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Hiking Death Valley: A Guide to Its Natural Wonders and Mining Past Paperback – January 15, 2004
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Just about all the information is there to plan a lifetime of hiking in this region. After a few brief chapters dealing with natural (e.g., geography) and human history, plant and animal life, desert hiking tips, and NPS and other services, we get into the meat of the text--the various regions, which are divided as such:
Valley Floor and Alluvial Fans
Last Chance Range
Eureka, Saline, and Panamint Valleys
After a brief overview of each region (which includes a list of suggested hikes lasting between a few hours and two days), there are sub-chapters exploring significant areas within these larger regions. For instance, under the section called Last Chance Range, there is a piece about the Racetrack Valley. There is some general information about Racetrack Valley, such as road access, shortest and longest hikes, and main attractions. This is followed with five pages of more specific text, two black and white photos, elevations of various sites, and a map. This more or less repeats for every area of Death Valley. (I counted 69 total.) Understandably, with Death Valley being by far the largest national park in the lower 48, the book is quite comprehensive.Read more ›
This book takes it to the next level for me. It is excellently laid out, totally comprehensive regarding the hikes it discusses and has well-chosen photos, genuinely useful maps and lots of interesting illustrations. I particularly liked the sections on the Last Chance Range and the Panamints.
Most importantly the author exactly captures the appeal of the place - the space, the astonishing world of rock, the light and the solitude - and does a nice job of emphasizing the need for us desert users to practice the "minimum impact" approach without ramming it down our throats.
Finally, he has wisely left out a few "secrets" - it'd be tough to explore if *everything* was already in a book!
I got this book a few years ago, and it was a revelation of new opportunities and information about Death Valley backcountry. It was also one of the best hiking guides I have ever read. I cannot recommend it higher for someone interested in taking their exploration of Death Valley to a new level. It also has enough easy hikes that someone interested in dipping their toe into the world of desert wilderness exploration can still get a good taste of it, and also know that the particular hike will not expose them to dangers beyond their skill level.
It is not an ideal guide for a beginner, nor is it sufficient in and of itself to enjoy Death Valley. You would need a good overall map of the park -- the NPS topo map of the whole park is ideal for that purpose. You should also have some familiarity with the rigors of exploring desert wilderness -- the book seems to assume that the reader already has some of this background, though it does have a useful discussion of this subject. But for the enthusiast who already has this info or is already familiar with it, the book is incredible.
If you are a neophyte, don't be intimidated and not buy this book. It will serve as a wonderful portal to a world that you have heard about -- just be careful since desert wilderness exploration can be daunting.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you really want to explore death valley, this is a goldmine, well written and documented.Published 5 months ago by Bellbottom Dinosaur
Too dense for me to use as a travel guide. I want maps and bullet points, not detailed histories.Published 9 months ago by brian bole
You cannot go wrong with any book by Digonnet. This book covers all of Death Valley. If however you are going to be on the western side go with his other version which is specific... Read morePublished 21 months ago by ETAV8R
I go to DV often and this books covers it all. If you want to know all the great sites , buy this bookPublished 22 months ago by Gerardo A. Herrera