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Explorer Editor
06-09-2006, 04:54 PM
What's the best guidebook for someone who wants to start hiking in NH? I'll probably stick largely to the 4,000-footers.

Mike P.
06-09-2006, 04:56 PM
IMO it has to be the AMC's White Mountain Guide, referred to even in Backpacker as the White's Bible

dms
06-09-2006, 05:20 PM
Up front I'll admit to being biased because I was on the guidebook committee for several years, but I really think that the AMC White Mountain Guide is the best overall source of info for trails in the Whites, for the 4k's and other NE mountains as well.

Mohamed Ellozy
06-09-2006, 05:20 PM
For general hiking in the Whites there is no doubt that the AMC guidebook is by a huge margin the best.

On the other hand, for the specific purpose of bagging 4,000 footers I would recommend The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains, by Steven D. Smith and Mike Dickerman. It gives more detailed escriptions of the trails, and is especially useful for hikes which involve several different trails, as it describes the whole hike in one place, rather than divide it in pieces coresponding to the different trails used.

Unlike the AMC guide it has no maps, so you would have to buy them separately.

Both books and the maps are available from The Mountain Wanderer (http://www.mountainwanderer.com/) whose owner, Steve Smith, is co-author of both books (and a wonderful resource on everything related to our mountains). I buy all my hiking-related books and maps from him, rather than save a couple of bucks on amazon.com.

DougPaul
06-09-2006, 05:25 PM
For general hiking in the Whites there is no doubt that the AMC guidebook is by a huge margin the best.

On the other hand, for the specific purpose of bagging 4,000 footers I would recommend The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains, by Steven D. Smith and Mike Dickerman. It gives more detailed escriptions of the trails, and is especially useful for hikes which involve several different trails, as it describes the whole hike in one place, rather than divide it in pieces coresponding to the different trails used.
IMO, both are worth having (I have both). I'd get the AMC guide first, 4000-footers second.

Doug

Kevin Rooney
06-09-2006, 08:20 PM
I second Mohammed and Doug's recommendation. The WMG is arguably the best guidebook of its kind in the country, perhaps not surprisingly as it has been under active revision for over a hundred years.

lumberzac
06-09-2006, 08:49 PM
Not to change the subject, but can anyone recommend a good map for the Whites? I have the AMC guide and the maps that came with it seem to be lacking in detail.

Davehiker
06-09-2006, 09:09 PM
The National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps are nice ones. They cover most of the White Mountains on two sheets, with one map on each side. Mohamed's Peakbagging in the Northeast (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/bagging.html) site has a Guide to Resources (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/general.html) page which has more information on guidebooks, and his Trail Maps of New Hampshire (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/nh-hiking-maps.html) page has good information on LOTS of maps. Good reading!

4000'er
06-09-2006, 09:36 PM
I have found The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains, by Steven D. Smith and Mike Dickerman, and The (waterproof) White Mountain Trail Map (http://www.mapadventures.com/pr_waterproof_white_mtns.htm) by Map Adventures, to be a great combination.
One of the great things about this map is the length of the trails are right on the map.


http://www.mapadventures.com/gifs/de_white_mtns_nh_map_book

--M.
06-09-2006, 10:04 PM
I use this map exclusively now, even though it sits a little fat in your pocket as you go. It's the best and really tells what you need to know. The little stars for views have helped me place myself specifically on the map (as I have no altimeter yet).

Sheomet
06-09-2006, 10:13 PM
I agree with mohamed, both are great books.

swamp
06-09-2006, 10:27 PM
I'll also throw in my support for the Map Adventures map. In my semi-humble opinion it has the cleanest colors and graphics to do a quick map recon of anyplace in most of the Whites. It's drawbacks ( I don't have the map in front of me so I'm working from an iffy memory) are that it doesn't cover some areas ( Cabot and the Pilot range come to mind ) because they were included in the book that accompanied the map. Also I think that the elevations are metric which ,accompanied with said iffy memory, can be a pain in the ass. That said, it's my favorite "overview" map. For trail data, the AMC maps win. The National Geographic maps use so many colors that,for me, it overwhelms the topography. On a finer scale I dig USGS but of course nothing beats any map surveyed by Brad Washburn.

For some odd reason my wife calls me Mapboy,
Swampyankee

Peaks
06-10-2006, 03:12 PM
Among hiking enthusiats, such as most of us on this board, the AMC White Mountain Guide is undoubtedly the best guide for most of us. It certainly is the most details and thorough.

