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by Diane Spicer
Welcome to this Fall Color Hikes Washington book review.
Here are the quick details on the book:
This hiking guide caters to Washington State hikers who seek enchanting color displays from autumn trails, especially from the big leaf maples, cottonwoods, larches, and huckleberries common to the area.
This book also makes a good planning tool for any hiker who has fall Washington hikes on her bucket list.
I received a free copy of this 240 page paperback book from the publisher, Mountaineers Books, and agreed to share my thoughts with you.
You should know that this Fall Color Hikes Washington book review is unpaid but biased.
By that, I mean I've hiked nearly all of the 45 hikes in this guide book, and enjoyed all eight scenic drives listed.
Many of them, more than once!
So I have insider knowledge of the trails and destinations, which colors my review.
A hiking guidebook should be a quick in-and-out resource once you select a hike.
That's why the layout is so important.
Beginning at the beginning, the Table of Contents:
As you would expect, there are also fall hiking resources listed along with a handy index.
You can do a "Look Inside" at Amazon for more details.
Don't skip the Introduction to Autumn Landscapes.
The author gives succinct descriptions of the various passes, fees and permits you will need to park at trailheads and to use public land.
The author includes a 4 page fall foliage photography guide.
She also shares fall hiking tips for safety and comfort on short, cool day hikes.
I'll take you through the elements of one hike description to give you a sense of what to expect in this hiking guidebook.
I picked one of my favorite fall hikes, the Maple Pass Loop/Lake Ann hike in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
All of the hike stats are upfront, making it easy to assess if this hike is at your hiking level or not:
Note that what is "moderate" for a seasoned hiker may be quite challenging for a beginner hiker.
Also note that fall hiking means fewer daylight hours, so your personal pace is a factor.
Pay attention to this information for navigation and compliance with the law:
A bit of foresight will save disappointment and mistakes on the trail.
There are foliage lists for the hike, making it easy to appreciate the colors you are enjoying on this spectacular hike.
Her full color photography is drool worthy.
It's why you're out there!
So soak up these images.
Always pay attention to any "extra" information a guidebook shares, but be prepared to verify up-to-date details.
For this hike, she shares which way to start the loop.
She also mentions that trailhead parking can be difficult, with access road closed seasonally.
This book does its best to share with you what fall hiking throughout Washington State will be like.
You will need to add some clothing and equipment to your daypack, as the author recommends.
Always check current conditions before leaving for a hike, including weather and road conditions.
One thing the book doesn't mention is the unfortunate new normal of fall hiking: wildfires and smoke.
This hiking guide caters to several types of hikers.
Dayhikers will enjoy the cooler fall weather and beautiful fall foliage found in all regions of the State of Washington.
Weekend backpackers, same, as long as weather and fire danger is taken into consideration when choosing a destination.
Hikers who may not be able to hike (injury, illness, other constraints) can still make the most of this book by exploring the 8 scenic drives, all with viewing points.
This book makes a thoughtful and appreciated gift for hikers who are new to the state, or new to hiking.
And if you're getting started on next year's "must do" hike list, this book is a gem for fall hiking plans.
You hold in your hands a well researched, fact filled resource with step by step directions to trailheads and detailed hike statistics.
I have a few suggestions about using this book to best advantage as a hiker.
Always approach these numbers in any hiking guidebook with caution:
The author did her best to give accurate figures and to qualify her difficulty ratings.
Don't use the topographic map inserts for real life navigation.
Don't be afraid to write in this book.
If you track your mileage and
elevation, make notes for next time.
Also note your assessment of the difficulty level.
This book is well researched.
Here's a wonderful thing about this guidebook: the tips shared by this seasoned hiker will shorten your learning curve for fall hiking.
The photographs are worth the price of the book.
This is a great book to pour over during winter, with a pen and paper (old school but effective) in hand.
Now what are you waiting for?
Grab copies for your hiking bookshelf, your favorite trail buddy, and anyone planning to visit Washington next fall.
Thanks to Mountaineers Books for sharing a copy with me.
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Fall Color Hikes Washington Book Review
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