Book Review 2007 #29: Moon Handbook: Canadian Rockies

I figure a review of a book we endlessly read and referenced on our Great Canadian Adventure counts as a book “read”.
So, Moon Handbooks, a travel guide company, has a number of travel handbooks. This one is on the Canadian Rockies, and is written by Banff resident Andrew Hempstead.


The book was just the ticket.
Scott hadn’t been in the parks in 30 some odd years and none of the rest of us had ever been in these parks as well. Without preknowledge of what we were really going to find, I picked up this Moon handbook before we left, as a reference and pointer to things that we might do or find while in the parks. Its practically written for the traveler on the go.
The descriptions were concise and accurate, the book full of interesting ideas for hikes, places to see and suggestions on dining and activities. So armed, we were able to find hiking trails for Damion and myself, waterfalls, suggestions on which highway to take, and food. While we did pick up brochures and maps while in the park, the book gave us a good foundation on what was generally in an area. In addition to the main two parks, it had information on areas around the two parks. This, for example, gave us the information needed to go see Mount Robson in its epynomous park, and our failed attempt to go see the Falls in Yoho National Park.
In no case did we find any egregious mistakes in the book, written as it is by a native, its clear that Hempstead knows the terrain inside and out. We didn’t do some of the more daring ideas that Hempstead suggested (like day long hikes) but the book makes a great foundation for understanding what the parks of the Canadian Rockies are all about. While the maps could have been better, they are good enough to get around the parks without difficulty. The book has a good number of pictures, in color and in black and white, so that when you, for example, see Castle Mountain with your own eyes, you’ll know it.
I can without reservation or hesitation recommend the book to anyone who is considering a trip to this beautiful region of the world. In point of fact, I already have done so, to a HR seminar leader who is considering her own trip to the region.