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Top Trails: Yosemite: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone (Top Trails: Must-Do Hikes) Paperback – March 12, 2007


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Top Trails: Yosemite: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone (Top Trails: Must-Do Hikes) + 206- Yosemite National Park (Ti - National Parks) + Yosemite: The Complete Guide: Yosemite National Park
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Product Details

  • Series: Top Trails: Must-Do Hikes
  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Wilderness Press; 1 edition (March 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0899974252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899974255
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...this hiker's companion is an important addition to any travel library." -- Coast Views Magazine, May 2007

"If you'd like to experience backcountry wonders that can't be seen from car windows, check [this book] out..." -- Fresno Bee, May 5, 2007

"[Schaffer's] love for Yosemite National Park and its backcountry charms comes through, backed by a good-natured authority." -- Sacramento Bee, February 7, 2008

From the Author

Jeffrey P. Schaffer made his first backpacking trip in a 1962 traverse of the Grand Canyon, at age 19. The following year the climbing frenzy seized him, which lasted until about 1972, some 200 roped ascents later. In that year he began working on his first book for Wilderness Press, The Pacific Crest Trail. Between then and the late 1980s, he was the sole or principal author of 12 guidebooks, and had mapped about 4000 miles of trail for his books and 15' topographic maps. Wilderness Press books authored or coauthored by Jeff include Hiker's Guide to the High Sierra: Yosemite, The Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California, The Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California, The Pacific Crest Trail, Vol. 2: Oregon and Washington, Yosemite National Park, Desolation Wilderness and the South Lake Tahoe Basin, The Tahoe Sierra, and The Geomorphic Evolution of the Yosemite Valley and Sierra Nevada Landscape.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Well structured and very useful.
Vladislav Georgiev
The idea was to give visitors to a region quick access to the best hiking and to facilitate ease of use.
Fritz R. Ward
This book is a reference manual that will definitely see repeat use on my return trips to the park.
Michael K

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Fritz R. Ward TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wilderness Press originally conceived of the 'Top Trails' series as a set of hiking guides to the best trails in an area. This purpose sets these volumes apart from typical hiking guides which tend to fall into two categories: comprehensive guides to all trails in a region, or descriptions of short day hiking opportunities in an area. The idea was to give visitors to a region quick access to the best hiking and to facilitate ease of use. Perhaps no area of California needs a 'Top Trails' guide as much as Yosemite and very few authors are as qualified to write one as Jeffrey Schaffer.

This book is divided into seven chapters: one for each region of the park. Each chapter lists 5 to 8 hikes ranging in distance from the 1/2 mile walk at Bridalveil Falls to a 33 mile excursion among the High Sierra Camps. Obviously, some of these trails are more suitable for backpacking, a feature that distinguishes this book from others in the 'Top Trails' series. All the great hikes are included. Readers will find route descriptions for Half Dome, the Tuolomne Grove of Sequoias (my favorite grove in the park), Clouds Rest, Hetch Hetchy Resevoir, Glacier Point, and many more. In all, there are 45 trails and routes described here.

What makes this book so good are the standard features found in other 'Top Trails' guides and the expert commentary of Schaffer. Each chapter begins with an overview of the region, a trails summary page listing distance, difficulty, and some highlights of the trails, followed by detailed trail descriptions and carefully drawn maps. Schaffer is one of the top cartographers in the west and his maps are second to none.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sierra nomad on December 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Schaffer has authored many hiking books, and also a very comprehensive book on Yosemite Geology. This is at least his second on hiking in Yosemite, and is my favorite. His is the voice of authority. I have read many books on Yosemite, because of having authored a DVD Hiking Guide to Yosemite (Yosemite National Park (Jon's Hiking Guides)). Mr. Schaffer's books have influenced the DVD more than any others.

Up until the release of this book, my favorite Yosemite hiking book was "A Natural History Guide to Yosemite and its Trails" also written by Mr. Schaffer. The potential drawback with "Natural History Guide", though, is that it covers (literally, I believe) EVERY Yosemite trail. All this information could be more than a little overwhelming to a Yosemite "newbie" trying to find the best trails.

The answer is this book. Every one of the trails in this book is "World Class". They are all excellent choices. And they run the gamut from easy to very strenuous. Buy this book, you won't be disappointed.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David S. Aichinger on September 14, 2010
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This is by far THE best hiking guide if you plan on doing day hikes or extended hikes at Yosemite. I planned a trip from Chicago to Yosemite for 14 months and ready every book out there in advance to my trip and this one is by far the best. 1) The trail descriptions are incredibly accurate 2) It includes an incredibly detailed map of every hike. There were a few times we got a bit crossed up out there and having this book and a compass was all I needed. 3) The way this book approaches/describing elevation gain for hikes is different than any other book. For example...Hikes at Yosemite may climb 800 feet then dip 800 feet then climb 800 feet, truly netting you only 800 feet in elevation gain in total...which is what all other books will state. That's deceiving because in the scenario i described, you're actually climbing 800 feet TWICE. This is significant when planning and understanding hike difficulty. The book also includes a visual of the elevation ups and downs as well!! Awesome!!! 4) Hike difficulty ratings: You'll have to hike a trail first and compare your personal impression with how the book rated it. (i.e. I thought it was STRENUOUS but the book rated it MODERATE. Keeping that in mind, the ratings are VERY CONSISTENT across all hikes in the book itself. Just don't compare a MODERATE hike from the "Top Trails Yellowstone Book" to a MODERATE hike from the "Top Trails Yosemite Book". They won't compare. Different park, different hikes, different author rated them. Both are consistent tho. Don't leave your campsite without this book in your pack. It's was my bible for 10 days! I can't wait to go back!!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Scott Davis on September 16, 2008
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This is a great guide to the most popular hikes in Yosemite. His previous book that I love is Yosemite National Park, A Natural History Guide to Yosemite and It's Trails. This book has less about the flora and fuana, but adds much needed trail maps and elevation diagrams. You won't find anyone that knows Yosemite better than Mr. Schaffer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Berna on September 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yosemite has so much to offer, and many guides (e.g. from AAA, Fodors, etc.) provide suggestions for driving through the park and taking short hikes. This book recommends the TOP hikes (up to 26 miles for back-packers) based on beauty, popularity and accessibility.

Each of the 45 trails described contains clear directions to the trail-head, map and elevation profile, expert description of the trail and best times of the year to hike the particular trail.

Trails are rated according to difficulty (1 is usually 2 miles or less, relatively level, "bring grandparents or grandkids"), level 2 can be completed in one to four hours, up to level 4 and 5 where one will want to back-pack and stay one or more nights along the trail.
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