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on 12 March 2015
Old copy - pennies short - but always wanted to go to Alaska - too old and poorly now but love these Guides - stumbled on them by accident and have over a dozen now - reading them cover to cover like a novel, learning loads and generally deciding not to go!! Get completely lost in them a nd can imagine every scene and place - great for dreaming and were I young and able would certainly pay the full cost of these books for the pre-trip info they contain....when finished in Alaska will be off to Austria, Croatia and Germany - and all from the comfort of my settee with no worries, cost or packing......it's the life for me!!! Squirrel 59 - Thurs 12.3.15 - Only complaint I have about them all, print tends to be small and rather faint so those with sight loss beware....
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2007
Ok, well first this is a good book in general it covers a huge amount of topics that are all extemely useful when travelling in Alaska. I had a wonderful time and I'm very glad I took the time to do some research before going and in this area the book proved invaluable. It covers everything from places to stay/camp (I was camping), eat, shower, laundry, internet, shop, activities (hiking, rafting, climbing, museums and gallerys), etc - you get the picture it's very comprehensive.

But (yep...there is a but) don't blindly trust the book, rather foolishly and after taking several recommended hikes from the book my friend and I took a hike up near Chena Springs - the book described it as an easy to moderate 13 mile hike with stunning views and especially beautiful in the mist 5-7 hours.

The day started out misty but actually became sunny which was fortunate, the hike was a nightmare to navigate with many of the paths disappearing completely for large sections due to the frequent forrest fires that occur in that area of Alaska. Both of us have done a fair amount of hiking, can map read and we we're well prepared in terms of water, food, clothing and equipment (just in case). However, we did get lost on two occasions and much of the terrain (especially the steep decent back) was very dangerous.

When we got back to our vehicle, we took some time to review the information boards around the park area, mostly they had the usual stuff (bear warnings, rock climbing warnings, etc) - but one of the warnings was more specific to the hike (I can't remember the exact words) but it was to the effect:

"The hike is difficult, and should take between 8-10 hours, be prepared to camp overnight as the weather can change quickly and misty/foggy conditions make the hike very hazardous. Naviagation inparticular can be very difficult and hikers should have good map reading skills"

I mean I know it's our fault for not reading the sign before we walked the hike, and that it was poor prep, but the book is clearly wrong and it's advice is very miss leading in this case, and as we discovered from that point on in several other references.

My advice, the book is a very useful source (so may be 3 stars is a bit harsh), but for hikes the best advice is always available free from the many ranger stations dotted along the highways.
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