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Falcon Guides Sierra Summits: A Guide to Fifty Peak Experiences in California's Range of Light

photo: Falcon Guides Sierra Summits: A Guide to Fifty Peak Experiences in California's Range of Light us pacific states guidebook

This book is the perfect introduction to climbing relatively easy peaks in Yosemite and the Sierra. No climbing gear required.


  • Description of climbs
  • Maps
  • Photos
  • History of the area
  • Personal anecdotes


  • For those wanting harder climbs, another resource will be necessary

Finally, an accessible book for newbie climbers. I'm an experienced hiker and backpacker, but peak bagging has always represented another level of adventure. Sierra Summits, by Matt Johanson, offers a collection of achievable climbs for the casual day hiker, those who want to introduce peaks to kids, and some to challenge those ready for more.

In my first pass through the book, I picked out a few peaks I want to climb. I already have a five-day backpacking trip planned for Yosemite and now I'm going to add Sentinel Dome to the hike. One hour, 2.4 miles round trip, and I'll be able to stand on the top of the world? Perfect. It's the first one listed in the Yosemite National Park Section, which means it's the easiest as the peaks are listed in order of difficulty by area.

None of the regular Class 1-3 hikes requires ropes or special equipment. The California-based author discusses these definitions and covers additional introductory information in the book. Bonus peaks that may be more difficult or involve longer approaches are mentioned at the end of each chapter for those who desire more of a challenge.

Snippets of history accompany each hike, in addition to other insights. I particularly enjoyed the author's memories of climbing with his father, who set the stage for his son's appreciation of the Sierra. Each region has an introduction to the area. Beautiful photographs and maps are included for each peak in the review copy that I received. This book for beginner climbers is a unique addition to the trail guides and climbing guides for technical climbers that are available.


I'm an experienced backpackers so I have lots of experience evaluating guidebooks and maps.

Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (I kept the product after testing.)

Disclosure: The reviewer received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review.

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Price MSRP: $24.95
Historic Range: $24.95
Author Matt Johanson
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