However, this guidebook can be overwhelming for many. Depending on the individual and what type of hiking they are looking for, I might recommend 50 hikes in the White Mountains, or AMC's new best day hike book. For someone just concentrating on the 4000's, I might recommend the applicable 4000 foot guide book.

jjo
06-10-2006, 04:03 PM
Ditto on both Mohamed and Doug Paul's advice. 2 Excellent rescources for Wh Mtn hiking!!!

Paradox
06-10-2006, 04:11 PM
Up front I'll admit to being biased because I was on the guidebook committee for several years, but I really think that the AMC White Mountain Guide is the best overall source of info for trails in the Whites, for the 4k's and other NE mountains as well.

I am not biased in any committee, material, or emotional sense. IMHO AMC White Mountain Guide is the best.

arghman
06-11-2006, 04:24 PM
On a finer scale I dig USGS but of course nothing beats any map surveyed by Brad Washburn.does anyone sell a Tyvek copy of Washburn's Presidential Range map? (I have a paper copy already)

Explorer Editor
06-12-2006, 09:04 AM
Thanks for all the feedback. Very helpful. I wouldn't mind seeing a little more discussion on the maps. I take it those that come with the books are less than ideal.

David Metsky
06-12-2006, 09:24 AM
I take it those that come with the books are less than ideal.
For on-trail hiking use, they are completely adequate. Some people like milage markers on the maps and the AMC maps don't have that. But otherwise, they are IMO the best general purpose hiking maps for the Whites. They are not suitable for bushwacking, but otherwise they are quite excellent.

-dave-

Bob Kittredge
06-13-2006, 04:15 PM
The (waterproof) White Mountain Trail Map by Map Adventures. Pne of the great things about this map is the length of the trails are right on the map.

The other thing I like about this map is that it covers a wide area. My copy lives in my pack where I can haul it out when I get to a summit to help me identify the other peaks that I can see. And of course it's always there for unforseen emergencies.

brianW
06-14-2006, 07:27 AM
One note on the White Mountain Map by Map Adventures, the contours are in metric but the summit elevations are listed in feet.

jfb
06-14-2006, 09:11 AM
One note on the White Mountain Map by Map Adventures, the contours are in metric but the summit elevations are listed in feet.

When I first bought one of those maps, I found the metric contour lines to be a pain. However, after a short time I realized that I could easily estimate hiking times by using a formula of 10 minutes per 100 meters instead of the "standard" 30 minutes per 1000 feet and the pain went away.

4Khiker
06-14-2006, 10:12 AM
You will all be interested to know that Map Adventures is coming out with a new revised version of their waterproof White Mountains map. It should be in stores by the end of the month. It's my understanding that the map will be physically larger than previous editions, thus enabling the mapmakers to include Mts. Moosilauke and Cabot. The price will not change either.

Orsonab
06-14-2006, 11:08 AM
I find the AMC guide and Steve Smith's 4000K of NH are excellent complements to each other.

Anybody know when the next edition of the AMC guidebook is coming out?

--M.
06-14-2006, 11:22 AM
One note on the White Mountain Map by Map Adventures, the contours are in metric but the summit elevations are listed in feet.


When I first bought one of those maps, I found the metric contour lines to be a pain. However, after a short time I realized that I could easily estimate hiking times by using a formula of 10 minutes per 100 meters instead of the "standard" 30 minutes per 1000 feet and the pain went away.

This is true, and also that the peaks are listed both metrically and in English. The only time it's bothered me is when trying to do a crow's-flight mileage from Chocorua to the Mad River: the scale is delineated in kilometers (with a lame "1.6 mi.") and one must do actual math to derive the mileage. This isn't a problem on the actual trails, as they're marked. Other than this cavil...,

I love the AMC resources, but this map rocks theirs entirely.

--M.

sapblatt
06-14-2006, 11:28 AM
That is a great map - of course I cannot fine mine...
I have seen a few issues with it (I do not have it in front of me right now - of course not - I lost it), but I seem to remember that the Log Cabin is depicted on the incorrect side of the trail line...I think some streams/rivers were off too - possibly Stony Brook (the one near Mount Tremont, not the one near Moriah.)

4Khiker
06-14-2006, 11:48 AM
The next edition of the AMC guide will be published next year (2007) during the 100th anniversary year of the first guidebook.

dvbl
06-14-2006, 12:13 PM
What's the best guidebook for someone who wants to start hiking in NH? I'll probably stick largely to the 4,000-footers.

These aren't books, but since you have access to the web, here are two excellent resources. Mohamed and Dave are probably too modest to plug their own websites, so I'll do it for them... :)


http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/


http://www.hikethewhites.com/