100 Hikes in the North Cascades

Spring, Ira
Year Published: 

"Based on their more than 100 years of combined experience in Washington's backcountry, Spring and Manning have selected their favorite trails for this compendium of classic hikes. Full-color photographs throughout supplement the authors' first-hand descriptions of the trails they have hiked many times over. Featuring spectacular views, flower-filled alpine meadows, lakes and streams, ancient forests, animals and birds, and solitude, these trails will give hikers a taste of Washington's best. Infused with a strong conservation message, this guide not only introduces hikers to Washington's gems but encourages them to become active participants in an effort to preserve and, in some cases, reclaim the remaining wilderness.

I was very pleased to find this book last year while planning a trip to Washington. I was interested in finding some good trails for full day hikes. This guide gives a great overview of neat areas to be found in this very beautiful state.

A lot of hiking guides have limited pictures which are often in black & white. Not so for this guide. Each of the hikes described has at least one full color picture along with a nicely done (non-topo) trail location/route diagram. Thumbing through this guide, looking at the beautiful pictures, and reading the trail descriptions definitely further enticed me to do some hiking in Washington, more so than any other trail guides I've seen. The pictures really make you want to go see for yourself!

After thumbing through the guide, I picked three trails in the Olympics to do full day hikes on: Sol Duc Trail, Hoh River Trail, & the Cape Alava / Sand Point loop trail. The hikes and scenery were wonderful! I thought the guide did a very good job of giving me an overview of the area and general trail difficulty to help in planning before arriving in Washington. Of course, some of the trails described are going to be a little more popular than lesser known trails not described. But, coming from out of state, this was fine by me.

If you are considering a trip to Washington and would like to do some hiking or backpacking, this is a great book to get you acquainted with some great places, and pictures to get you salivating. Since the map diagrams in the book are designed to give you a feel for the route and location only, they are probably not what you would want with you on an actual hike. For that, I would recommend picking up topo maps for the area of interest.

I highly recommend this book to fellow out-of-staters considering a trip to Washington. Thanks to this book, we saw some places that we might have missed otherwise. If there is a downside to this book it is that every time I pick it up and thumb through it I see great pictures of places that I would like to go to, but may not ever do. So many trails, so much scenery, so little time..."

3.5 of 5

Info and links based on newer edition (1998)