Featuring 100 of the Nationals Parks system’s best hikes, Backpacker magazines guide is jammed full of amazing photos, detailed routes, and a host of tips and advice to help you plan your route to some of Americas most beautiful destinations.
All of the work has been done for you, including mileages, difficulty calculations, routes, way-points, trail head coordinates, and it even includes maps with campsites detailed. Other key factors like river crossing and water sources are often listed, and occasionally you’ll stumble across inserts with excellent advice on how to rock scramble, or even upgrade your camp kitchen for the trip.
The imagery included in the magazine is excellent. Featuring large, often full page or multiple page spreads and photos of wildlife, vistas, and interesting points of interest. The paper and print quality is equally impressive. The images really pop, standing out with wonderful contrast and expertly guided direction. The paper itself is also quite smooth without a pesky overly glossy finish that would obscure images and makes maps hard to read. It’s well bound, and built with substantial heft, ringing in nearly 400 pages of back-country travel advice.
The downfall? If you’re a long term Backpacker magazine subscriber, you’re like to have come across most if not all of the information in the book already, just trickled out over time and in different forms. Much of the information throughout has shown up in the magazine over the past couple of years with some of it being pulled directly from the magazine as is, but it’s nice to have it condensed and organized into such a lovingly detailed package. Luckily, it’s not a complete copy and paste job and the information inside has been chosen and adjusted to fit the book quite nicely.
At $26 dollars, it’s a pretty good deal that I recommend for anyone who wants to explore the best of the best without the digging digging for information and constant planning generally associated with working out a route and location. It’s a great book, even if for nothing else than raising awareness of new locations to explore.