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Olympic Mountains Trail Guide: National Park & National Forest 3rd Edition Paperback – May 1, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Whether you're planning an actual trip to the Olympic Mountains or searching for the vicarious thrills of a smart guidebook, Robert L. Wood's encyclopedic knowledge of this enchanting wilderness at the edge of the Pacific will inform and enthrall. This is not a quickie job: the author has hiked every one of the trails he details here (over a hundred) backwards and forwards, most of them more than once, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Before you know it you'll be an expert too--rattling off, for instance, peaks visible from Dodger Point (Rainier, Olympus, the Bailey Range), and the name for the "noisy chatter" along the Putvin Trail (Whitehorse Creek). Divided into two main sections--Leeward and Windward--this handy guide covers the bulk of national forest and parklands worth venturing into. Concise yet thorough, it includes all the necessities--elevation, mileage, maps, landmarks, vegetation, and possible wildlife sightings--in an easy-to-read format. A must for the would-be visitor and armchair adventurer both. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books; 3 edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898866189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898866186
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Don't purchase this information-dense book thinking you're going to get something that you can use like a Spring and Manning "100 Hikes" guide, with their 100 pre-planned trips. Instead, this book is best used by getting a map first, finding a potentially interesting trail, and then looking it up in the book (it'll be in there!). What you'll find then will be a wealth of information about the trail for planning your trip.
The book also includes fairly detailed information about climbing Mt Olympus in an appendix.
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Format: Paperback
I have done about 80 hikes or climbs in the Olympics in the past two years. I think every description I have used in this book has been accurate. It includes some handy small scale maps as well. The Olympics is one of the best places to hike, winter or summer, and Woods is certainly the expert on the hikes and the history. A must for anyone who is even considering a hike of any length in the Olympics. Like one other reviewer implied, this book is way beyond the simple hike books that simply describe the popular hikes.
Add this book to "Climber's Guide to the Olympic Mountains" by the Olympic Mountain Rescue and you will have everything you need to explore the Olympic Mountains on foot.
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Format: Paperback
This is not your average modern hiking guide with detailed maps, charts of elevation, photographs and how-to's with the discovery done for you, in advance. What Bob Wood has done is to write a scholarly book that happens to be a fine companion on a hike in the Olympic Mountains. It is common to find a hiker sitting near a rock at Marmot Lake, at Three Prune or Home Sweet Home or under a particularly unusual tree or flower paging through the book. It is quite common to over-hear a hiker saying, "Well, accoring to Bob Wood, the trail is easier whern you go north to south." Bob should know the Olympic Mountain trails because he has hiked over 1000 miles of them, in both directions at least one time and he makes extremely exact, if not scholarly, notes on flora and fauna, adds historical notes in just the right amount, adding caution, humor and some personal observations. But he keeps himself out of it and leaves the discovery to you. The true beauty of this book -- and you can call it a classic -- is that it lets the reader, or the hiker, discover the magic of LaCrosse Basin, Honeymoon Meadow and the thousands of bends in the hundreds of trails in this beautiful national park. You'll be enthralled reading this book at home in the winter as you will when you pull it out on the Skyline Trail to see where the Elk will cross the trail. It is factual, extremely helpful -- if not vital -- in the hands of the experienced hiker on a Bailey Range Traverse as it is in the hands of the day hiker, venturing out for the first time. Best of all, the Olympic Mountain Trail Guide does not take away the surprise and discovery of putting on the boots, lifting the pack and walking in some of the most beautiful country in the world.
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Format: Paperback
I have done dozens of hikes in the Olympics, including a couple two-week hikes and have been to most of the areas described in the book. Robert Wood has done a brilliant job describing the hikes and the area. I grew up hiking the Cascades and reading the Harvey Manning/Ira Spring books, but they don't come close to this one. Wood's knowledge of the history of the area, his experience gained through hundreds of hikes; and his obvious love for the area, clearly show through in this well-written book.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the best trail guide book ever written and I doubt that it will ever be topped.
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Format: Paperback
I owned the 2nd editon for many years and it guided me on numerous trips. But there were some gaps and the age of the book was becoming noticable. So when the 3rd edition came out, I was very excited. Was I let down? NO. Wood accurately describes ever wonderful mile of these mountains and fills in the gaps present in his earlier editions. The new maps are wonderfully done (though still a bit cartoonish) and the new Trail Info summaries make life even easier. I'd recommend this book to anybody hiking anywhere in the Olympics. His 2nd edition was pretty darn good to begin with, but the 3rd some manages to improve on it.
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Format: Paperback
We used the book to research our hikes before we arrived in the area. It helped us plan our route, time and stopover points. It gave a number of clues to things we didn't want to see as well. Couple of things you should know when using the book though. Trail descriptions don't always start at a trailhead so you might have a longer trip to get there than you think. Significant information is contained in the introduction to each of the sections and without it you will be confused by some of the trail information. But the biggest clue is this...don't try to use this book without a detailed map of the area. You will have lots of trouble finding trailheads if you use only the book. For example, Hike 133 tells you to take a specific FS road. However, there are two major forks that are not marked and without a map you'll have the opportunity to spend 3 hours driving each option like we did, on some "interesting" logging roads. You can get the maps at local stores like the Merchantile in Lake Quinault. We are very happy that this book directed us to the South Fork Hoh Trail (Hike 162) which was outstanding. The trails from the visitor center are a disappointment after that great trail.
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