Old Maps

Outdoor Adventure Guidebooks:

National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA)











Best Book Lists


















Winners of the Guidebooks (Outdoor Adventure)Category
National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA)


The most important book award program in the outdoor field is the National Outdoor Book Awards. Past winners of the Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category are listed below:


Adventure Guidebook Category


Your National ParksWinner.  Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 58 National Parks.  By Michael Joseph Oswald.  Stone Road Press, Whitelaw, WI.  ISBN 9781621280002.


Slip this 695-page book into your glove compartment, and you’ll have the perfect travelling companion when visiting the national parks.  It covers all 58 parks with a bounty of information on each. There are kid-friendly activities, lots of ideas for hikes, and an exhaustive list of hotels, restaurants and attractions beyond the parks’ boundaries.  With more than 500 color images, 140 easy-to-read maps, and 55 hiking tables, you’ll be armed and ready for your next trip to the outdoor gems of the nation. 


Amazon.com:  More Information or Purchase



Grand CanyoneeringWinner.  Grand Canyoneering:  Exploring the Rugged Gorges and Secret Slots of the Grand Canyon.  By Todd Martin.  Todd’s Hiking Guide, LLC.  ISBN 9780978961435.


If you’re into canyoneeering, Grand Canyoneering is a must-have.  Handsomely illustrated with color photographs throughout, this outstanding guide includes thorough explanations of over 100 different trips into the tributary drainages and ravines of the Grand Canyon.  Trip descriptions are supplemented with topographic maps, key GPS coordinates, and information on water sources, specialized equipment and natural history.  Todd Martin writes in a comfortable, conversational style which makes the guide a pleasure to read; yet, at the same time, he is exacting when it comes to describing canyon routes.  The sheer volume of material alone is impressive, and combined with the photos, maps, and text, it’s decidedly a tour de force of outdoor guidebooks.


Amazon.com:  More Information or Purchase



Rio GrandeWinner. The Rio Grande: A River Guide to the Geology and Landscapes of Northern New Mexico.  By Paul W. Bauer.  New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Socorro, NM.  ISBN 9781883905286


This colorful and remarkably well done guide, covering 153 miles of the Rio Grande, is packed full of information for flatwater and whitewater paddlers.  But it’s not just for river runners.  Hikers, anglers and cyclists will also find it invaluable in their trips to Rio Grande country.  The maps are first rate.  They were developed from an aerial photo base and use a blend of colors and shaded relief to make the river topography stand out.  The geological information, both textual and illustrative, is some of the best the judges have seen in a river guide.


Amazon.com:  More Information or Purchase

If Amazon doesn't have the book, try:  New Mexico Bureau of Geology


HavasupaiWinner. Exploring Havasupai: A Guide to the Heart of the Grand Canyon.  By Greg Witt.  Menasha Ridge Press, Birmingham, AL.  ISBN 9780897326544


There are any number of tucked away oases in the Grand Canyon, but if there is a Shangri-la, it's Havasupai.  The remote and isolated village, also known as Supai, has been home to the Havasupai Indians for centuries.  To get to Supai, you have to hike in 8 miles.  Two miles beyond Supai is a campground, and explorations of Havasu Canyon and its famous turquoise waters begin from there.  This full-color guidebook includes information on flora, geology, cultural history and backcountry trails, but it is the preparatory material which is some of the most useful: obtaining reservations, getting there, where to stay, choice of equipment, and other helpful hints to make your journey to Shangri-la a memorable one. 


Amazon.com: More Information or Purchase




DinosaurWinner.  Guide to the Green and Yampa Rivers in
Dinosaur National Monument.
  By Duwain Whitis and Barbara Vinson.  RiverMaps, Buda, TX.  ISBN 9870981935913


The Guide to the Green and Yampa Rivers is the newest member of an exceptional series of guidebooks published under the RiverMaps imprint.  Everything about this guidebook is useful and practical from its tough, waterproof paper to its clear and thoughtful lay-out.  Open it to any page, and on one side are concise and accurate descriptions of rapids, campsites and features of interest.  On the facing page, positioned to match the text, are full-sized 7.5 minute topographic maps that you can read from the seat of your boat.


