View Full Version : dbcooperisalive has a question about amc books

10-14-2010, 03:52 PM
I have to White Mountain hiking books. I love the first one I bought called AMC'S BEST DAY HIKES WHITE MOUNTAINS. I bought the second one a few weeks ago called WHITE MOUNTAIN GUIDE. Comments online including this web site saying that this is the White Mountain bible. So I bought it but was disappointed in it. I truly think they tried to cram way to much into this book hence was very vague in dialogue. I like the Day Hike book a lot because it gives a lot more description to each hike (with diagrams and pics). I really think that AMC should of made more descriptive WMG book maybe even making it into 2 different books. Is there anything out there that is similar to the Day Hike book that is more on the individual mountain hikes? I also would like to say that I enjoy reading the comments on this blog. Reading comments/suggestions from the more experienced hikers is a big help to people who are relative beginners. thanks

10-14-2010, 04:13 PM

What you're saying about the WM Guide vs. a day hike description book is true to an extent. The reason is because I think the two books serve different purposes and target different audiences.

The WM Guide does have a ton of information in it and pretty much is supposed to describe all the trails in the White Mountains, and there is obviously a ton of them. So to plan out a trip, it will give you the basic run down of your chosen route (milestones such as brooks, lookouts, elevation gains, etc.). So it is really an ideal guide to plan out your own hikes. The scope of the book is really enormous. It is a factual/info only type book.

Now the day hike book you have is more or less a suggestion book. It will give you a lot more description for specific routes, even if it involves multiple trails. I think it is really targeted toward day hikers and casual hikers that are looking for popular/traditional hikes.

Now, if you vacation in the Whites every now and then and want to find a good hike, and don't know much about the trail layout up north...the WM Guide probably isn't a great book to look for one in. You would definitely want a suggestion book so you can pick exactly what you are in the mood for. However, if you're pushing the Trailwrights list and need to find a great way to tackle Moosilauke's South Peak but don't feel like taking the typical routes, the WM Guide would be your best resource.

It's funny, how when is started out last year, I preferred the smaller, day hike books as well. Now that I have been hiking more and laying out my own loops and trails to try, I find myself using the WM Guide a ton! It's certainly personal preference.

For day hikes though, I know I used the Falcon: Hiking New Hampshire one quite a bit here (http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3656208&cp=3705100.3739660.4469430) and this Hikers Guide to New Hampshire here (http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3669393).


KD Talbot
10-14-2010, 06:36 PM
KSearl pretty much said what I would, but the guide also has suggestions at the end of each section which suggest hikes of differing levels of ambition. These can point you towards finding the hikes you're looking for. I would also suggest Steve Smith's and Mike Dickerman's "The 4000 -Footers of the White Mountains" which has a ton of info on each 4k.



10-14-2010, 08:28 PM
What Karl and Kevin said... The WMG is the Bible. Gotta have it the same way you need maps. There are lots of good books with better hike descriptions and suggestions but you still need the WMG. I've got a number of the other books (and read them often ) but I like the many online resources just as well. Main thing is to get out there and enjoy!

10-14-2010, 09:45 PM
Kudos to Steve Smith's 4000 Footers of the WM, which was just updated in a 2nd Edition. It delves into a great deal about the geology of the area, as well as surronding peaks of the specific 4K's, and possesses a nice amount of history about each peak. While the WMG certainly is the Hiker's Bible, replete with the maps you can purchase, Steve Smith's books make it a bit more personal.

10-15-2010, 03:24 PM
Thanks to everyone for their input. Just know I bought Hiking New Hampshire and Hikers Guide to New Hampshire. I will also buy the 4000 footer book. I do want to repeat what I said earlier. I really enjoy reading your input on this site. I am 55 years old. My wife and I starting hiking this year after I had open heart surgery last fall. We really enjoy hiking in the Whites. So far, I have participated in 18 hikes. I am in no way comparing my experience to your more difficult hikes but I really feel good about what my wife and I have accomplished. Our hardest one was Franconia Ridge which I found very difficult considering we are not in hiking shape as compared to most of you. Not to demean what we accomplished, I feel that I have come a long way since I have exercised minimally in the previous 30 years. I really enjoy hiking and feel really good about myself that I lost 20 pounds already and am presently only 10 over my ideal body weight. Again thanks for this hiking blog.

10-15-2010, 05:50 PM
I have both the AMC guide and "The 4000 -Footers of the White Mountains". I have completed almost half the 4000 footers, but every mountain is new to me. I don't know which way I want to hike a new mountain, so the AMC guide just drives me crazy when I have to look up each trail. I want to know which way to hike up said mountain. Of course I check the maps and looks at loops and variations, in which case I'll check the AMC guide for more detail on a section of trail. I love my 4000 footer book, and I can track all my mountains as I do them. It has a lot of 'extra' info in it too. It looks like it's been through the ringer! But before every hike, you can find both books along with my maps spread all over the island in my kitchen. I like to know what i"m getting into.

10-15-2010, 06:26 PM
A few people have mentioned the 4000 Footers of the White Mountains (https://www.mountwashington.org/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=44_6&products_id=282&zenid=d282a2312c3dd6b8b9e7ea197f113dff) book. I have to say, I picked this book up last February when I had no power for four days due to the wind storm, and I love it. It's not like other trail books because there is a ton of information in it, other than just trail/hike descriptions. One of the best features of the book is the historical synopsis of each 4k. I really love the history of the Whites, so this book is great! I would highly recommend it.

Another good historical book that I purchased off the MWObs page is Shrouded Memories (https://www.mountwashington.org/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=44_6&products_id=368&zenid=d282a2312c3dd6b8b9e7ea197f113dff). Strictly historical, not really trail related, but really great if you like that sort of thing.