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Wilderness Press :: Authors :: Elizabeth Wenk
Elizabeth Wenk

Elizabeth Wenk

From childhood, Lizzy Wenk has hiked and climbed in the Sierra Nevada with her family. After she started college, she found excuses to spend every summer in the Sierra, with its beguiling landscape, abundant flowers, and near-perfect weather. During those summers, she worked as a research assistant for others and completed her own Ph.D. thesis research on the effects of rock type on alpine plant distribution and physiology. But much of the time, she hikes simply for leisure. Wanting to explore every bit of the Sierra, she has hiked thousands of on- and off-trail miles and climbed nearly 500 peaks in the mountain range.


Elizabeth Wenk
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50 Best Short Hikes: Yosemite National Park and Vicinity, 2ed.
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50 Best Short Hikes: Yosemite National Park and Vicinity, 2ed.
Elizabeth Wenk


Focusing on hikes in and around Yosemite National Park, 50 Best Short Hikes: Yosemite National Park and Vicinity provides the information needed to choose the perfect day hike for hikers of all skill levels.

50 Best Short Hikes: Yosemite National Park and Vicinity leads hikers of all skill levels to some of the most stunning landscapes Yosemite has to offer including: bubbling alpine creeks, smooth glaciated slabs, giant sequoias, deep dark blue lakes, and rock as far as the eye can see. In addition to in-depth hike descriptions, the author has also included information about the parks natural history, complex landscape, and its human history. Additional information includes tips on keeping yourself and your family safe, the park's natural predators, and helpful weather information.


Market price: $16.95
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John Muir Trail Data Book - UPDATED
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John Muir Trail Data Book - UPDATED
Elizabeth Wenk


A derivative of the comprehensive Wilderness Press guidebook John Muir Trail by Sierra expert Elizabeth Wenk, this data book is perfect for the weight-conscious hiker. A brief introductory section provides planning data, including information on permits, trailhead transport, and food resupplies. This is followed by on-the-trail information, including custom-made topo maps, elevation profiles, data tables, and labeled panoramas from prominent passes. There are tables for trail junctions, nearly 300 campsites, ranger stations, food-storage lockers, and lateral trails accessing the JMT. All tables include GPS waypoints, cumulative distances (given for both southbound and northbound), and elevation. The campsite table has long been a favorite with JMT hikers and has been comprehensively updated with new campsites and information on fire restrictions. The two-color topo maps, including both the trail and surrounding ridges, are scaled and framed with a JMT hiker in mind. The trails shown on the maps are derived from GPS tracks, and the data from the tables is plotted onto the maps for quick reference. Additional maps are provided for certain trailheads and difficult-to-navigate areas, such as Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, the Reds Meadow and Devils Postpile area, the regions around Lake Thomas Edison and Vermilion Valley Resort, and Lone Pine. The labeled panoramas allow hikers to easily identify nearby peaks during well-earned breaks atop passes. If you would like detailed information on planning for your trip, considerations for hiking in the Sierra Nevada, or a trail description, those are only available in the comprehensive John Muir Trail book.


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John Muir Trail, 4ed
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John Muir Trail, 4ed
Elizabeth Wenk & Kathy Morey


The 5th Edition is Now Available!!

Running from Mount Whitney to Yosemite Valley in the Sierra Nevada, the 212 mile John Muir Trail passes through some of the most dramatic mountain terrain in the United States. Each year, thousands of backpackers traverse some or all of the trail, relying on Wilderness Press's John Muir Trail. The completely updated edition of this Sierra classic includes significant information found nowhere else. The new John Muir Trail meticulously describes the entire trail and is written for today's hikers. The book includes GPS coordinates, not only for every junction, but also for every established campsite, bear box, and mountain pass that the trail crosses. The guide has separate descriptions for northbound and southbound hikers; for each direction, a junction chart shows all the trail's ups and downs.

Check out the newly revised 5th Edition! Available Now.



