Top 10 Books to Read
for Hiking Inspiration

A journey begins with a single step, so the ancient mantra goes — or in this case, with a single book. As the season of hiking boots and trail-mapping fast approaches, so does that time for dusting off all those wonderful, outdoorsy titles that make for the perfect reads.

Following Atticus by Tom Ryan

Tom Ryan’s inspiring tale of how he and his miniature schnauzer companion, the “Little Buddha” Atticus M. Finch, attempted to scale all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four thousand foot White Mountains twice in the dead of winter.

A Million Steps by Kurt Koontz

Part diary, part travelogue, A Million Steps is Kurt Koontz’s engaging memoir of hiking the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. With outgoing humor and friendliness, he embraces the beauty of the countryside and joyful connections to other pilgrims from around the world, while navigating through his personal history of addiction, recovery, and love.

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is David Miller’s account of this thru-hike along the entire 2,172 miles from Georgia to Maine. On page after page, readers are treated to rich descriptions of the valleys and mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the life-changing moments that can only be experienced when dreams are pursued. David Miller is also the author of the AT Guide, published annually.

K2: The World’s Most Dangerous Mountain by Ed Viesturs

Focusing on seven of the mountain’s most dramatic campaigns, from his own troubled ascent to the 2008 tragedy, Viesturs crafts an edge-of-your-seat narrative that climbers and armchair travelers alike will find unforgettably compelling.

River: One Man’s Journey Down the Colorado by Colin Fletcher

Colin Fletcher, the backpacking guru and consummate observer of nature whose previous treks through the American West are recounted in The Man Who Walked Through Time and The Thousand-Mile Summer, takes readers on a 1,700-mile, six-month journey down the entire length of America’s second longest river, the Colorado.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage fell apart. With nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and she would do it alone.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

One of the most extraordinary survival stories ever told — Aron Ralston’s searing account of his six days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home.

Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat

Never Cry Wolf is one of the most brilliant narratives on the myth and magical world of wild wolves and man’s true place among the creatures of nature. “We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be — the mythological epitome of a savage, ruthless killer — which is, in reality, no more than the reflected image of ourself. Written, by Farley Mowat, the author of 39 books, this is a gripping and timeless conservation classic.

Indian Creek Chronicles: A Winter in the Bitterroot Wilderness by Pete Fromm

Indian Creek Chronicles is Pete Fromm’s account of seven winter months spent alone in a tent in Idaho guarding salmon eggs and coming face to face with the blunt realities of life as a contemporary mountain man. He learned to hunt, to tan leather, and to preserve meat. There were occasional parties with hunting groups, brief visits by the game wardens, and a few narrow escapes. A fine tale of adventure and self-sufficiency.

The Last Englishman by Keith Foskett

‘The Last Englishman’ is Keith’s account of his 2,650 mile adventure on Americas Pacific Crest Trail. With only 20% of hikers finishing this trail, “Fozzie” must face his fear of snakes, bears, getting dirty and camping in the woods after dark. Far from his home in West Sussex, Englands and a stranger in a very strange land, The Last Englishman is a funny and entertaining adventure story that includes the highs, the lows, the companionship, the solitude, nature’s grandeur, and the inner journey of hiking a long distance trail.