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Reviews > Books > Trail Guides > 100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest > Owner Review by David Tagnani

100 HIKES IN THE INLAND NORTHWEST
BY DAVID TAGNANI
OWNER REVIEW
July 27, 2008

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: David Tagnani
EMAIL: dtagnani@hotmail.com
AGE: 32
LOCATION: Spokane, Washington
GENDER: m
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 160 lb (72.60 kg)

Backpacking Background: I have been camping and hiking for as long as I can remember, but I've really only been backpacking for eight years or so. I started off in the hills of northeastern and central Pennsylvania, have hiked trails from Maine to Georgia, and now I am exploring the incredible terrain of the inland northwest. I seldom do trips longer than three days, with most trips being overnighters. I do not own crampons, an ice axe, or a climbing harness, so if the route is technical enough to require them, you won't find me there. I simply like to walk in the woods.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

IMAGE 1
courtesy of Moutaineers Books

Publisher: The Mountaineers Books
Publisher's Website: mountaineersbooks.org
Publication Date: 13 May 2003
Edition: 2nd
ISBN: 978-0-89886-908-8
Author: Rich Landers
MSRP: $16.95 US
Listed Weight: Unavailable
Measured Size: 5.25 x 8.25 x .75 in (13.34 x 20.96 x 1.91 cm)
Pages: 334 (including appendices and index)

The Inland Northwest, for those who don't know, is a region that encompasses parts of four states: Eastern Washington, North Idaho, Northwest Montana, Northeast Oregon, and even a bit of British Columbia. The area's borders are geographical features: The Selkirk Mountains the north, the Cabinet Mountains to the east, the Columbia River to the west, and the Wallowa Mountains to the south. Spokane, Washington is generally recognized as the urban center of this vast region. As such, the basic premise of this guidebook is to offer 100 hikes within a three-hour drive from Spokane.

The hikes described in the book are arranged by region, and the breakdown is as follows:
- Columbia River Basin: 4 hikes
- Colville National Forest: 11 hikes
- Around Spokane / Coeur d'Alene: 7 hikes
- Lolo National Forest: 7 hikes
- Idaho Panhandle National Forests: 35 hikes
- Clearwater National Forest: 5 hikes
- Nez Perce National Forest: 1 hike
- Kootenai National Forest: 11 hikes
- Umatilla National Forest: 5 hikes
- Wallowa-Whitman National Forest: 5 hikes
- Hells Canyon National Recreation Area: 2 hikes
- British Columbia: 7 hikes

INTRODUCTION:
There is a fairly extensive introduction (35 pages) that ranges in subject matter from an overview of conservation issues facing the region to an explanation of the how to use the various features of the book. Issues of safety, backcountry preparedness, and wilderness ethics are also discussed.

HIKES:
The hikes are number 1 through 100 and arranged according to geographic area. Each individual trail guide begins with a table that lists the following details: Location, Status (level of legal protection, if any), Distance, Hiking Time, Difficulty, Season, Maps, and Information (who to contact).

After this brief overview table, the text begins. Generally, a brief overview of the area and hike is first, followed by detailed driving directions and then a description of the major features of the trail, including potential campsites, restrictions or regulations, water availability, and any other special concerns. At the end of most descriptions is a section labeled "Options" that offers suggestions for variations of the route described in the main section.

Three images are included with each individual hike: an elevation profile, a black an white photo of the scenery from the trail, and a trail map.

APPENDICES:
Several appendices follow the main section, and they are as follows:

Appendix A: Bonus Hikes - Lists 31 "unsung favorites," or trails that are popular and close to population centers. These are generally shorter trails that begin at campgrounds.

Appendix B: Equipment List - A one-page checklist of all of gear that one might conceivably need on a trip. This list is extensive, so the ten essentials are highlighted.
IMAGE 4
Mineral Ridge, Hike #22

Appendix C: Administration / Information Sources - A directory of addresses and telephone numbers of all of the various government agencies one might need to contact to get information on the hikes in the book. This section is best used in cross-reference with the "Information" listing at the beginning of each individual hike.

Appendix D: Sources for Maps - A list of possible sources for obtaining maps of the areas covered by the book.

Appendix E: Hiking / Conservation Groups - A directory of organizations that might be of interest to readers.

Appendix F: Trail Comparison Chart - A quick and easy reference for all 100 hikes. They are arranged in a chart that tracks their difficulty, season, length, and other features such as whether the trail offers the chance to fish, is located in grizzly country, or is open to ORVs.

MY EXPERIENCE

IMAGE 2
Hall Mountain, Hike #11

This book covers a lot of different types of terrain, from alpine areas to sage brush desert. The hikes are definitely weighted heavily toward the alpine areas of North Idaho and Northwest Montana, but that is to be expected, since that is where the majority of public land is located. But even with this imbalance, I have been able to hike in some amazingly varied terrain with this book as my guide. I've hiked deserts, old growth forest, lake and river shores, and high alpine areas.

As of this posting, I have done 16 of the hikes in this book, including some I have returned to multiple times to do the different options. To my great satisfaction, the information has been 100% accurate every time. The driving directions have always been reliable, and the trail descriptions are dependable.

One important caveat is that the maps included with each hike are small, general maps not to be counted on for navigation. They are great for getting a general idea of the terrain, but they should not be counted on for hiking. I have, on occasion, used the included maps as my only map on a hike, but that was not a very safe thing to do. A USGS map is much more useful and should be carried when actually out in the field.
IMAGE 3
Steamboat Rock, Hike #2


The elevation profiles included with each hike are a good way to quickly gauge the difficulty of the hike. The profile is basically a grid with feet of elevation gain on the vertical axis and mileage on the horizontal axis. The profile also includes helpful labels that indicate where on the profile certain landmarks or important points fall, such as intersections, camps, or springs.

Finally, though the included pictures are only black and white, it is very nice to have one for every hike. It helps as much as anything in deciding whether or not to visit a particular area.

SUMMARY

This book has been a tremendous help to me. I am a transplant to the area, so it has aided me in familiarizing myself with my surroundings.

THINGS I LIKE

Covers a wide variety of terrain
Accurate information
Useful appendices
Useful elevation profiles and pictures

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

Heavily weighted to one particular area

SIGNATURE

David Tagnani

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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