Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Comparing the top hiking books for the Smokies

Trying to decide which hiking guide to purchase for the Great Smoky Mountains? Below is a quick reference guide that compares the most popular hiking guides for the National Park.

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains
By Kevin Adams
287 pages – 2nd edition (2013)
Covers 82 hikes as well as info concerning the AT
Book also includes:
* Locator map
* Elevation profiles
* Trail maps
* Quick reference trail highlights
* Many photos
* Safe hiking tips and backcountry camping information

Best Easy Day Hikes GSMNP
By Randy Johnson
117 pages - 1st Edition (2010)
Covers 22 hikes
Book also includes:
* Information on the “Quiet Walkways” scattered throughout the park
* Covers several self-guided nature trails
* Includes a few trails that are rated as moderate or even difficult in some cases
* Locator map
* Trail maps
* Brief history of park, safety tips and basic travel information
* Recommendations based on best views, nature lovers, history hikes, waterfalls etc.

Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
By Johnny Molloy
384 pages - 1st edition (2012)
Covers 50 hikes
Book also includes:
* Ratings and rankings for each trail
* Clear and concise directions to the trailhead
* Detailed route map and elevation profile
* Distances and approximate times of each hike
* Easy-to-follow trail notes and permit information
* Overnight backpacking options
* Black and white photos

100 Hikes Great Smoky Mountains
By Russ Manning
282 pages – 2nd edition (1999)
Cover 100 hikes (as you might expect)
Book also includes:
* Locator map
* Provides elevation change data
* Many photos
* Brief natural and park history
* No trail maps

Day and Overnight Hikes: GSMNP
By Johnny Molloy
210 pages - 4th edition (2008)
Covers 41 hikes in total: including 13 day loops and 10 overnight loop hikes
Book also includes:
* Recommendations based on winter, solitude, easiest, wildlife, and most scenic hikes, etc.
* Quick reference trail highlights
* Locator map
* Elevation profiles
* Trail maps
* Weather data, safety and hazard information

Hiking Trails of the Smokies
By the GSMA
a.k.a "The Little Brown Book"
584 pages – 1st Edition (1994)
Covers 162 hikes
Book also includes:
* Elevation profiles
* Trail maps
* Safe hiking tips, weather and suggested loop hikes
* Information on all backcountry campsites, shelters, regulations and permit/reservation information

Other guide books you might find helpful:

* Appalachian Trail Guide to Tennessee-North Carolina

* Great Smoky Mountains National Park Pocket Guide

* Great Smoky Mountains Travel Photo Guides iPhone App


1 comment:

Steve Skelton said...

Been using the same little brown book for years. It's never let me down.