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I like this book, but don't buy it. I have tried twice to get Amazon.com to correct their listing and have failed. There is a book, 120 Great Hikes and its ISBN is 1565794907 but there is a newer book by the same authors. The new book, 140 Great Hikes has been published and its ISBN is 9781565794900.
A few weeks ago Amazon listed it correctly and I bought it, but they shipped me the 120 Great Hikes book which I had to return, I already owned it. Now they have succeeded in somehow not selling the updated book but sending you to this listing if you put in the new books ISBN.
Wait until they get this figured out. I live in Palm Desert and the stores here are deeply discounting the 120 Great Hikes book and carrying the 140 Great Hikes book at the same time. Don't know why Amazon doesn't do that too.
This book definitely motivates and excites you to hike the Coachella Valley and surroundings, however, be very careful with the directions given. I have tried 3 hikes from the book and 2 we were lost for quite some time. Your best bet is to mapquest the directions or certainly call ahead. The author really could have done better in this area as your interested in hiking not driving!!
I should start by saying that I am an AVID hiker and mapping/gps enthusiast.
This book is great for looking for ideas of where to hike, but I have consistently found the trail descriptions and maps provided to poorly describe the terrain. It really is a fantastic piece of research, but contains many inaccuracies, and is easily misleading. Essentially: only half of what you want from a good guide. I would hazard any would-be-user to bone up on your map-reading skills, and do tons of research before using this guide on any hike.
On one occasion, I hiked off hwy 74, and there were SEVERAL large gates along the trail. The trail description states that we were to cross the 'large gate'. If I did not have my gps with me we would have been totally lost. The first trail lead south, back to the highway, and would have easily taken us many miles in the wrong direction.
In general the vague 'waymarks' (described points and intersections where trails wander off in new directions), were very badly described.
While the book brags that it is 'gps friendly', this is honestly not the case. I would suggest to the authors that actual gps tracks would be fantastic (simply downloadable? on a CD?). These were obviously recorded by the authors, but the data provided is not intuitive. For example, in 'The Grottos' description, coordinates are often given for semi-random points in the trail, rather than at every trail junction. Ultimately, the book has tremendous promise, but fails in it's mission to be comprehensive, or, honestly, all that practical for all but preliminary research. And yet it IS a good research for initial research. Ultimately, however, even paired with the responsible use of tools such as GPSrs, the book lacks the clarity or polish it deserves.
I'm afraid this book falls short of it's title. Maps are often out of scale, inverted and in this day and age of iphone ease, this printed version falls far short. Trail heads are not marked nearly well enough in the 'back of napkin' maps. There is no pull out grand map. There is no associated CD. Save your money and go grab a $7 chart from the Santa Rosa and St Jacinto Mountains Information Center on Hwy 74 to learn of trail locations and scaled charts.
The pictures are nice, the directions for trail heads ,ok....But, thats all...Lenghts are incorrect...He needs to actually chart the distances, not guess... Don't waste your $ on this book...Better maps out there.
This is an excellent comprehensive list of various hikes in and around Palm Springs. The book does a great job giving an idea of the varying kinds of hikes, from easy to quite strenuous. The hikes are also broken down by category (good with kids, old gold mines, etc.) as well as by location.
There are two things which keep this book from rating 5 stars. First, the directions to some of the trailheads are poorly written and vague. Also, the maps which accompany the text are of questionable accuracy. We found one map printed upside down, one that showed a non-existent trail junction, etc. Use this book for ideas and to get a general sense of the hike you are interested in, then get yourself a good map (locally, see Desert Map and Aerial Photography in Rancho Mirage) for when you are out walking.
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The ultimate reference for residents in Palm Springs or in the Coachella Valley. It covers treks in the San Jacinto Mountains, Coachella Preserve, and other local areas. Hikes are also given difficulty ratings, from easy to strenuous. Each of the 120 hikes are given descriptions on how to locate it, if there are any scenenic views, and other recommendations. The trails in the Coachella Preserve are described in full, inspiring detail. Beautiful photographs of the hikes are shown next to each insert, making for a classic reference. Fern Canyon, one of the best known hikes in Thousand Palms, is beautifully photographed and given a worthy description. The very best guide for outdoor lovers.