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Classic Hikes is a greatest hits of previous Mountaineers guidebooks for Washington, collecting in a single volume 100 hikes from the guides to the Alpine Lakes, North Cascades, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, and South Cascades and Olympics regions. The intelligence behind the selection comes from Ira Spring and Harvey Manning, who between them have more than 100 years of hiking experience in Washington. Owners of other Mountaineers guides will notice that the production values of this volume are even higher than usual; color maps and photos adorn high-quality (recycled) paper. At-a-glance information for easy browsing includes the following: mileage, suggested duration in hours or days, high point, elevation gain, seasonality, topo map codes, and additional contact information. The text synopses are colorful and politically opinionated (woe to the dirt biker who crosses paths with these two!). Their sense of tradition is also readily apparent: "To start with the ice cream and work through the meatballs and potatoes to the soup is not esthetic. Coming to the Enchantments by way of Aasgard is in very bad taste."
While avid hikers will have plenty to argue about concerning the sins of omission, it's hard to argue with the inclusion of Mount Rainier's Wonderland Trail, Whatcom Pass in the North Cascades, Image Lake in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, the Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and the Olympics' High Divide. These represent some of the most spectacular hikes in North America. The downside is that you're not likely to find solitude in such places, no matter how remote. But there are 95 more trails to choose from, many of similar scenic beauty and slightly less fame.
Worth purchasing for the photos alone. -- The News Tribune [Tacoma, WA]
The organization and detail in this book are amazing. They really provide lots of information to help select and prepare for going on the best hikes in the area. Read morePublished 18 months ago by D. Orr
The "descriptions" are weird, off-topic rants about unrelated topics. It has reprinted reviews from before major road and trail changes - so really out of date and kind of... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Stefanie R.
If you enjoy the outdoors in Washington state this book has some good trails. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a hiking trail.Published 20 months ago by Don Isenhart
I've hiked most of these trails but found the write ups worthless. They are so short as to be worthless.Published 23 months ago by Big Bob Mac
Please note that I am writing this review based on only one hike - the Chelan Lakeshore Trail. I have hiked this trail on two occasions, the last time just this Memorial Weekend. Read morePublished on June 4, 2013 by SpokaneMan
Ack, where is the overview map, showing the hike locations, in the Kindle version? It's a real challenge to use this book without it! :(Published on June 2, 2013 by hiker
Having hiked a large number of trails in this guide before buying it and then hiking it's recommendations exclusively for a summer I'm shocked by how many folks don't like this... Read morePublished on May 23, 2013 by Arc82
Loved this, very detailed and helpful for finding hidden and beautiful trails! Would suggest this book to anyone interested in hiking Washington.Published on February 4, 2013 by Athena Lindsey