Sunday, March 27, 2011

Monday Mix: Explore Arizona - Hike, Bike, Drive

--by Hanje Richards

Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter. Any season is a good time to explore Arizona, but it seems like Spring is the very best. These books show all kinds of tips and tricks and secret places for hiking, biking and driving in the southwest in general and in Arizona in particular. If you are new to the state, or have visitors from elsewhere, or are an old timer, you may have missed some of the special spots.

There are books featuring trips with kids and trips without kids. There are trips to hot springs and to rock art. Enjoy exploring Arizona for the first time or the 50th with these Explore Arizona books.

Arizona Journey Guide: A Driving And Hiking Guide to Ruins, Rock Art, Fossils And Formations - Seek out Arizona's best spots with this easy-to-use guide. Residents, tourists and snowbirds will value this great, all-in-one resource. The star rating scale ensures that you won't miss the wow sites.

Arizona, Off the Beaten Path - Whatever you do when you travel, get off the interstate. Who needs more bland rest stops and fast food? Devoted to travelers with a taste for the unique, this easy-to-use guide helps you discover the hidden places in Arizona that most tourists miss --unsung, unspoiled, and out-of-the-way finds that liven up a week's vacation, a day trip, or an afternoon.

Awesome Arizona Places for Curious Kids - Plan a family vacation that's totally fun for kids. This guide pinpoints the top destination in the state. Your guide to 20 destinations sure to pique a child's natural curiosity. User friendly icons highlight facts about geology, ancient history, wildlife and much more, making your vacation a fun learning experience.

Best Hikes With Dogs: Arizona - The author and her canine companions have hiked more than 700 miles together in Arizona. Now they share their favorite trails, presented through dog-centric eyes. On most trails, you'll encounter few people to dodge. Most hikes offer shade, if not water, to help keep your dog cool in extreme Arizona conditions. They emphasize terrain that's easy on the paws and give advance warning, trail by trail, on canine hazards to watch for. There are also tips on dealing with canine emergencies and for hiking with minimum dog-impact on the environment.

Ranging from short day hikes to extended backpacking trips, many trails included are clustered around urban areas including Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Sedona/Prescott, and other communities in Mogollon Rim country. There are hikes as far-flung as the Mexican border and in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona.

Chasing Wildflowers: A Mad Search for Wild Gardens - Author Scott Calhoun invites you to join him on a rollicking adventure through Utah, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and into Sonora, Mexico. Along the way, learn how red chile on a white T-shirt can look like a gunshot wound, and how a man driving a VW Jetta with 100,000 miles on it can feel "richer than a Hollywood divorce lawyer" while he searches for the elusive beauty of blooming wildflowers. Why? Because "there are some temptations that are too great for a renegade gardener to resist." 36 full-color photographs.

Cycling Arizona: The Statewide Road Biking Guide - From trips long the Grand Canyon's rim to roller coaster rides through the Sonoita Wine Country, this book contains 106 routes within day-trip range from cities throughout the state. Whether you're a skilled cyclist looking for a challenge or a casual rider in search of scenery, this guide provides all the information you need. Each ride is accompanied by an elevation profile, as well as a guide to mileage, difficulty, and peak cycling periods. Find out where to stay and where to eat and plan your trek using regional and local maps. .

Desert Sense: Camping, Hiking & biking in Hot, Dry Climates - Like any desert aficionado, Bruce Grubbs is obsessed with water: how much to bring, how to carry it, how to conserve it, and how to find it in the backcountry. But desert exploration involves much more. Grubbs provides the knowledge and skills you need to move through this landscape with confidence.

In addition to techniques for hiking and mountain biking special to desert conditions, Grubbs tells how to prepare your vehicle for remote desert roads and how to avoid getting stuck in sand or busting a tire. He discusses navigating in the desert, "dry camping" skills, and techniques for minimum impact on this starkly beautiful but fragile environment. There are tips for dealing with desert heat -- and cold -- and other challenges (sharp spiny plants and venomous snakes are easy to avoid with a little preparation and know-how). But just in case, Grubbs troubleshoots the worst-case scenarios. Throughout, he gives an understanding of desert climate and seasons and the unique plants and creatures at home in it.

Gem Trails of Arizona - Arizona is known the world over for its rich abundance of rocks and minerals. This guide covers well-known sites, and uncovers many lesser-known areas as well. These sites vary from arid desert to pine covered peaks. Detailed text describes where to go and what to look for at each collecting area. Maps for each site lead the rockhound to an almost limitless supply of specimens. Black and white photographs picture the collecting area.

Hidden Highways Arizona - Shows the way to adventure along lost highways, through small towns, and in wilderness areas. It introduces the traveler to back-road adventures that follow carefully planned routes. Travelers will be guided down secluded side roads and onto dirt roads to find ghost towns, red rock canyons, and other areas of forgotten Arizona. Eight routes, including the popular Grand Canyon loop drive and the little-traveled Hopi Mesa Trail, are detailed. The book features the most distinctive or unusual places to stay, including one of only two surviving wigwam-style roadside motels. Presented in a multidimensional layout with illustrations, photos, maps, and sidebars, each chapter follows a single route, as the itinerary moves swiftly from point to point.

