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Hiking in the USA (Lonely Planet Walking Guides) Paperback – 1 Jul 2000
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Includes coast-to-coast coverage of the finest hikes in the contiguous USA; custom-drawn, two-colour hikers' maps for all routes; expert guidance on equipment, itineraries, travel logistics, health and responsible camping; hikes of all standards; and a special section on flora and fauna.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Is over 10 years old, so some of the specifics of internet and lodge locals are a little dated. But a really good book!
One disappointment is discovering that it's only the continental US - no Hawaii, no Alaska.
One of the most unique aspects is that it focuses on a handful of the best hikes in the most scenic locations in the U.S., not just the best hikes in every state. Let's face it, the scenery in every state is not created equal! You would have to read 40 books and thousands of pages to try and figure out which hikes are the most most spectacular, the hikes most worth the effort that hiking and backpacking can demand. This is the only book I have come across that has done this for you and done a good job at selecting the some of the very best hikes.
Another unique aspect is the hiking maps, which I found very easy to read with out knowing anything about maps. I am sure that topographic maps are more detailed and required for wilderness survival, but these mini trail maps are user friendly and easy to understand without having mapping knowledge.
There are certainly many other great hikes in these and other locations, so I am hoping for a sequel. And also another edition that will follow the same format entitled "Hiking Our Planet!! Can I pre-order before it is written?
First, the book is geared almost exclusively towards the foreign traveler. It spends the first section of the book covering issues of concern to those unfamiliar with customs and practices of the United States. This was not the major difficulty I had with the book, however. The hikes and travel routes suggested all expected the reader to enter the park/trail from one side, hike through, and exit from another side of the park. In some parks there are shuttles provided to and from sections of the park (i.e. Zion), but in my experience that is the exception rather than the rule. Many of the hikes spanned twenty or more miles in a single direction and unless you had a car waiting on the other side of the park, they present a huge logistical difficulty for most people driving to their destinations.
I was very disappointed to find no round-trip backcountry hikes in this book and wound up returning it several days after purchasing it because it was useless to me. Serious hikers are better off consulting ranger stations at the individual parks to get detailed information on hikes. Rangers can advise you on what types of hikes are best for you based on your skill level and how long you want to be in the woods or on the trails. Though I can see how an international traveler might find some of the information valuable, this book was disappointing and impractical for my purposes. The useful information it provided can easily be found in a multitude of other sources.