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Hiking from Here to WOW: Utah Canyon Country (Wow Series) Paperback – Lay Flat, July 17, 2008
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About the Author
They've trekked through much of the world's vertical topography, including the Nepalese Himalaya, Patagonian Andes, Spanish Pyrenees, Swiss Alps, Scottish Highlands, Italian Dolomites, and New Zealand Alps. In North America, they've explored the B.C. Coast, Selkirk and Purcell ranges, Montana's Beartooth Wilderness, Wyoming's Grand Tetons, the Colorado Rockies, and the California Sierra.
The Copelands are veteran guidebook writers who have an ardent fan base in their Don't Waste Your Time, Where Locals Hike, and Done in a Day series. This is the second title in their WOW series.
- Publisher : Wilderness Press; 1st edition (July 17, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 446 pages
- ISBN-10 : 089997452X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0899974521
- Item Weight : 2.03 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 1 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #786,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1,103 in West Mountain United States Travel Books
- #2,588 in Hiking & Camping Excursion Guides (Books)
- #84,805 in Health, Fitness & Dieting (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2017
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Now, the content: I found this book very helpful as I traveled all throughout southern Utah, though there were a couple times when I felt like their descriptions of what to expect could be improved upon. For example, I hike down to Peek-a-boo Gulch and literally all they say about entering it is "Steps carved into sandstone offer assistance on the initial 20-ft (6-m) ascent." Yeah, I was there and those weren't "steps". They were slick curved notches made over time from people barely having enough room to fit the ball of their shoe into the rock and then hoist themselves up with practically no hand-holds either. I wouldn't classify that setup as "steps" and since I was by myself and had no traction on the grit of the sandstone, I couldn't get my butt up into the gulch and therefore never went back into it. Perhaps they could have described this a little differently and I would have planned differently as well.
Sometimes I also thought they spent a little too much time on the history of the area in the book. Obviously I researched the area- that's what made me want to go to southern Utah in the first place, but I would have bought a history book if I wanted a history lesson. Instead I bought a hiking book because that's the part that I wanted someone else's opinion on. Not to mention there's something to be said for discovering the history of an area for yourself once you're actually there. I'd rather see the exhibits of various visitor's centers or talk to a ranger if I want a Mormon story.
Another reviewer mentioned how the authors tell "you what to think, or what to feel when on the trail". I can kind of see this point. The fact that they give you etiquette on not talking to other hikers on a trail for fear of interrupting their "solitude" is kind of self-righteous if you ask me. And unnecessary, considering I didn't buy a book on "how" to hike, but "where" to hike. And don't insult the newbies to canyon country by classifying an introductory hike as "Grand Gulch for dummies". Just because they may not have experience in that area, doesn't make them stupid. Also, don't get political on me and tell me to contact the BLM or visit a website about ATVs destroying canyon country, when I just want info on trail descriptions and such. When they stick to that, it's extremely helpful, but the intro to the book and the first page of each of the trails can usually be glossed over, since there's only so many times you can read how freeing or tranquil or wondrous the area is or when you should admire it. Thanks, but I'll decide that for myself.
Myself and my girlfriend just got back from spending 3 weeks this may in canyon country, and used this book extensively throughout - in particular, we hiked the arches' devils garden & delicate arch, dead horse point, canyonlands peekaboo and chesler park/joint trail, mule canyon, natural bridges, calf creek, hole-in-rock canyons peekaboo, spooky & brimstone (also explored egypt-3 off egypt bench, outside of the scope of the book) and willow & fortymile gulches, bryce canyon & zions angels landing.
Outstanding memories came especially from the canyonlands and escalante hikes. Fortymile gulch was *so* much fun, deeper water than expected, and peekaboo slot was just incredibly beautiful - also we met a rattlesnake here, under a rock, and had to chimney up the walls to pass over it! Peekaboo and the joint are both just classic hikes in a crazy landscape- unforgettable.
I dont normally write book reviews, but I felt this book gave such great advice in an outspoken style of writing that certainly paralleled my feelings towards the great outdoors - we quickly learnt to trust the book, full of little details that made things better, esp. with regard to avoiding the tourist hordes and finding camping.
The only thing we found was that the approach to brimstone slot was more strenuous than expected, and described in the book - we hiked it at the hottest part of the day, and found it to be pretty brutal as the canyon floor is very sandy, and there was zero shade the whole way. The return was considerably easier, once it had cooled off. I suppose you could say that about a lot of the hikes in utah, but this particular stretch did seem particularly menacing, and reminded us how nasty it could be to be out there without enough water.
Another thing that could be mentioned in passing - is the devils garden off hole in rock rd - its a pretty neat distraction! and fun to be somewhere like that without the aforementioned hordes.
Anyway I cant wait to go back again.
It's great to find a set of hiking books you can rely on
Today, one of my sons asked me what I learned on this trip are the three most important things to bring on a hike. I replied: a good guidebook, good socks and good shoes, in that order. This book more than qualified itself as a good guidebook!
Top reviews from other countries
"Canyons are like people. Both are more interesting when scoured to their essence."
"Canyons are terrestrial lacerations. They range from gaping wounds to mere paper cuts."
"What evening light does to canyon-country stone is alchemy."
"Ahhh, canyon country. It poses physical challenges that deter human visitation, so it's among the loneliest landscapes on earth. Canyons are sanctuaries of silence. Temples of tranquility. Cathedral of quietude."
"Science and history do not make the Earth interesting any more than a beard and robe make God powerful."
"The phantasmagoria of southern Utah inspire imaginitive comparisons."
"There are two keys to knowledge: your left foot and your right."
"Walking serves the same purpose for people that tennis balls do for wet down bags."
If I were interested in such semi-funny pseudo-philosophical bla bla, I would have bought a book called "thoughts on the trail". Behold: the Copelands have actually written such a book: Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads Within--Thoughts Inspired by 30,000 miles on the Trail . Perhaps that interests some, but when I go hiking I'm more interested in the practicalities. This book does include the practicalities, but much of it is hidden between paragrahpcs of pseudophilosophical bla bla.
Instead of this book, I recommend to buy the Falcon Guides: Hiking Grand Staircase-Escalante & the Glen Canyon Region: A Guide to 59 of the Best Hiking Adventures in Southern Utah (Regional Hiking Series) , Hiking Canyonlands and Arches National Parks: A Guide to the Parks' Greatest Hikes (Regional Hiking Series) , Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park: A Guide to Southwestern Utah's Greatest Hikes (Regional Hiking Series) . Yes, that's 3 books rather than 1, but that means whatever book you take in your backpack is lighter, and you can't visit all three of those regions in a single hiking vacation anyway. And if you really want to know the pseudophilosophical thoughts of the Copelands, you might buy their thoughts on the trail book for bedtime reading. Those thoughts won't help you select your hike or find your way in the backcountry, so the paper they're printed on has no business increasing the weight of your backpack.
I wish though, that I would have bought this book before booking my trip. Now I realise which hikes I'm going to have to miss because I didn't leave enough time at some stops.
It's a great book to discover everything you can do as a hiker in Utah and definitely makes you want to take a plane immediately!
Too heavy to carry in an overnight bag but a quality guide.
The book is more than a guide, it is about the spiritual philosophy of nature that leads us to back to the earth and to the special places in this world. Nearing the end of my (first) trip to Southern Utah, I ended up selling my copy to an American couple who couldn't find a book like it in the States. Like me, they thought the book was well organized, thoughtful and thought provoking, full of spectacular colour photos, easy to understand and entertaining.
Thank you Craig and Kathy for sharing a most excellent book.