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Book Review: 100 Classic Hikes: Washington by Craig Romano

craig romano
100 Classic Hikes: Washington Cover

My bookshelf has two rows of various hiking guides, but recently a new guide came out that will have a prominent spot in the first row. Craig Romano has rewritten and updated Harvey Manning and Ira Spring’s original 100 Classic Hikes in Washington book from 1998, including some of the initial hikes, but adding some new ones as well. All corners of the state are represented, from the Olympic Beaches to the Columbia Gorge, the San Juan Islands, Puget Sound, the North, Central and South Cascades, and far eastern Blues, Kettles and Selkirks.

Browsing through 100 Classic Hikes: Washington is a pleasurable treat. Large, full-color photos draw readers in to the beauty and diversity of each hike. The paper is thick and glossy, giving a solid feel to the book. Topo maps, also printed at a readable size in color, help hikers predict what kind of adventure they’ll be tackling. The Hikes at a Glance section shows a quick overview of whether hikes are kid-friendly, how long and strenuous they are, and what seasons you can expect them to be open. And of course, Craig Romano’s familiar informative writing style entices explorers to get out there.

100 classic hikes washington
View of Lake Ann cradled in a cirque on Maple Pass Loop, Hike No. 80 – Photo by Craig Romano


Hikes range from family-friendly walks to multi-day excursions. Many of the hikes are longer or harder than young children will enjoy, but Craig points out the trails and sections that are appropriate for families, as well as dogs. There are hikes that even non-hikers have completed, such as Mt. Si, and there are hikes that you’ll have to seek with more deliberation, such as Crowell Ridge-Gypsy Peak in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness. Beaches, lakes, rivers, flowers, forests and peaks – you’ll find something for whatever mood you’re in. Craig points out where there are campsites, difficult fords, and alternate routes. I’ve really been enjoying flipping through this book. It’s made me want to get in better shape so I can tackle the harder routes.


I asked Craig Romano a few questions about the book, and here’s what he had to say:

Hiker Mama: How did you decide what hikes were “classic” and should be included? What criteria did you use?
Craig Romano: I wanted to pick the best hikes that represented all of the regions and facets of the state – to really capture the full range of Washington’s wild places.

HM: How long has it taken you to work on this book?
CR: Like most of my books, about a year and a half

HM: Many of the hikes are long and strenuous; but there are some family-friendly hikes as well. Which are you favorite hikes for kids in this book?
CR: Ozette Triangle, Iceberg Point, Ebey’s Landing, Catherine Creek Rock Arch, Skyline Divide, Badger Mountain, Puffer Butte, Kamiak Butte, Mount Spokane

100 classic hikes washington
A young hiker checks out the Wedding Rocks on Ozette Triangle, Hike No. 3 – Photo by Craig Romano


HM: Were there any areas that surprised you as you were researching? Any unexpected adventures that took place along the way?
CR: I am always surprised that more hikers don’t get out of their area comfort zones and go explore some other regions of the state. There are so many spectacular places out there, You just need a little planning (my book helps) and a little motivation.

HM: Is there anything else you’d like families to know?
CR: Hiking and spending time in the outdoors is one of the best things a family can do to bond with nature and each other and to live healthy lives.

I fully agree with you, Craig, and I’m grateful we have you working tirelessly to catalogue our trails, educate hikers, and advocate for wilderness.

100 Classic Hikes: Washington is published by Mountaineers Books and is available for $21.95. It’s worth the investment to have this guide on your shelf.

100 classic hikes washington
Mt. Rainier provides a stunning back drop to fields of wildflowers on Naches Peak Loop, Hike No. 43 – Photo by Craig Romano


Photos from 100 Classic Hikes Washington, 3rd Edition by Craig Romano, © 2016, Mountaineers Books.

Book Review: Leaflets Three, Let it Be! by Anita Sanchez

I recently received a book for the purposes of review that I’d like to share with you today. Leaflets Three, Let it Be! is a picture book for children about identifying poison ivy. But it also shows the many uses of the plant through the seasons. It is written by Anita Sanchez and illustrated by…Continue Reading

Day Hiking: Mount St. Helens, Book Review and Interview

Mount St. Helens has held a special place in the soul of the Pacific Northwest since its eruptions in the 1980s. Many of us parents are old enough to remember following the saga on the news, and remember where we were on the day of the big eruption. We find it fascinating to visit this…Continue Reading

Interview with Author Joan Burton

Whenever people are new to hiking and wonder how to get started or which trails to go on with young children, I recommend the book Best Hikes With Kids: Western Washington and the Cascades by Joan Burton, with photos by Ira Spring. I recently had the fortune to sit down with Joan Burton and hear…Continue Reading

Trish, Alex and Sage and Their New Adventure

You may remember last spring when I posted a book review of Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure with an interview of author Trish Herr.  Trish and her daughters are ready to embark on a new adventure in a few weeks: the Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James.  The Camino is a collection…Continue Reading

Book Review and Interview: A Kid’s Guide to Birding

If you’ve followed my blog for long, you’ll know that we love birds in this family, and we love field guides of all kinds.  We have an ever-growing collection of birding guides on our guide book shelves.  (Yes, we have multiple shelves for field guides.)  So when I first saw this book, A Kid’s Guide…Continue Reading

Book Review: The Young Birder’s Guide, Plus Interview with Bill Thompson III

As I posted awhile back, I recently received a package of books from a publisher to review.  One of these books was The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America by Bill Thompson III.  We have several birding guides on our bookshelves, but we could see right away that this book is different.  It…Continue Reading

Guest Post with Julie Zickefoose: “Asking More of Kids”

Some parents I’ve talked to since I’ve been blogging and hiking have confided in me some of the difficulties they face in working toward the goal of getting their kids out in nature more often.  Some moms want to hike with their kids, but haven’t done it before, and need reassurance and guidance.  I admit…Continue Reading

Book Review: The Bluebird Effect, and Interview with Julie Zickefoose

I was recently approached by the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to review a new book by Julie Zickefoose – The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds.  When we opened the package, we all gasped at the beauty of the illustrations.  The first thing that struck me was the heft of the book – the…Continue Reading

Interview with Patricia Ellis Herr, Author of Up

    A couple of weeks ago, I heard about a new book coming out by a mom who climbs mountains with her young girls.  I was intrigued, and clicked over to her site to read more.  I was so moved by their stories, and I knew I had to get the book and interview…Continue Reading