- Series: 100 Classic Hikes
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Mountaineers Books; 4 edition (May 29, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1680510568
- ISBN-13: 978-1680510560
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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100 Classic Hikes: Northern California: Sierra Nevada, Cascades, Klamath Mountains, North Coast and Wine Country, San Francisco Bay Area Paperback – June 1, 2018
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John Soares' '100 Classic Hikes: Northern California' is a thoroughly 'user friendly' compendium of showcased trails that [is] thoroughly researched and includes 13 new hikes and 80 new color photos -- and even features detailed driving directions to every trail head, including GPS coordinates! (James A. Cox Midwest Book Review)
About the Author
JOHN SOARES is an outdoors book author and freelance writer who has lived nearly his entire life in Northern California. He began walking the hills near his Redding birthplace at the age of 5, later expanding his scope to day hike and backpack trails throughout the North State, including the Trinity Alps, the Mount Shasta area, Lassen Volcanic National Park, the Sierra Nevada, and the redwood coast.
He is the author of 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, fourth edition (The Mountaineers Books, 2018) and Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions (The Mountaineers Books, 2018), and he has written over 100 newspaper and magazine articles about outdoors travel. His extensive website NorthernCaliforniaHikingTrails.com contains detailed hike descriptions,photos, and maps, along with articles about safety and enjoyment in the outdoors.
As a freelance writer since 1992, John has written a wide variety of copy for businesses and nonprofits; find out more at JohnWrites.net. He also provides advice for freelance writers at ProductiveWriters.com, where he also sells ebooks and courses.
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The biggest improvement is the maps - gone are the flat drawings and tangled trail markings of the past, now replaced by straight-forward topographical maps with a clear route in red (with of course side trails, landmarks, roads, etc, all easy to take in at a glance). It would be nice if campsites were consistently marked (full-service campgrounds are usually depicted, others sometimes not), but they are mentioned in the text so it's not a dealbreaker. Another upgrade is the "Getting There" section with details on finding the trailhead, including GPS coordinates. An infobox contains details like 'best season to go' & elevation gain/difficulty, and accompanying trail descriptions are clear and informative. The trail selection is good too, with a varied sample across the state and a range of difficulties/distance.
As good as the book is, there are a few nitpicks - it's almost crazy to complain since so many iconic trails are covered, but I do think they missed a few classics: Grizzly Lake, Devil's Punchbowl / Wilderness Falls, Snow Mountain, the Palisades, Salt Point State Park, the Independence Trail near Nevada City (that flume!), Tinker Knob, some of the other approaches on Mt Shasta. There's definitely room, since there are eight(!) variations of similar (some almost identical) lake hikes in the Desolation Wilderness, plus nearly every possible trail near Lassen seems to be included - surely those could be condensed into several of the best, then pack a few more in the "Extend Your Trip" addendums at the end of each hike (which often just mention other hikes in the chapter - yes, we can already see them on the next page and on the maps - not very helpful). Variety is good! And while it's nice there are pictures for each hike, the quality doesn't quite measure up to the high standard found in the other "100 Classic Hikes" guides. There's always room for improvement!
That being said, this is a good option if you want a one-stop resource for NorCal. The binding and pages feel sturdy and high-quality, but the book is also bulkier and heavier than most - I'd probably use a copier for pages as needed. If you're from out of state and just visiting a certain area like Lake Tahoe, Lassen, Shasta, or San Francisco, I'd consider a more focused book - Falcon has reliable guides on National Parks and wildernesses, while "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles" has a good one for SF, and Moon publishes nice guides for both (the downside being no topograpical map). Hiking Northern California by Bubba Suess (what a name) is another great alternative/companion piece.