New ‘Hiking Alaska’ book offers more routes, more color — and more heft

Just in time for the start of another hiking season, the third edition of the venerable guidebook “Hiking Alaska” has hit the shelves.

It’s easily the most comprehensive statewide resource for residents and visitors who are looking for the best places to put their feet to the ground.

Author Mollie Foster has greatly expanded the book from previous editions. The new version is nearly 100 pages longer than the last, which came out in 2006, and includes significant changes.

Foster said that the new version “received an overhaul of all elements of the book: text, photographs, maps, layout, and design.” She also added 12 trails not previously included.

The book has 100 entries, although there are actually more hikes than that since some of the routes offer two or more options at the trailhead. Each entry has a rundown of basic information such as distance, elevation gain, difficulty and the best time to visit. There are also directions for getting to the trail, a brief description of conditions and scenic features, as well as a map and an elevation profile for each route.

“This new version of the book is in full color,” Foster said, “from the photographs to the topographic maps, whereas the two previous editions were entirely black and white. A significant change is the number of photographs. The third edition has more than 175 full-color photos, while the previous edition included about 40 black and white images.”

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