Industrial-Sized Deals Shop all Back to School Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums $5 Off Fire TV Stick Off to College Essentials Shop Popular Services pivdl pivdl pivdl  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Big Savings in the Amazon Fall Sportsman Event Learn more
Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian trail and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
  • List Price: $10.95
  • Save: $1.47 (13%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Skywalker--Close Encounte... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail Paperback – March 12, 2011

307 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$7.98 $7.97
$9.48 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail + AWOL on the Appalachian Trail + Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide To Thru-Hike the Appalachian Trail (Volume 1)
Price for all three: $30.30

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


"Walker's description of his fellow hikers is the best part of this fine book. He has a real talent for capturing human foibles."  Smokey Mountain Book Review, Jeff Minnick

"Ruthlessly self-deprecating. It's a winning tone." Sarasota Herald-Tribune
, Tom Becnel

"I was surprised at his honesty. I respect his dealing with the subject of trail romance the way he dealt with it and not using graphic descriptions." Village Journal

This book is such a delight to read because of his fondness for people, and his talent for capturing it all in words." Appalachian Long-Distance Hiking Association

Skywalker writes a great read on my favorite trail. I have read dozens of trail writes and this is the best so far. Highly recommend.
                                                          Don Carter

One of the best books about through-hiking the Appalachian Trail -- and I've read a bunch of these. "Skywalker," being 6'11" tall, had to deal with some unique problems in backpacking -- like finding a sleeping bag long enough to be useful. A fascinating read, with many wonderful stories about folks he met along the way! Rick Hutto

Skywalker is a great writer of hiking and walking experiences. Try his other books on Annapurna and Way of St. James.  Ron LaSalle

From the Author

Some have joked that this book is as much about what NOT to do, as what to do. Skywalker couldn't agree more!

See all Editorial Reviews
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 60%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1460999428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1460999424
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bill Walker attended the University of Georgia where he received a Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree in Accounting. He spent the two most boring years of his life as a tax accountant at Arthur Andersen in Atlanta.

Walker then became a commodities broker for the next fourteen years, first at the Chicago Board of Trade, then at the London International Financial Futures Exchange. That was anything but boring. But in 2001, the entire business was computerized. It was again time to sharply change course.

Walker became a VISTA volunteer and was the welfare-reform coordinator for the South Texas region. He then moved to Latin America where he taught English as a Second Language in five different countries.

In 2005, he thru-hiked the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail. Upon completion, he wrote Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail. This book has sold steadily on In 2009, Walker hiked the 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail. He recently published a narrative of that journey called, Skywalker--Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail, which is the number one selling book on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Walker, who is 6'11", is currently working on a book on the subject of height. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By P.J. on June 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, imagine being 6 feet, 11 inches tall.

You live your life above most people and some tree lines. People ask you "How's the weather up there?"

Maybe you can even get some classic one-liners, such as:

"You're so tall that the giraffes got jealous!"


"You're so tall that even in the summer time you still have snow on your head!"

That last one might actually be a little more relevant to the book I'm reviewing. See, Bill Walker is 6-11. But the difference is, he set out to hike the Appalachian Trail, a trail that runs more than 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine. A novice hiker at the start, Walker, whose trail name is Skywalker based on his height and his last name, learns so much on this trail during his hike. He's funny, witty and, at times, puts himself in situations that you can't help but feel a bit sorry for him.

After all, it isn't easy doing something like this in the first place. But being 6-11 and barely 220 pounds makes it even harder.

Skywalker -- Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail is his story about his hike.

Bill's quest takes him through all sorts of weather and tribulations -- including trying to stay warm or even fit into tents and set up tarps. It shows the hard side of the trail, but it also shows the light side. His interactions and descriptions of the people he meets on the trail are excellent and well-done. He holds no punches, either, which I liked. More on that later.

This book is a perfect book about the trail. History, personal stories and description make this a fine read.

Now for my thoughts...


This book was a page-turner.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Blanchard on March 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What is the proper protocol when confronting a bear in the wild? Does one run, play dead, or talk the bear into leaving? SKYWALKER leaves one convinced that Bill Walker could not only convince the bear to stick around, he could probably talk it into sharing a beer with him. This wonderful read is down-to-earth and connects the readers with the reality of what it takes to walk 2,200 miles through the Appalachian region in a summer.
His story is engaging and quite funny.
Mr. Walker sets out on this journey as most do, with little experience and way too much information. It seems everybody he deals with is an expert on how to hike the trail, even if they have never set foot in the woods.
His personal encounters with the variety of folks on the trail make for a very intriguing story, one that captivates the reader, right from the first page. Hikers get "trail names", or nicknames, and some of his friends can make you really wonder about the folks on the trail: "Nurse Ratchet, "The Gang Of Ten", "Mayfly", "Crucible", and "Colonel Mustard", just to name a few, give a "Disneyesque" atmosphere to the every day grind that is a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. As for Bill's name "Skywalker", at six-feet, eleven-inches, and a last name of "Walker", it was a natural!
Allow some time to sit down and really enjoy this adventure, you'll be glad you did.
Oh, and as for the bear, you'll have to read the book to find out for yourself!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael & Ruth Went on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
We encountered Skywalker early on in his 2005 Applachain Trail hike and enjoyed his company as we leapfrogged each other for about a week. We were delighted to later read his book. Skywalker's story telling is quite entertaining, factual, and a true-to-life experience all hikers go through don the trail. His account of the trail accurately describes the friendships made, the hardships endured and spiritualness discovered from long-distance hiking. It is worth reading for those interested in hiking all or part of the Appalachian Trail.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been reading first-hand accounts written by through-walkers of the Appalachian Trail for quite some time now and have quite a large stack of them. The trail and the folks who hike it rather fascinate me. There is an old saying that "Everyone should hike their own Hike," which is often used by through hikers. Well the same could be said about these hikers who write books about their experiences - "Everyone should write there own story." I say this because I am not one of those people who constantly compare one hiker's book to another. I feel it is not really fare to compare this author to say the work of Bill Bryson's, "A Walk in the Woods." Hey, Bryson is a best selling professional author. Bill Walker is a professional accountant. Each through walk is an extremely, and in many way, intimate experience and each account is written by folks with different writing skills, styles, thoughts, goals and dreams.

Anyway...I found this account, which is written by a middle age man with little to no hiking skills and who had never spent a night alone in the woods, to be absolutely fascinating. Walker, when he started his walk, was almost absolutely clueless. This takes guts. Granted, some might call it recklessness but still and all I had to admire the guy. This is a very long hike which starts in Georgia and ends in Maine. It takes several months for the average hiker to complete and the trail passes through a wide variety of terrain, most of it on the hostile side. To complete this hike; and few actually accomplish this goal, one must have an iron will and be extremely physically fit. While the hike is completed by people in many age groups, it is usually the younger hikers that complete the trail.

My wife and I have been hiking for over 50 years now.
Read more ›
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail
This item: Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail
Price: $9.48
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: anything considered (book), nurse backpack, rei tents, rei tent, a walk in the woods bryson