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Hiking the Southwest's Canyon Country Paperback – December 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books; 2nd edition (December 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898864925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898864922
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,388,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With its first-rate information on how to make your trip to the American Southwest's Canyon Country a safe and pleasant one, this is an excellent guidebook. But if you're interested in learning more about the geology, archeology, native cultures, and natural splendors of red rock territory along the way, it's downright indispensable.

In this new edition, six completely revised two- and three-week trip itineraries give information on some of the high desert's most enjoyable trails and breathtaking scenic attractions in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. For each trip cluster, Hinchman provides handy, easy-to-read maps and enticing photographs, along with natural and human history of the area, basic geologic and archeological history, and an overview of the area's climate and plant and animal life. Hikers will come to understand and appreciate, for instance, the Anasazi dwellings at Mesa Verde as well as the natural forces that converged to create the Grand Canyon.

Whether planning to stake out whimsical hoodoos in Goblin Valley, explore Chaco Canyon, or feast your eyes on any number of cliffs, arches, and petroglyphs, this is one guidebook you'll be glad you packed.

Review

A proven resource for anyone heading for an outing on the Colorado Plateau, rendered even more useful with welcomed updates. --New Mexico

Easy to read...excellent maps. --[Klamath Falls, OR] Herald and News

These tours feature hikes, rafting trips, scenic drives, backpacks, and visits to archaeological sites. --Sweat magazine

Easy to read...excellent maps. --[Klamath Falls, OR] Herald and News

These tours feature hikes, rafting trips, scenic drives, backpacks, and visits to archaeological sites. --Sweat magazine --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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The text index is sketchy, but the index maps are excellent.
Peter D. Tillman
This book gives you a great geographic feel for the area you are planning to visit and the information about what opportunities you can explore.
David Mcclurg
A great big thank you to Ms. Hinchman for writing a hiking book for the rest of us.
Robert S. Wright

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Charles M. Nobles VINE VOICE on March 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Mountaineers Books may just be the best publisher of guidebooks for the Southwest currently being published. I realize this is a strong statement, but I have had occasion to use Southwest related guidebooks for years and have found theirs to be absolutely the most informative, accurate and user-friendly of the lot. This third edition of a classic is no exception. The 150-plus hikes, 35 new to this edition, are described in seven chapters ranging from Desert Reef and River Tours, Mesa and Pueblo Tours, to Painted Desert and Canyon Tours and will take the reader from the Colorado Plateau to the Grand Canyon, from Zion and Bryce Canyon National parks to the banks of the Rio Grande, and just about every nook and cranny in between. If it's in the Four Corners region and remotely worth visiting, the chances are it's mentioned in this book. The newly added material on the San Rafael Swell area, as well as the Canyons of the Ancients, indicates the up-to-date status of the material.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a suggested hike in the newly designated Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in New Mexico. I visited the area this past summer and can vouch for the accuracy of the information.

Along with the hiking information there is background material on the region's geology, archeology, climate, flora and fauna there is an index, maps, color and black and white photos, a handy Contact information section for federal, state and local agencies and a suggested Further Readion section.

This is a comprehensive guidebook and trustworthy companion for hikers, backpackers, explorers and adventures of all skill levels seeking to experience the Four Corners region.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alberto Vargas VINE VOICE on June 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I got this book at my local REI, it was the best they had on the four corners area. That said, it falls short of the standards set by many other hiking or travel books:

1. I wish the maps were better. It made me think that most of the famous arches in Arches NP were in the Fiery Furnace area, while in fact they are not there -- just the map is rather crude.
2. I wish it had better overall area maps with clearly marked areas of interest etc. Something to help better plan your trip if you only have a long weekend at your disposal. The book is organized instead in multi-day linear itineraries which seemed at best arbitrary and useless to me.
3. Does not mention (beyond a couple of sentences) some obvious top spots like Antelope Canyon and other slot canyons in Arizona.
4. No ratings of hikes according to scenic-ness. Many other books do this and I appreciate it. Although the SW is usually great, some hikes and sights are way more impressive than others.
5. Black-and-white photos of the colorful Southwest (almost a crime!), and no photos of many of the landmarks...

In a nutshell, you should already know where you want to go (from reading on internet etc) and then pick up this book to glean some more detail. And then go again on the internet and search some more to determine if the specific sights are worth it.

UPDATE (July 2007):

After my second consecutive trip to the Southwest, I am impressed how comprehensive this book is. If something is worth *hiking* it will be in there, and sometimes the directions to the trailhead will be better than the "official" ones in the BLM / NPS leaflets. So my opinion of the book is somewhat higher, plus its idiosyncrasies grew on me.

That said, the weaknesses remain:

- organization is abysmal (although the index in the back helps a bit)
- maps are relatively bad
- not enough photos, B/W mostly, quality is rel. low
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter D. Tillman VINE VOICE on September 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an unusual guidebook, in that the author lays out a series of suggested itineraries for the Colorado Plateau country, sized for a 2-3 week vacation. This would be an ideal guidebook for a first-time hiker-visitor to the US Southwest. But old hands won't feel left out, or condescended to -- Hinchman writes clearly and directly, and knows her stuff. She notes that her guidebook is directed towards the "non-jock" reader.

I've been to many of the places and specific hikes that she recommends, and I saw no errors, though I haven't yet used her guidebook in the field. The cartography, by Hannah Hinchman, is unusually good for a small-format guidebook. About the only flaw I noted was that about half of the color photos are poorly reproduced. The text index is sketchy, but the index maps are excellent. Previous Mountaineers guidebooks have been sturdily-bound and hold up well in the field. Highly recommended.

Happy hiking--

Peter D. Tillman

Desert Rat
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ruskin VINE VOICE on February 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
This guide is excellent in many respects: the maps are well-drawn without drowning in detail, the multi-day itineraries are useful (but by no means necessary and can be broken into day trips), and the descriptions of the trails and the many photos let you know that you are on track. (Never underestimate the utility of a good photo to help you get your bearings.)

This is a hiker's guidebook--thick paper and glossy covers ensure it can handle occasional moisture and repeated stuffings into packs. The book's strengths are is comprehensiveness and its detail. The focus is on the southwest canyon country--a large area indeed, but nearly every worthy hike is discussed and each with enough detail to ensure no highlights are missed.

Finally, the author provides a good summary of the archaeological finds--including the amazing, ancient petroglyphs and pictographs--you will see along the way. If you are going to be hiking in the canyon country of the southwest, this is the book to have.
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