This is by no means a definitive guide to hiking books and guides – but is intended to summarise the most useful books I’ve found when researching hikes. Most I would recommend for the places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit and hike in – I’ve rated each based on how useful I found it.
A few of my favourite hiking stories…
A easy but entertaining read (much better than the movie!) Amazon US / AU
A fascinating tale of a somtimes misguided journey across Borneo. Amazon US / AU
What not to do! Part funny and part exasperating! Amazon US / AU
A gripping tale about what happens when things go wrong! Amazon US only
A tale of stupidity and disaster on Half Dome – and the aftermath. Amazon US / AU
A classic and heartwarming book about escaping to the bush. It’s “Wild” for kids. Amazon US / AU
Death in Zion National Park: Stories of Accidents and Foolhardiness in Utah’s Grand Circle.4/5. A collection of mishaps that lacks the the depth of “Angels in the Wilderness” or Shattered Air”. Amazon US / AU
Four different authors describe their experience of Everest’s worst climbing season (1996). Each paints a very different picture of what went wrong, and who was to blame. Make up your own mind about whether the experienced mountaineer Anatoli Boukreev was a hero or a villian, and whether the tragedy could have been avoided.
Whether you’re after somes hiking ideas or a present for a hiking friend… they all provide ideas and inspiration (but most are better for the coffee table than actually planning a hike).
5/5.Short and long hikes across over 100 countries. Amazon US / AU
5/5. Clever selection of walks that connect you to the past. Amazon US / AU
5/5. Focuses on the most iconic trails across 38 countries. Amazon US / AU
4/5.Covers the “classic” hikes. Sometimes light on details. Amazon US / AU
4/5. Need some inspiration? Not much detail on the trails, though. Amazon Kindle US / AU
4/5. Not the most practical walks – but entertaining! Amazon Kindle US / AU
1001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die.3/5. Some obvious and some less-known attractions around the world. Not as good as the 1001 Walks book. Amazon US / AU.
There are surprisingly few books that cover bushwalks across Australia – and many are no longer in print. Most books cover the same core set of “classic” walks, so try and get hold of one of the three options below…
5/5.Out of print. Fantastic resource. 72 walks across Australia. Worth trying to find a used copy. Amazon US / AU
4/5. Getting dated. Covers 25 walks, most of them well-known. Snowys.
5/5. A mix of 50+ short and multi-day walks across Australia. Amazon US / AU
Australia – NSW
5/5. One of the few covering the entire state. Over 140 walks with photos & maps. Amazon US / AU
5/5. Short, long and multi-day walks across 16 national parks. Good notes and maps. Snowys
5/5. 93 walks, many not documented elsewhere. Basic maps. There’s Vol 1 and Vol 2.
5.5. A range of walks from short to long (89 walks). Snowys
5/5. 65 walks, mostly short ones. Great summary of walks. Detailed track notes. Amazon US / AU
5/5. Covers many lesser-known swimming holes that are reached via a bushwalk. Amazon US / AU
Take a Walk in the Blue Mountains (John & Lyn Daly). 5/5. eBook only. Covers all the popular and less-known walks (including multi-day walks) with track notes and colour maps. ABC Maps / Ebook
Take A Walk – Sydney to Port Macquarie (John & Lyn Daly). 5/5. eBook only. Huge range of walks with notes and maps. Mostly day-walks but some overnight options. Ebook
Take A Walk in Kosciuszko National Park (John & Lyn Daly). 5.5. The best guide for hikes in this region. Quite a few multi-day hikes. Amazon US / AU.
Best Walks of the Shoalhaven.5/5. Over 23 diverse walks with maps, around the Shoalhaven, Jervis Bay and Kangaroo Valley. Amazon US / AU.
Best Bush & Coastal Walks of the Central Coast (Matt McClelland). 4/5. Covers 36 (mostly short) walks to the north of Sydney. Bushwalk.com
Take A Walk – Port Macquarie to Brisbane (John & Lyn Daly). 4/5. eBook only. Comprehensive walk list but older format. No maps. Ebook.
Best Walks of the Southern Highlands (John & Gillian Souter). 4/5. Good range of short & full day walks a few hours out of Sydney. Bushwalk.com
Bushwalking in the Budawangs (Ron Doughton). 4/5. An old but definitive guide to walks in the Budawangs. Very basic maps. Map Centre
Discovering the Colo Wilderness on Foot (Anthony Dunk). 3/5. Basic sketch maps and walk descriptions – but you won’t find most of these walks anywhere else. Ebook.
Discovering Yengo and Dharug National Parks on Foot (Anthony Dunk). 3/5. Very basic description and maps; many walks are unique to this book. Ebook.
Sydney’s Best Harbour & Coastal Walks (Katrina O’Brien). 3/5. Lots of maps and photos, but most of the 37 walks are fairly well known. Amazon US / AU
Discovering the Southern Highlands on Foot (Alan Fairley). 3/5. 22 walks with very basic maps – a number of them you won’t find elsewhere. ABC Maps.
