Books

California Summits: The Best Accessible Peak Experiences in the Golden State (2021)

“California Summits” guides readers to 50 beautiful, attainable peak hikes. Hikers can summit most in a day, and sometimes in just a few hours, with a minimum of experience and gear.

Everyone from families to experienced peak-baggers will find something to love. Hike up scenic Mount Tamalpais overlooking San Francisco Bay, Yosemite National Park’s grand North Dome with its incomparable view of Half Dome, and snowcapped Mount Shasta, the state’s northern jewel, among others.

Stunning color photography and detailed hike descriptions provide inspiration and information for hikers of all ages and experience levels.

Available in 2021.

Sierra Summits: A Guide to 50 Peak Experiences in California’s Range of Light (2019)

Climb Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Hike to the top of Half Dome, Yosemite’s most coveted landmark. Or trek atop Mount Tallac, the majestic summit overlooking beautiful Lake Tahoe. Each of these adventures and dozens more beckon Sierra Nevada visitors of all ages. Hikers can summit each in a day, and sometimes in just a few hours, with a minimum of experience and gear.

More than 200 color photos, maps and graphics bring adventures to life. In addition, fascinating history and “Sierra Secrets” enhance every chapter. Outings suitable for cyclists, families with children, and hikers with dogs are profiled.

Winner of a National Outdoors Book Award and an Outdoor Writers Association of California best guidebook honor, “Sierra Summits” will help you discover amazing new experiences in the Range of Light.

Review: “A guidebook with heart”






Yosemite Adventures: 50 Spectacular Hikes, Climbs and Winter Treks (2014)

“Wow, I want to go! With explicit directions, insider tips, gear lists, personal journals, awesome photos and maps, Yosemite Adventures tempts you to trek on the best of the best.” – Marty McDonnell, Tuolumne River guide and California Outdoors Hall of Famer

Hike atop legendary giant El Capitan. Climb two different ways to the summit of Half Dome. Ski or snowshoe through a winter wonderland to rustic and free backcountry cabins. These journeys and dozens more come alive in “Yosemite Adventures.”

Whether you want to walk back in time among ancient giant sequoias, backpack beside thundering waterfalls or test your climbing skills on glacier-carved granite, “Yosemite Adventures” suggests trips for every season and level of ability.

Author Matt Johanson draws upon 20 years of personal experiences to produce this ultimate guide to a Yosemite that only a few lucky visitors ever see.


Yosemite Epics: Tales of Adventure from America’s Greatest Playground (2011)

“In Yosemite Epics, Matt Johanson has assembled stories told first hand by some of today’s top adventurers. Strap yourself in. It’s quite a ride.” – Ron Erskine, outdoor columnist

A falling climber’s rope snaps thousands of feet above the ground. A free solo climber attempts a terrifying do-or-die move. An avalanche buries two backcountry skiers. A daring kayak venture helps an aging legend discover greater health and happiness.

These stories come to life in  a collection of first-person narratives from rock, snow, ice and whitewater. Thrilling yet thoughtful, the book explains the athletes’ motivations and shares valuable lessons from their experiences.

Featuring tales from Steve Roper, John Bachar, Royal Robbins, Lynn Hill, Hans Florine, Peter Croft, Tommy Caldwell. With illustrations from Christopher Hampson.

Review: “Full of tantalizing tales”






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Matt Johanson