One of the curses being a hiker in the USA is that you need to figure out where to hike. Sure, you can always hike near where you live. But what if you want to hike somewhere else? Someplace new?
And that’s a problem. After all, the USA has hundreds of thousands of miles of hiking trails, which range from easy, to boring, to beautiful to death defying. For someone searching for a new place to hike, it can often be overwhelming to know where to begin.
That overwhelming feeling doesn’t go away, either, even if you know which state—or part of which state—you want to hike in. After all, Montana’s own Glacier National Park has over 800 miles of trails. Toss in the trails located within 50 miles of the park and the intrepid hiker now has over 2000 miles of trails to explore.
So that begs the question…where to begin?
Well, for hiking in Glacier Park—I’ll suggest starting with the Highline Trail, the Iceberg Lake Trail or the Grinnell Glacier Trail. But outside of Glacier, well…you’re on your own (although the Tahoe Rim Trail is a dynamite hike as is the ascent of Camel’s Hump in Vermont).
Thus, if you’re searching for a new place to hike and want to make sure you hike the “good trails,” not slog along in a snake-infested ditch or follow a long-forgotten logging road, it is always a good idea to look through one of the hundreds of hiking guidebooks available.
There are far too many hiking guidebooks to list on this page. But below I compiled a short list of hiking guidebooks that are helpful for “locating new hikes” in various states and popular National Parks.
If you don’t see something that fits where you plan to hike, no worries. Just visit Amazon.Com and type in their search box “Hiking XXX”, with the XXX being the state, country, region or National Park you plan to visit. Almost certainly something interesting will pop up in their search results (unless you plan to hike in North Korea, in which case you’re out of luck for now).
Hiking Trip Idea Guidebooks
Click any of the links or images for more information about each guidebook. All books available through Amazon.
|Hiking Through: One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail - A life-changing journey begins with a single step…a journey down the Applachian Trail.|
|The Man Who Walked Through Time: The Story of the First Trip Afoot Through the Grand Canyon - The remarkable classic of nature writing by the first man ever to have walked the entire length of the Grand Canyon.|
|Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail - In a desperate move, a woman walks 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. It will be her first long-distance hike.|
|Lost on the Appalachian Trail - Join Kyle and his little dog "Katana" as they take you along for every step of their 2,185 mile adventure hiking the entire Appalachian Trail.|
|Hikertrash: Life on the Pacific Crest Trail - Spend months on end traipsing through the wilderness, petting bunnies and chasing rainbows, as they hiked 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada.|
|I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool For Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail - Gail Storey was definitely not a hiker, never mind a camper. Yet she joined her husband for a hike on the PCT.|
|Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.|
|AWOL on the Appalachian Trail - Makes you feel the pain and joy of an Appalachian Trail thru-hike. In vivid colors, David paints a picture of his memorable journey.|
|A Long Way From Nowhere: A Couple's Journey on the Continental Divide Trail - This is the story of the couple's 3,000 mile walk on the Continental Divide Trail, through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.|
|The Trail Life: How I Loved it, Hated it, and Learned from it - Join Stopwatch, an inexperienced thru-hiker with a steep learning curve, as she tackles her first long-distance hike, the PCT.|
|Hiking Montana: A Guide to the State's Greatest Hikes - Hiking Montana offers 100 of the best hikes in Big Sky Country, from pleasant family outings to backcountry adventures.|
|The Best Front Range Hikes - Exploration of the finest and most scenic hikes in the front range of the Colorado Rockies.|
|AMC's Best Day Hikes in Vermont - Embark on sixty of the most spectacular hikes in Vermont with this new four-season guide from the Appalachian Mountain Club.|
|Moon California Hiking: The Complete Guide to 1,000 of the Best Hikes - California Hiking leads beginner and expert hikers alike to the best trails the state has to offer.|
|Hiking the Hawaiian Islands: A Guide To 72 Of The State's Greatest Hikes - Describing fifteen to twenty hikes on each of the state's four main islands, this guidebook covers the best of the best hikes in Hawaii.|
|AMC's Best Day Hikes in the White Mountains - Guidebook to 60 of the most scenic, most dramatic waterfalls, and nature-rich trails the region has to offer.|
|100 Classic Hikes in Oregon - Author presents a mix of the most popular trails and lesser-known gems throughout the entire state.|
|Hiking Washington: A Guide to the State's Greatest Hikes - Detailed guide to the best and most scenic hikes in the State of Washington.|
|Hiking Yellowstone National Park: A Guide To More Than 100 Great Hikes - Whether you're a day-tripper or long-distance hiker, old hand or novice, you'll find trails suited to every ability and interest in Yellowstone National Park.|
|Best Easy Day Hiking Guide and Trail Map Bundle: Yosemite National Park - Best Easy Day Hikes Yosemite National Park is a perfect guidebook for those who want to sample the best of Yosemite within an easy day's walk. Includes a detailed hikers map.|
|50 Best Short Hikes in Utah's National Parks - In 50 Best Short Hikes in Utah's National Parks, explore the best routes in each park, hikes that are both "must see" and accessible.|
|Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone - This book will help you make every step count, whether you are leading the family on a brief day hike or undertaking a challenging backpack into the remote reaches of the Smokies.|