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Yosemite National Park (Lonely Planet Travel Guides) Paperback – 1 Mar 2003
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Planning: The book does a very nice job giving you phone numbers, camp locations, amenities, and tips on which sites will fill up first. This really is the most important, especially if you want to camp at a popular location or want to do overnight hikes in one of the more popular destinations. If you want to stay in one of the valley hotels think a year in adavance (at least), camping in the valley needs reservations 6-8 months in advance.
Trip descriptions: For the places I visited the descriptions were thorough but not overwhelming in detail. The book has both short trips (1-3 days) as well as longer excursions, but many of these can be abbreviated to suit your needs.
Maps: You will certainly need your own big topo map when on the hike, but the maps here (and in other Lonely Planet guides) are among the best you will find in this sort of guide. First they are topographic, which helps you with overall planning, even if you will eventually make use of a big map later on. Second, the maps are in two colors, which facilitates reading immensely. Finally, the printing is fine and crisp. Some other guides have blurry reproductions of USGS maps that look like they were printed onto a paper towel.
Other: The book is compact and lightweight. If you are an obsessive type you could carry it along on your hike without adding too much weight.
Overall, this is a great guide to aid in planning a trip to the region, especially those on their first couple of excursions to the region. For those who want more details on other trips check out Sierra North and Sierra South, as well as books by Mike White, R. J. Secor, and Steve Roper.
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