When traveling outside our home state of Washington, we're often met with a perplexing planning challenge. Without the wonderful Washington Trails Association (WTA) Hike Finder Map at our disposal, where do we turn for quality trail information? We don't typically trust crowd-sourced sites like AllTrails. And most states don't have a resource like the WTA Hike Finder. So, as travelers and hikers have for generations, we turn to guidebooks.
We recently visited northern Arizona for Rachel's birthday. After spending a night in Flagstaff and a day at the Grand Canyon, we settled into Sedona (aka Red Rock Country) for a couple nights. Neither of us had hiked in Sedona before. We needed a guide.
For a relatively small tourist town of only 10,000 residents, Sedona is bursting with hiking opportunities. We found dozens (if not hundreds) of trails in our web searches. To narrow the possibilities, we brought along a fresh copy of Best Hikes Sedona, a Falcon Guide by Bruce Grubbs.
The curated guide made our planning much easier, and we knew we could rely on Falcon Guides (the largest publisher of outdoor guidebooks in the country) for accurate information. Falcon has been producing quality hiking guides for over 40 years.
Best Hikes Sedona
Best Hikes Sedona: The Greatest Views, Desert Hikes, and Forest Strolls is based on the Sedona section of Falcon's broader guidebook, Hiking Northern Arizona. Published in 2019, Best Hikes Sedona is a full-color guide featuring 55 hikes around Sedona.
We found the trailhead directions to be especially helpful. For example, we knew we wanted to hike at Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Various online resources show multiple trailheads to reach the area, and a mess of interconnected trails. In Best Hikes Sedona, the author points you to a single trailhead (the South Bell Rock Trailhead) and gives turn-by-turn directions to keep you on the suggested route. We found this trailhead to be less crowded and more convenient than alternatives suggested by other sources.
History and geology are additional guidebook features that you don't always find online. When researching the Devil's Bridge hike, for example, we learned about the trail name from Best Hikes Sedona:
"...before good trails and roads were built, the early cowboys and settlers found the area very difficult to travel in. Because of the roughness of the country and the striking red rocks, the pioneers called the area 'Hells Hole' and named several features for the devil."
For those unfamiliar with hiking in Red Rock Country, Best Hikes Sedona is a great introduction to the region's many hiking trails. Our copy is already dog-eared, trail-tested, and looking forward to another trip someday! You can find the guide in bookstores and on Amazon:
Urban Hikes Washington
While you're here, we'd be remiss if we didn't plug our own Falcon Guide, coming July 1, 2020. Our book explores 40 urban hiking trails throughout the state of Washington with travel tips like where to eat and stay along the way.
We're excited to release our book with a trusted publisher like Falcon. They've spent 40 years building a reputation for excellent hiking guides, and we can't wait to release our own! You can pre-order it now on Amazon: