I’m back home, catching up with mail, emails and more marketing events for my books.
However, as I read about the latest news in our area, I can’t help think back on the Rocky Mountains. Their history seems much more national than the history of the Smokies. People from all over the western U.S. rallied to make the area a national park. In the Smokies, the biggest voices were from North Carolina and Tennessee. More about that after I go to the rededication of the Smokies in a couple of weeks.
I checked out hiking guides for the RMNP. Lisa Foster’s Rocky Mountain National Park – the Complete Hiking Guide is the book for all maintained trails (and some unmaintained ones). I met Lisa on a trail coming back from Odessa Lake – see the picture above. She’s now busy with another project, her newborn, and has no intentions of writing another guidebook, at least for now. Because the book contains unmaintained trails, it was not approved to be sold in the park Visitor Center. It is the equivalent to our Hiking Trails of the Smokies, in that it is comprehensive, bu t of course, the Smokies book only has maintained trails.
The book we used most was Rocky Mountain National Park Dayhiker’s Guide by Jerome Malitz. This book describes 33 of the most popular day hikes in the park. For visitors intent on seeing the best of the park, this is my recommendation. It clearly tells you the mileage, ascent, and other statistics and a good description of the trail.
I would not recommend the Dannens’ book, even though it is in its 9th edition. The main reason is that the authors, themselves, did not do all the hikes. To me, that’s a strikeout. It is wordy and chatty and hard to figure out exactly what the distances and altitude gain is.
So now, I’m back in the Southern Appalachians where it is warm and stormy in the late afternoon. More hiking ahead.