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The best guidebooks, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on September 6, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.

Recent Guidebook Reviews

rated 5 of 5 stars
The Mountaineers Books Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail

Famous trail angel Barney "Scout" Mann takes readers through a riveting portrayal of his experience on the Pacific Crest Trail. In 2007, hundreds of eager hikers kicked up dust from the Mexico monument as they set foot on the Pacific Crest Trail. Among them were Barney "Scout" Mann and five other hikers he encountered along the way. In Journeys North, Scout includes snippets about trail romance, culture, humor, and exploration.   The eloquent narrative questions why one might hike 2650 miles… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Lake Tahoe Camping with Privacy

This is the most valuable resource I have found for selecting a good site for the night before a backpacking trip. The authors focus on campsites with privacy but include thorough descriptions, elevation, contact information, and driveway length. With Lake Tahoe Camping With Privacy: Your Guide To The Most Private Campsites Near Tahoe, Truckee, Sly Park, Union Valley Reservoir, And Beyond the Wilkes have added to their collection of private campsites in the Sierra with their most recent book on… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Westwater Books Belknap's Waterproof Canyonlands River Guide

A classy, cargo pocket-sized, waterproof guide to over 350 miles of the Green and Colorado Rivers through and above Canyonlands National Park, with detailed maps, illustrations, and text on the region’s colorful geology and history. Works well as a stand-alone guide for river trips. In the winter of 2018, during our year-long residence in Tuscson, my wife and I decided to splurge on a 6-day guided raft/dory trip on the Colorado River from near Moab, Utah, down through Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Falcon Guides Paddling America: Discover and Explore Our 50 Greatest Wild and Scenic Rivers

“Paddling America: Discover and Explore Our 50 Greatest Wild and Scenic Rivers” showcases some of the best paddling experiences in the USA. It also aims to increase awareness for the conservation and protection of natural river systems, with a focus on these designated rivers, protected under the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The 50 featured rivers span the country but are most heavily concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, California, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana regions. Many of the rivers… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Falcon Guides Sierra Summits: A Guide to Fifty Peak Experiences in California's Range of Light

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

rated 4 of 5 stars
Falcon Guides Paddling the John Wesley Powell Route: Exploring the Green and Colorado Rivers

"Paddling the John Wesley Powell Route" is a meta-guidebook to 1,700 miles of river and reservoir in the footsteps (well, oarstrokes) of Powell, who led the first expedition down the Green and Colorado rivers through the Grand Canyon. It's a valuable planning resource for everything from day trips to the whole exhausting journey, but too general for day-to-day details. Aficionados of the desert Southwest know the scene: 1869. John Wesley Powell, a one-armed Civil War veteran, seated in a wooden… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Cicerone Press Walking the West Highland Way

Compact and lightweight, yet it comes with a protective plastic cover and a map booklet reproducing Ordnance Survey mapping for the entire route. Sets the standard for other guidebook publishers. This guidebook is compact at 7 x 4.75 inches The contents of this Cicerone Press guidebook by Terry Marsh are fairly standard. There is a description of the route with 1:100,000 maps, as well as historical and general information about the towns, villages, and other landmarks that are encountered along… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
National Geographic John Muir Trail Topographic Map Guide

If you are contemplating thru-hiking the John Muir Trail (or any section of it), this John Muir Trail Topographic Map Guide does an excellent job of gathering all the needed information for planning, plus having detailed maps of the entire trail and surrounding terrain. Comparison of size of National Geographic Yosemite map with the John Muir Trail Topographic Map Guide (USGS 1:250,000 map in background) Background: I have to confess up front that, despite having hiked and climbed on all seven continents,… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Falcon Guides Backpacker The National Parks Coast to Coast: 100 Best Hikes

A great resource for 100 of the most iconic hikes in our National Parks. Excellent skills sections. Beta on each hike from finding the trailhead to GPS coordinates. With the celebration of the 100th anniversary of our National Parks this year, it is timely to see the publication of the hiking guide The National Parks Coast to Coast, 100 Best Hikes. I was quite intrigued to see what hikes would be considered 100 of the best hikes of our National Parks. This nicely organized book starts with a two-page… Full review