Dec 15, 2020 at 8:06 am #3689103
My wife is bugging me for Christmas gift suggestions (inexpensive stocking-stuffers), so…
What is the best guidebook for the John Muir Trail?
BTW, on this website, would guidebooks and maps be considered “Gear”?Dec 15, 2020 at 10:11 am #3689145James ArriolaBPL Member
@ravs4funLocale: Desert Southwest
Get the Guthook Guide App for the JMT. Way more detailed info and it is updated frequently. Way more current then any guidebook can be. It is available in the App Store or Google Play. https://atlasguides.com/trail-guides/Dec 15, 2020 at 11:11 am #3689158
OK, thanks! I’m more of a hard-copy guy and will probably be armchair hiking rather than actually doing it. But an app is something I wouldn’t have thought of. I’ll check it out.Dec 15, 2020 at 4:01 pm #3689216Ken RossBPL Member
For hard copy options…
Elizabeth Wenk’s John Muir Trail is probably the current standard and is very good. Alan Castle’s Trekking The John Muir Trail takes a more formulaic day-by-day approach and is less up-to-date, but reads a little better, I think, as an arm chair adventure. Unfortunately the current edition was poorly printed…looks like it was done on a misaligned cheap laser printer and is hard on the eyes.
A more recent release, Damon Corso’s Discovering the John Muir Trail: An Inspirational Guide to America’s Most Beautiful Hike, is part guidebook, part reference, part travelogue, part picture book. Good for reminiscing if you’ve hiked the trail or dreaming about it if you hope to.
For a bit of history, wonderful old photos, and a fun read, ask for a good copy of Hal Roth’s Pathway in the Sky, 1965. Long out of print, but still possible to find.
For a collectable, ask for an early edition of Starr’s Guide to the John Muir Trail, the first published complete guide. The first edition was printed in 1934, the most recent edition (12th) in 1974. Facilities information is obviously dated, but the mountains and lakes are little changed. I wouldn’t suggest it as an actual guidebook today, but it gives me the warm fuzzies to see it on my shelf as it is what I dreamed from and carried as a teenager.Dec 16, 2020 at 6:14 am #3689298
Yo, thanks! You’re obviously very passionate about your books and the trail. And have a good sense of humor! I think I’ll check out Pathway in the Sky.
( I recently received the Falcon Guide for Sequoia/Kings Canyon for my (69th) birthday and the writing was uninspiring and the pictures were poor. I thought I should get some expert advice for the JMT.)Dec 16, 2020 at 6:38 am #3689301
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