First: Edward Abbey is undeniably an egotistical, hypocritical ass. If I met him I don't know whether I would punch him in the face or shake his hand or both (yes, I know he's dead and this is all theoretical).
That said...Desert Solitaire is a lovely book. There are descriptions of the desert and the wilderness that took my breath away, and made me long to go somewhere, anywhere, as long as it was deep into the wild.
Abbey's ideas will probably never happen, but I agree with many of them, including not making every single part of wilderness easily accessible to everyone. Not everything should be paved. Some things should still be sacred.
A favorite quote:
"This is the most beautiful place on earth. There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary."