Book review – Las Vegas base camp: 101 hike southwest of Deborah Wall

"Base Camp Las Vegas: 101 Hikes in the Southwest" for Deborah Wall is an invaluable resource guide for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts of all levels of activity.

Wall is a recognized expert in the field, hosting a popular column on hiking and other activities, and as a contributor and writer for many travel sites and publications. "Base Camp Las Vegas" was first published in 2010, and the Bible quickly became popular for hikers interested in area excursions. "Base Camp Las Vegas: 101 Hikes in the Southwest" is the updated and expanded edition of this book. The guide focuses on paths located in the 4 state areas of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and California, specifically landscapes that are easily accessible from the Las Vegas area.

My husband and I are relatively "novice" hikers, with a few tracks under our belts in Colorado and New Mexico, so I was excited 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 hitting the boardwalk, And contains sound practical advice to prepare for a picnic. Details ranging from what to wear, what items to carry in today's package, weather considerations, water consumption, to tips on hiking with children and what to do if you encounter some wildlife creatures – like a rattlesnake!

From there the author dives directly to specific areas and paths. After completing each of the increases at least once, Wall conveys her first-hand knowledge that provides comprehensive details about each increase, including the best season to visit, length and difficulty of elevation, elevation data, specific trail warnings, and directions. This is vital information because prior knowledge allows for appropriate planning, and hikers will benefit greatly from the experience of the author. I especially enjoyed reading about the historical significance of many regions, including claims of fame and how each region got its names.

Aside from the wealth of information inside these pages, it's a very beautiful book, too. A brilliant photographer, Wall also includes page after page of amazing photos for each region. Pageviews are enough to make you want to collect your gear and orientation – instantly! Really high quality production in every aspect, there are a lot of things to love in this guide. After reading it once, I'm now excited to return to the many pages I bookmarked so that I can search and plan for our next trip. However, I have to wait for my husband to finish reading it – catch it as soon as I put it down!

I highly recommend "Base Camp Las Vegas: 101 Hikes in Southwest" by Deborah Wall to anyone interested in hiking, camping or just learning more about the area.