Available from the publisher: RiverMaps



BajaHonorable Mention.  The Guide to Baja Sea Kayaking. By Dave Eckardt.  Paddle Publishing, Eagle, CO.  ISBN 97809645839914


Ah Baja!  The sea kayaker's paradise.  When the day comes and when you're ready to head out to paradise, this is the guidebook to take.  It covers a total of 1,500 miles of Baja shoreline and describes the circumnavigation of 30 islands.  All of the trips are neatly overlaid on crisp Landsat satellite photos.


Available from the publisher:  Paddle Publishing


Florida KeysWinner. Florida Keys Paddling Atlas.  By Bill and Mary Burnham.  Falcon Guides, Guilford, CT.  ISBN 9780762738571.


This is an exceptionally well-done sea kayaking guide to the tropical water paradise of the Florida Keys.  Graphically appealing and functional, it includes fully annotated navigational charts and information on key launch sites, helpful route-finding hints, paddle-friendly marinas and hidden-away waterways. 


More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com

Grand Canyon River Guide 

Winner. Guide to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  By Tom Martin and Duwain Whitis.  Vishnu Temple Press, Flagstaff, AZ.  ISBN 9780977674985.


For whitewater river runners, the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is the pinnacle experience.  Now there's a river map and guide to match that reputation.  It's built upon a series of 7.5 minute topographic maps, correctly oriented and large enough to read easily from the seat of your boat.  Outstanding cartographical work combined with accurate descriptions of rapids, camps and landmarks make this the state-of-the-art of river guides.


More Information or Purchase - Direct from the Publisher:  info@vishnutemplepress.com

Cover: Continental DivideWinner: Colorado's Continental Divide Trail
By Tom Lorang Jones. Photographs by John Fielder.  Published by Westcliffe Publishers. 


This guidebook covers the 759-mile stretch of the Continental Divide Trail through the state of Colorado and includes trail descriptions, history, conservation information, and route finding hints.  It's an outstanding resource for hikers and mountain bikers.  From brilliant color photography to colorful maps and graphics to insightful writing, this is a model guidebook.


More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com

Cover: America's 100 Best Trout StreamsWinner: Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams By John Ross.  Jeff Wincapaw, Art Director. Published by Falcon Publishing and Trout Unlimited.


These are the streams that fire an angler's imagination: 100 of them in 30 states across the US, voted the best places to catch trout by members of Trout Unlimited.  The writing in this well organized guide is strong, lively and stylish.  It makes you want to grab your rod and hit the road. 


More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com

Cover: Winter Trails

Honorable Mention: Vermont and New Hampshire Winter Trails  By Marty Basch.  Published by The Globe Pequot Press.


Designed for all levels, from consummate winter recreational skiers and snowshoers to beginners and families, Winter Trails covers the best places to snowshoe and cross-country ski in Vermont and New Hampshire.

More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com


Sear Kayaking

Winner: Guide to Sea Kayaking Central and Northern California By Roger Schumann and Jan Shriner.  Published by The Globe Pequot Press


Well designed and written, this is a splendid sea kayaking guide.  The authors do what should be done in all guidebooks: show they're having fun!   Even if you've never dipped a paddle, you'll be drawn in by the book's cheery personality.  And then there's the maps.  Created with the reader in mind, they are gems--pleasing to look at, easy to grasp, and accurate. 


More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com

Continental DivideHonorable Mention: Montana and Idaho's Continental Divide Trail By Lynna Howard. Photography by Leland Howard


In the design department, this book tops the chart: artistic, full-color photos, eminently usable maps, elevation charts, trail access symbols, and user friendly lay-out throughout.  If you're planning on doing some hiking on the Continental trail, this is the book to get.



More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com

Winner:Fifty Favorite Climbs: The Ultimate North American Tick List.  By Mark Kroese.  Published by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.


This splendidly done, full-color treat-for-the-eyes blends personality and place, showcasing fifty accomplished climbers and their favorite climbs.  Each section includes a biographic sketch of the climber, a story about his or her chosen climb, and a route description clearly illustrated by a photograph and accompanying schematics. 


More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com


Honorable Mention: Hike America Virginia: An Atlas of Virginia's Greatest Hiking Adventures. By Bill & Mary Burnham.  Published by The Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, Connecticut. 


Strike out and explore the trails and history of Virginia's backcountry in this handsomely designed and well-written guide.



More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com


Honorable Mention: 101 Hikes in Northern California: Exploring Mountains, Valleys, and Seashore.  By Matt Heid.  Published by Wilderness Press, Berkeley.


