorship program.