Hiking Arizona’s Cactus Country - Explores a broad swath of the Sonoran Desert that extends northward across the Mexican border and encompasses the southern third of Arizona. This comprehensive guide features hikes in Saguaro National Park, Organ Pipe National Monument, the Chiricahua Mountains, and Sky Islands of Coronado National Forest, including thirteen new hikes to total ninety-eight. The trails through Arizona's cactus country provide hiking opportunities and challenges for visitors with a wide range of abilities and skills, from easier day hikes to strenuous multi-day backpack trips. .

Hiking Ruins Seldom Seen - There are ancient treasures hidden across the American Southwest. Tucked away in remote canyons are hundreds of ruins, cultural treasures that provide a wealth of information about the past -- and most people never visit them. This book is your ticket to these enchanted, little-known sites. It will lead you on wonderful day hikes and overnight trips to some of the most spectacular areas of the Southwest. For amateur archaeologists and those who enjoy heading into the wilderness, it contains maps and detailed directions to remote sites, provides water availability information, and points out hazards on the way. A description of each archaeological site is provided, along with notes on the scenery and wildlife of the area. All of the ruins and rock-art sites highlighted here are located off the beaten path and are relatively unknown to the public.


Hot Springs and Hot Pools of the Southwest - Springs are listed as commercial or "wild" type springs, and also categorized by water temperature and ease of access.

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Motorcycle Arizona - This book has some useful touring information presented with a sense of humor. Overall, it will save the reader some time in planning a motorcycle trip to Arizona and is worth reading. .

100 Classic Hikes: Arizona - Includes a mix of trails from easy day trips, to never-dull loop hikes, to more remote long-distance treks. No hiking guide captures the beautifully complex and varied landscape of Arizona like Scott Warren's. Thoroughly updated and expanded with useful topographic maps and elevation trail profiles, this third edition offers a wide range of the state's most scenic hiking trails. You can stand in a mile deep canyon one day, hike through a saguaro cactus forest the next, and stand on a nearly 10,000 foot "sky island" in the Chiricahua Mountains yet another day. You can hike Lenox Crater, an actual volcano with a nearby lava flow, or lose yourself on Dutchman's Trail, a solitary long distance trek in the fabled Superstition Mountains.

Rock Art Along the Way - Ancient artists carved and painted their work upon the rocks of Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, and California. This guide introduces you to more than 55 outdoor art galleries. Sensitive to legal and environmental regulations, Janet Farnsworth and Bernadette Heath provide all the necessary information needed to visit these public-accessible sites. They include historical and archaeological background on Western rock art, detailed directions to sites, information on fees, and suggestions for many other fun-filled adventures nearby. 180 color photos, maps.

Scenic Driving Arizona - Pack up the car and enjoy thirty separate drives through the deep canyons, cacti-spotted desert plains, and grassy prairies of Arizona. This indispensable highway companion maps out day trips that explore the Grand Canyon State. Discover Arizona’s multicultural history, geographic diversity, and awe-inspiring scenery along highways and back roads from the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert to the volcanic White Mountains and the Apache Trail Scenic Byway. Along the way, stop and explore the ruins of Indian villages, watery playgrounds such as Lake Mead, the natural delights of national parklands, and the ghost towns and abandoned gold mines of Arizona’s pioneer days.

Southern Arizona Trails - Jagged desert peaks, awesome gaping canyons, wildflower-dotted alpine meadows and more entice hikers and backpackers to adventure in central and southern Arizona. From short dayhikes to multi-day backpacking trips, this book features 84 routes for beginning to skilled backpackers (excludes Grand Canyon hikes).

Ultimate Desert Handbook: A Manual for Desert Hikers, Campers and Travelers - Comprehensive handbook on desert travel and exploration. Assuming no prior desert know-how, this detailed guide is intended for hikers, backpackers, campers, and 4WD vehicle travelers, along with a wide range of other adventure enthusiasts pursuing their chosen activities into the desert -- rock climbers, birding enthusiasts, pilots, nature lovers, and wildlife/landscape photographers. Even dayhikers and occasional visitors to desert destinations will find the book easy to understand and extremely useful. It is packed with information and includes descriptions and histories of deserts around the world; a complete survey of the North American deserts, their indigenous peoples, plants, and wildlife; expert advice, including historical background.

Also included are chapters on desert mountain biking, first aid, wildlife observation & photography, desert hazards & survival, finding & treating water from all manner of desert sources, as well as preparing and using desert vehicles and animal transport. Last but not least is the most thorough section on desert navigation ever published and easy-to-follow advice on everything from selecting a low-impact campsite to signaling and rescue communications.