Deborah Wall’s “Base Camp Las Vegas: 101 Hikes in the Southwest” is an invaluable resource guide for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts of all activity levels.
Wall is a recognized expert in the field, presenting a popular column on hiking and other activities, and contributing and writing for many travel sites and publications. First published in 2010, “Base Camp Las Vegas” quickly became the bible for hikers interested in touring the area. “Base Camp Las Vegas: 101 Hikes in the Southwest” is the updated and expanded edition of that book. The guide focuses on trails located in the 4-state region of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and California, specifically the easily accessible landscape from the Las Vegas area.
My husband and I are relatively “novice” hikers, with a few trails under our belt in Colorado and New Mexico, so I was eager to get my hands on this book and absorb all that Wall had to offer in this amazing guide. The book begins with a section called Before starting outand contains solid, practical tips to prepare for an excursion. Details ranging from what to wear, items to pack in a backpack, weather considerations and water consumption, to tips on hiking with children and what to do if you encounter certain wildlife creatures, such as rattlesnakes.
From there, the author dives straight into specific areas and trails. After you’ve completed each of the hikes at least once, Wall passes on his first-hand knowledge by providing complete details on each hike, including the best season to visit, the length and difficulty of the hike, elevation data, trail warnings. specifics and directions. This is vital information, as knowing ahead of time allows for proper planning, and hikers will greatly benefit from the experiences learned from the author. I particularly enjoyed reading about the historical significance of many of the areas, including claims of fame and how each area got its names.
Aside from the wealth of information found within these pages, it is also an absolutely beautiful book. An accomplished photographer, Wall also includes page after page of AWESOME photos from each area. The views that jump off the pages are enough to make you want to pack up your gear and head out, right away! Truly high quality production in all respects, there are many things that I love about this guide. Having read it once, I am now eager to go back to the many pages I have bookmarked so that I can research and plan our next trip. However, I will have to wait for my husband to finish reading it – he grabbed it as soon as I put it down!
I highly recommend Deborah Wall’s “Base Camp Las Vegas: 101 Hikes in the Southwest” to anyone interested in hiking, camping, or just learning more about the area.