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John Muir Trail, 5th edition
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John Muir Trail, 5th edition
Elizabeth Wenk


The Essential Guide to Hiking America's Most Famous Trail

Lizzy Wenk's authoritative guide describes the 212-mile John Muir Trail, running from Yosemite Valley to the summit of Mt. Whitney. It provides all the necessary planning information, including up-to-date details on wilderness and permit regulations, food resupplies, trailhead amenities, and travel from nearby cities. Useful essentials are updated GPS coordinates and maps for prominent campsites (along with an updated list of sites along the trail), trail junctions, bear boxes, and other points of interest. The trail descriptions also include natural and human history to provide a workout for both body and mind — a must-have for any Muir Trail enthusiast.


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One Best Hike: Grand Canyon
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One Best Hike: Grand Canyon
Elizabeth Wenk


   One of America’s most iconic national parks, and one of the world’s most spectacular places, the Grand Canyon attracts over 4 million visitors a year who visit the canyon and peer over the edge of the abyss. A small number of these tourists leave their cars and trek from the rim to the banks of the Colorado River on one of the best-known hikes in the country.

    On the journey hikers take a "geologic journey through time" and pass layers of colored rock and surreal formations that make the canyon so picturesque. Some of these hikers are adequately prepared for the rigors of what can be a dangerous journey. Many are not, and the trip can be deadly. The most popular route into the canyon is from the South Rim on the 16.2-mile round-trip hike descending the South Kaibab Trail to the Colorado River at Bright Angel Campground and ascending the Bright Angel Trail, with an elevation gain and loss of more than 9000 feet round trip.

    Although the hike is non-technical, following well-graded trail the whole way, would-be hikers need to be prepared for extreme heat in summer and icy conditions in winter, elevation gain, and other potential dangers before they embark on this trip. Author and seasoned Southwest hiker Elizabeth Wenk provides the authoritative, step-by-step guide to planning and completing this superb excursion with safety advice, insider information, detail, and reassurance found nowhere else.


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One Best Hike: Mt. Whitney
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One Best Hike: Mt. Whitney
Elizabeth Wenk


The most iconic 14er in the country, California’s Mt. Whitney positively radiates in the Sierra Nevada. For many, the hike up Whitney is a once-in-a-lifetime tick on their outdoor activity list.

The most popular route to the summit is the 22-mile round-trip Mt. Whitney Trail. Although the hike is non-technical, would-be hikers need to be prepared for the altitude, long distance, elevation gain, mountain weather, and other potential dangers.

Author and seasoned Sierra hiker Elizabeth Wenk provides the authoritative, step-by-step guide to planning and completing this superb hike with safety advice, insider information, detail, and reassurance found nowhere else.

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Wildflowers of the High Sierra and John Muir Trail
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Wildflowers of the High Sierra and John Muir Trail
Elizabeth Wenk


This new book by Sierra expert Elizabeth Wenk includes photos and descriptions of approximately 300 species of wildflowers and flowering shrubs in the High Sierra. The High Sierra is here defined to include areas above 8000 feet in elevation from Yosemite south through the Whitney Region. By restricting the collection of species to higher elevations, the book can include all commonly seen species and nearly half of all higher elevation species in a compact guide.

Wildflowers of the High Sierra and John Muir Trail will make identifying and remembering plants more approachable to people. The book will differentiate between species using only features easily identifiable to a non-botanist. The descriptions of each species will include the species common and scientific names, family name, growth form, flowering time, elevation range, region found, specific locations to find the species along commonly-hiked trails, the habitat, and how to identify the plant (e.g. flower color, petal number, leaf shape, height, etc.). The descriptions of where to find each species should be popular with hikers.

As an added bonus, Wenk includes about 40 natural history stories about specific plants or ecological concepts displayed by specific plants. They will provide that extra connection to a certain species that makes it easier to remember and identify it in the future.

The book is a perfect companion for dayhikers and backpackers interested in identifying flowers they are likely to see on the trails of the High Sierra.


Market price: $19.95
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