Jan 16, 2021 at 6:42 am #3694063
My son and I may be doing a trip in the Bob Marshall Wilderness this summer. As I’m starting to think about what a week long trip might look like, I’ve searched the forums here, and I see several people praising “Hiking Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness” (Falcon Press), Erik Molvar. In looking at this book on Amazon, I see that it was published in 2001. Is this book still considered useful, 20 years later? Or are there other good guide books out there that have been published more recently?
Thanks!Jan 16, 2021 at 7:11 am #3694068Mark WetheringtonBPL Member
@markwethLocale: Western Montana
That book would still be a decent starting point, but you’d definitely want to do research about the specifics of whatever route(s) you select — mostly to find out about damage from fires or trail status (some might have been abandoned or damaged over the last two decades).
The most recent book I’m aware of that might be useful is “100 Classic Hikes: Montana” by Douglas Lorain. It has several hikes in the Bob Marshal Wilderness, but they’re mostly shorter trips. That said, it would be useful if you’re doing those trails as part of a longer trip and I think some described options for longer trips.
Guidebooks for a lot of places seem to be becoming more out of date with fewer revisions and new guidebooks published. The guidebook industry isn’t as profitable as it was a few decades ago and people (especially newer and/or younger hikers) prefer to seek out information about hiking and backpacking online rather than from guidebooks. One downside of this is that people tend to be more likely to go to the most popular places since there’s more information about them.Jan 16, 2021 at 9:28 am #3694104Jay LBPL Member
I have a copy of the Falcon Press book I’d send you if you want it. Shoot me a message or email through my profile.
I remember it being good to give me a big picture of what hikes were near the trailhead we;d be using. Otherwise it was as good as any guide – it gives an idea of how things might be similar or different between different trails or areas. It gives you some ideas for things to research from more up-to-date sources.Jan 16, 2021 at 3:51 pm #3694165
Thanks Mark and Jay, for your responses. Yes, I lament the demise of good trail guide books. Thanks for the offer, Jay! I’ll PM you.Jan 17, 2021 at 2:55 pm #3694263Tom MBPL Member
I would highly recommend picking up a north and south maps from https://cairncarto.com/maps/Jan 18, 2021 at 6:43 am #3694337
Thanks for the suggestion, Tom. How do those compare to the National Geographic trail map or something from the USFS?Jan 18, 2021 at 7:10 am #3694341Mike MBPL Member
The Cairn maps are definitely the best Bob maps out there; they hiked every trail with a high end gps unit. The maps offer great detail and two maps cover the entire complex.
Just one note, when you see a trail that is marked with a red/black dotted line- you can assume that trail has not been maintained in decades.Jan 18, 2021 at 7:17 am #3694343
Ah, nice to know. Thanks! I will defintely go with those.Jan 18, 2021 at 7:26 am #3694345Tom MBPL Member
As Mike stated these are the go to for maps and have accurate trail miles listed on them. Over the years with lack of money being thrown at trail maintenance some trails have been abandoned. The cairn maps reflect this for the most part. I would be happy to throw out suggested routes and some highlights depending on what type of trip your looking for ex. fishing, sight seeing, etc. Most people base there routes around the Chinese wall but there are lots of other areas to explore.
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