A wonderful selection of trails, good writing, and helpful graphics make this a choice guidebook for ambles in the special places of Northern California.


More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com



Sierra NevadaWinner. Hiking the Sierra Nevada.  By John Mock and Kimberley O'Neil.  Published by Lonely Planet Publications, Footscray, Australia. ISBN 1740592727.


Hiking the Sierra Nevada is a user friendly, rock-solid guidebook with clear writing, useful topographic maps, inviting photos, and it's conveniently sized to fit in the side pocket of your pack. 

More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com


Alaska: A Climbing GuideHonorable Mention.  Alaska: A Climbing Guide. By Michael Wood and Colby Coombs. Published by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle. ISBN 089886724X.


If you're planning a climb in Alaska, this is the book to consult.  Nicely designed and well-written, it covers history and climbing routes throughout the state.


More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com


Winner. 100 Hikes in Yosemite National Park.  By Marc J. Soares.  Published by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 089886867X


Yosemite is a thoughtfully designed, full-color guide to Yosemite National Park and surrounding areas.  The book's colorful, three dimensional maps aid in planing your hikes and give you a birds-eye view of the lay of the land. 

More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com


Inland NorthwestHonorable Mention. 100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest: Eastern Washington, Northern Rockies, Wallowas.  By Rich Landers and the Spokane Mountaineers.  Published by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898869080


Outdoor columnist, Rich Landers in combination with the Spokane Mountaineers, has penned the perfect companion for hiking in the Northern Rockies.  Deeply concerned about the outdoor environment, Landers not only writes about it, but he acts too, donating all proceeds from the sale of the book to trail maintenance. 


More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com


Trekking Washington

Honorable Mention. Trekking Washington.  By Mike Woodmansee.  Published by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898869048


This attractive guide, illustrated with color photos and a new type of shaded-relief map, is designed for long distance hikers.  Treks start at 30 miles in length and run to 240 miles. 

More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com


Oregon Classic HikesWinner.  100 Classic Hikes in Oregon.  By Douglas Lorain. The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898869633


You can always tell when a guidebook author knows his stuff.  Douglas Lorain, who literally lives on the trail, was the perfect person to author this book.  Combined with a stylish design, full color photographs, and very useable maps, this is the cream of the crop of this year's guide books.

More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com



Yellowstone & Tetons

Winner.  Top Trails Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  By Andrew Dean Nystrom.  Wilderness Press, Berkeley.  ISBN 089997368X 


If this year's winner of the Guidebook Category is any indication, Top Trails are top notched guidebooks.  Top Trails Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is a guidebook with a lot of moxie.  It's exceedingly well organized.  The maps are uncluttered and easy to use.  And introductory charts help you identify suitable trails.  In addition to the book's smart design, Andrew Dean Nystrom has done a splendid job of researching and writing about the trails.

More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com


Salmon River

Honorable Mention.  Idaho's Salmon River: A River Runner's Guide to the River of No Return.  By Eric J. Newell and Allison J. Newell.  Black Canyon Guides, Logan, UT.  ISBN 0976671700 


This is a marvelously unpretentious compact guide to running the rapids of the famous River of No Return.  Included are maps, GPS coordinates, camp locations, schematics of major rapids and plenty of helpful hints.  Plus, it's waterproof and just the right size to slip under a life jacket.


More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com


Red Rocks 

Honorable Mention.  Red Rock Canyon: A Climbing Guide.  By Roxanna Brook and Jared McMillen.  The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898864860


There is none more complete.  This guidebook to the famous Red Rocks climbing area, 30 minutes from Las Vegas, is fittingly produced and remarkably comprehensive with over 1,500 routes described

More Information or Purchase: Amazon.com

Middle Fork

Winner.  The Middle Fork of the Salmon River: A Comprehensive Guide.  By Matt Leidecker.  Idaho River Publications, Hailey, ID.  ISBN 1424302668


More than any, river guidebooks get used—and abused.  All day, they are in and out of ammo cans, passed around, and used to keep track of mileage, to re-check routes through rapids, and to find the night's camp.  They have to be tough, conveniently sized, able to withstand a soaking or two, have easy-to-read maps, and clear and concise descriptions.  Matt Leidecker's Middle Fork guidebook fits the bill perfectly.  If you have a trip planned on Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon, this is the guide written and built for the job.


Available from the author's website: Middle Fork



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