By Jessi Loerch
I went hiking three days in a row this weekend. For our third hike, we chose an easy-sounding trip. Four miles, 800 feet of gain and family friendly.
At least, that’s what the out-of-date guidebook we were looking at said.
What we actually found was a hike with a closed access road, adding a mile roundtrip, a trail with a number of very steep sections and a lake that was so clogged with log jams we couldn’t actually let my daughter play in the water. Oh, and the gain was actually a bit over 1,400 feet.
We still had a lovely time, but I won’t be forgetting my new guidebook on my kitchen table next time. I like having the freedom to plan a hike depending upon weather, energy and whim. You couldn’t do that well with an old guidebook, and Internet resources are useless in the woods.
Mountaineers Books recently released two new books in their Day Hiking series.
The first, “Day Hiking, Mount Adams and Goat Rocks,” by Tami Asars would have saved us this weekend. If I’d had that book with me I would have known the trail wasn’t a great choice for a 4-year-old and that swimming would be difficult. (We managed a quick dunk, but we had to do it without my daughter.)
The book includes 81 hikes in the Mount Adams, Indian Heaven and Goat Rocks Wildernesses. Each hike includes distance, elevation gain, hikeable season, GPS points, directions and a small map.
I especially appreciate the information on the elevation gain, which is cumulative. That, as well as the little maps, make planning a trip easy.
I’ve bookmarked many hikes in this book already. A number of them I’d never heard of, and I’m excited to give them a try. Asars is a pro, and her knowledge comes through in her book.
Second up is “Day Hiking, The San Juans and Gulf Islands,” by Craig Romano. I’m a big fan of Romano. He’s enthusiastic and energetic and his joy for hiking comes through in his writing.
His newest book has 136 hikes, a fabulous number for trail fans. Finding hikes in the San Juans can be a bit of a challenge, as so many of the tourism resources focus on the other activities on the islands. It’s nice to have one, compact volume that focuses just on hiking. He covers the biggest islands of course, but also writes about the smaller and lesser-known islands.
The hikes includes distance, elevation gain, GPS points, directions and a small map. Directions on how to get to the islands, including information on ferries, is included.
Romano also includes great little historical and cultural tidbits throughout the book. For example, did you know that the only casualty in the Pig War was, you guessed it, a pig.
Get your own copy
I have a one copy of each book to give to two lucky readers. To enter, leave a comment here, share this post from our Facebook page or post a link to this blog on Twitter. (Tag it #dayhikecontest so I can easily find you.) If you do all three, I’ll enter you three times. Good luck and happy hiking.