Great North Walk. (Matt McClelland) 3/5. May be out of print. Comprehensive guide to the Great North Walk. Worth getting if doing full walk. Bushwalk.com
Discovering the Blue Mountains on Foot (Alan Fairley). 3/5. Classic guide to 30 bushwalks in the upper Blue Mountains. Map Centre
The Blue Mountains on Foot (Bruce Williams). 3/5. Out of print. Detailed notes on a 15 popular walks. Includes history & interesting facts on each walk. Amazon US
Australia – Tasmania
5/5. 67 walks, including multi-day routes. Maps. Amazon US / AU
Discovering Flinders Island (Ken Martin). 5/5. Comprehensive guide – over 50 walks with colour maps & useful notes. Essential if visiting Flinders Island! Amazon US
Best Bush, Coast and Village Walks of South East Tasmania (Ingrid Roberts) 4/5. 40 walks with maps. Useful guide with sumary table. Covers Freycinet, Maria Island, Tasman Peninsula and Huon Valley. Amazon US / AU.
Overland Track (John Chapman). 5/5. Detailed day by day track notes and colour maps. Useful for doing the entire track or a day walk at either end. Snowys.
Hiking the Overland Track (Cicerone).?/5. Not released yet, but Cicerone are known for their high-quality guides. Amazon US / AU.
Australia – Victoria
There’s surprisingly few bushwalking guides in print – at least one of the three I refer to regularly has become hard to find.
5/5. Huge range of walks from a respected bushwalker. Amazon AU only
5/5. 96 walks with a useful walk summary and good maps. Day walks only.
4/5. Dated format and hard to find – but a great resource. Maps are very basic.
Discovering the Prom (5.5. A great resource for Wilsons Promontary National Park, covering all of the day and multi-day walks. 5/5. Amazon AU
Australia – Queensland
The Take a Walk book is the best of the bunch, covering a fairly large area around Brisbane. If you’re going further north, 50 Walks in North Queensland has a wide selection of walks.
5/5. Over 2000km of walks from the NSW border to Fraser Island.
4/5. Lots of walks; maps very basic. Amazon US / Bogong Equipment AU
3/5. Detailed guidefor walking & climbing; track notes are not very clear
Fraser Island Atlas and Guide (Hema Maps). Everything you need for visiting the island, including desciptions of many walks. 5/5. Out of print.
Australia – NT & WA
There’s not a lot of choice when it comes to bushwalking in the Northern Territory or WA, despite some fantastic long-distance trails…
5/5. Another great book in the series – available as an e-book only
3/5. 40 short walks in the south-west of WA (no maps)
Larapinta Trail (John & Lyn Chapman). Covers the entire length as well as breaking down the 231km track into smaller day walks and overniugh sections. 5/5. Amazon US / AU
There’s surprisingly few books covering a country that has some spectacular hiking trails!
5/5. Brilliant guide with large range of hikes. Amazon US
3/5. More of a travel guide than a hiking book Amazon US
As with many Asian countries, there is a lack of good hiking books covering HK – despite the fact there are hundred of kilometres of hiking trails…
3/5. Quite dated, but a good range of trails. Amazon US / AU
3/5. Lot of details but hard to navigate and basic maps Amazon AU / US
4/5. Well laid out and easy to use ebook. Amazon US Kindle
There’s a few really useful books on New Zealand hiking, or tramping… Lonely Planet covers all the well-known and many less-known overnight books. The Day Walks in NZ book is almost coffee-table quality, and has lots of short walk suggestions across the breadth (or length?) of NZ.
5/5. Comprehensive guide to multi-day walks, including all the “classics”. Amazon US / AU
5/5. A collection of 100 shorter walks, with photos, maps and descriptions. Amazon US only
4/5. Useful guide for the Great Walks – but most info is available on-line. Amazon US / AU
Excellent Short Walks in the North Island (Peter Janssen) – 250 short walks (under 2 hours). Descriptions only – no maps or photos. 3/5. Amazon US / AU
Excellent Short Walks in the South Island (Peter Janssen) – 250 short walks (under 2 hours). Descriptions only – no maps or photos. 3/5. Amazon US / AU
The Cicerone Guide is the pick of all the Norway hiking guides, especially if you are looking at some of the longer trails.
5/5. Comprehensive guide with focus on longer (multi-day) walks. Amazon US / AU
2/5. A collection of multi-day walks in the south and middle. Some general advice on hiking in Norway. Amazon US only
5/5. If not available on-line, can be found locally. Fantastic book with over 60 walks and great maps. Amazon US only
The Kungsleden – Walking Sweden’s Royal Trail (Cicerone) 5/5.Amazon US only
US – Arizona
Lots of great hikes – and lots of useful books, from ones covering the entire state to useful guides on specific trails.
5/5. Over 100 trails across Arizona, from short to multi-day. Useful descriptions and maps. Amazon US / AU
5/5. Covers 28 trails including many overnight hikes, with useful maps Amazon US / AU
5/5. Not as many walks as most of the other walks, but some great picks organised by season. Amazon US only
100 Classic Hikes in Arizona (Scott S Warren) – not quite as good as the Falcon Guide, but still a handy reference guide, with more options for longer/overnight hikes. 5/5. Amazon US (4th ed) / AU (2nd ed)
Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail Guide (Grand Canyon Association) – small but very useful guide to all facets of the trail, with detailed maps. 5/5. Amazon US / AU
Grand Canyon South Kaibab Trail Guide (Grand Canyon Association) – another useful guide, by the same publisher as the previous one. 5/5. Amazon US / AU
US – Texas
Texas is not exactly the first place you think of for hiking – but Big Bend is like the Yosemite of the South, and there are many other hiking trails across the state. The Falcon Guides are a great resource and easy to use.
5/5. Only guide you need – comprehensive with good descriptions and useful maps. Amazon US / AU
5/5. Get this if you’re planning on hiking in more areas than Big Bend. Amazon US / AU
3/5. 20 hikes with description and sketch maps. Amazon US / AU
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