Regional Hiking Guides

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Regional Hiking Guides

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Edited: Dec 6, 2011, 12:47am

As a lifelong Southern Californian, I'd be surprised if I've not encountered almost every hiking guide covering California's mountains, deserts, and national parks. Jerry Schad was probably the best hiking guide author in Southern California -- I liked his Afoot and Afield series of guides the best for their map and trail mileage accuracy and just general meticulousness -- though John W. Robinson, Thomas Winnett and even J. C. Jenkins, short life he lived, remain very helpful in planning excursions.

Having been there done that with California, though, I'd be interested in hearing other hiking guide recommendations for other states and regions of the world. Ones that are special to you. I enjoy reading hiking guide trip descriptions from areas I'm not familiar with. Next best thing to being there. And especially guides that include great colorful topos whose contour lines and trails are actually readable w/out pulling out the magnifying glass.

Edited: Dec 6, 2011, 5:46am

Alfred Wainright's Guide to the fells is the classic UK series. I've not actually used them myself, but they're on my list of things I want to get.

I do thend to find though that mostly I'm not starting form the same place that all the trail guides do, or that I need to end somewhere different... nearly always end upmakingmy own route up from the map or these days even online.

Dec 6, 2011, 7:19pm

Thanks for the recommendation, reading_fox!

The Lake District has long been a dream hiking destination someday.

I don't think I've ever followed a hiking guide verbatim on any given trip myself either; no matter how well planned, there's just inevitably some spontaneous side excursion that trumps my "plans," and typically makes the adventure even better than it would have been otherwise. But I still like the guides for their ideas and the commentary of experienced travelers who've already explored unfamiliar terrain I'm about to venture into.

Edited: Jan 30, 2012, 5:03pm

The Adirondack Mountain Club guides to the Adirondacks and Catskills have always been topnotch. The best is no doubt Tony Goodwin's high peaks guide. Every trail is described well and measured with a surveyor's wheel. In the White Mountains of New Hampshire the AMC guide is also excellent, but thick because of the volume of trails and details.
The late Paul Jamieson's Adirondack Canoe Waters also published by the Adiriondack Mountain Club are my favorite guide of all. Paul was a very literate and descriptive writer but precise and certainly not wordy. It is a model of how to write a guide of any sort.