December 21, 2018 / Comments (0)

13 Books About Hiking in New Hampshire

Looking for a bit of motivation or inspiration to hike the NH 4000 Footers? Intrigued by stories of misadventures or history of the White Mountains? Here are 13 novels on hiking in the White Mountains you should have on your bookshelf.

Forward, Upward, Onward: Life lessons from 48 mountains about love, discipline, determination, goals, habits, mindfulness, character, and confidence

By stepping beyond my comfort zone to discover what I was made of, I learned some valuable lessons along the way about habits, discipline, mindfulness, friendship, challenges, attitude, mindset, comfort, mental strength, and my perceived physical limitations. Reading this book, you’ll learn a lot about them as well! 

Hiking the forty-eight, four-thousand-foot peaks of New Hampshire’s White Mountains changed my life forever. It taught me more than I could ever imagine, and my quest can teach you a lot too. 

Have you ever wanted to embark on a life-changing adventure, but felt too scared to do it? I decided to embrace the unknown and took on the enormous challenge, the difficult and rewarding journey, and the exciting venture. I’m forever glad I did. 

Take a walk with me as I climb mountain by mountain, and experience the lessons and takeaways learned from each peak I summited. 

Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure

A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure is a fascinating book about a mother who lets her daughter have the freedom to hike that some of us can only dream about. When Trish Herr became pregnant with her first daughter, Alex, she and her husband, Hugh, vowed to instill a bond with nature in their children. By the time Alex was five, her over-the-top energy levels led Trish to believe that her very young daughter might be capable of hiking adult-sized mountains. In Up, Trish recounts their always exhilarating–and sometimes harrowing–adventures climbing all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s highest mountains.

Where You’ll Find Me: Risk, Decisions, and the Last Climb of Kate Matrosova

On Feb. 15, 2015, Kate Matrosova, an avid mountaineer, set off before sunrise for a traverse of the Northern Presidential Range in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Late the following day, rescuers carried her frozen body out of the mountains amid some of the worst weather ever recorded on these deceptively rugged slopes.

What went wrong?

Where You’ll Find Me offers possible answers to that question, demonstrating why Matrosova’s story—what we know and what we will never know—represents such an intriguing and informative case study in risk analysis and decision-making.

Critical Hours: Search and Rescue in the White Mountains 

A misread map, a sudden storm, a forgotten headlamp―and suddenly a leisurely hike turns into a treacherous endeavor. In the past decade, inexpensive but sophisticated navigation devices and mobile phones have led to alarming levels of overconfidence on the trail. Adding to this worrisome trend, the increasing popularity of ventures into mountainous terrain has led hikers seeking solitude―or an adrenaline rush―into increasingly remote or risky forays. Sandy Stott, the “Accidents” editor at the journal of the Appalachian Mountain Club, delivers both a history and a celebration of the search and rescue workers who save countless lives in the White Mountains―along with a plea for us not to take their steadfastness and bravery for granted. Filled with tales of astonishing courage and sobering tragedy, Critical Hours will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts and armchair adventurers alike.

48 Peaks: Hiking and Healing in the White Mountains

Floundering in her second career, the one she’s always wanted, forty-eight year old Cheryl Suchors resolves that, despite a fear of heights, her mid-life success depends on hiking the highest of the grueling White Mountains in New Hampshire. All forty-eight of them. She endures injuries, novice mistakes, and the heartbreaking loss of a best friend. When breast cancer threatens her own life, she seeks solace and recovery in the wild. Her quest takes ten years. Regardless of the need since childhood to feel successful and in control, climbing teaches her mastery isn’t enough and control is often an illusion.

Connecting with friends and with nature, Suchors redefines success: she discovers a source of spiritual nourishment, spaces powerful enough to absorb her grief, and joy in the persistence of love and beauty. 48 Peaks inspires us to believe that, no matter what obstacles we face, we too can attain our summits.

See You at the Summit: My Blind Journey from the Depths of Loss to the Heights of Achievement

Randy Pierce was on top of the world, 22 years old, fresh out of college and thriving at an excellent job. His promising future seemed certain. Then, in just two short and devastating weeks, an unexpected neurological disorder plunged him into blindness. Randy, believing his future had vanished in the blink of an eye, wondered, “How can my life have meaning now?” Before he could fully answer, he had further to fall. Blindness was far from the worst challenge he would face. See You at the Summit is Randy’s uplifting personal account of his journey through adversity to accomplishment. This improbable tale of human resiliency follows Randy as he learns to pick up the pieces of his life while discovering the extreme love, devotion and bravery of his guide dogs. He climbs from his lowest point, persevering to historic achievements in hiking, winning a National Marathon Championship, and becoming a highly sought motivational speaker. Randy’s insightful vision will show you how our choices in responding to life’s challenges define us so much more than those challenges ever could and perhaps, how a blind man really can see! See You at the Summit is built upon an indomitable spirit inviting you to share in summits of success and reach your peak potential.

The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie: A Hiking Journey of Discovery Through New Hampshire’s “52 With a View” Mountain List

When hiker Dan Szczesny and his nine-year-old ward, Janelle, first set foot on the trail to Mt. Kearsarge in Nov. 2011, neither of them knew that this easy hike to one of the state’s most popular mountain tops would change both their lives. But what followed was a hiking odyssey that lasted over a year as the two hikers cross-crossed the state on their way to a 225-mile epic attempt to complete a little-known hiking list called The 52 With a View. Bondcliff Books is proud to present The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie, the highly anticipated hiking memoir that chronicles the journey of the author and his young but ambitious hiking partner as this unlikely pair formed a unique and unforgettable bond that transformed both their lives.

The White Mountain

Over the course of one calendar year, journalist Dan Szczesny explored the history and mystique of New England s tallest mountain. But Mount Washington is more than just a 6,288-foot rock pile; the mountain is the cultural soul of climbers, hikers, and tourists from around the world.

Szczesny’s research took him outside of the archives; he was on the team of a ninety-seven-year-old ultra-runner, he dressed as Walt Whitman and read poetry while hiking up the mountain, and he spent a week in winter cooking for the scientists at the observatory. In The White Mountain, Szczesny turns a veteran journalist’s eye toward exploring Mount Washington’s place in the collective consciousness of the country and how this rugged landscape has reflected back a timeless history of our obsession and passion for exploration and discovery.

Death in the White Mountains: Hiker Fatalities and How to Avoid Being One

Over the last two centuries, more than 200 hikers, climbers and backcountry skiers have died in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Due to oversights or poor decision made by individuals, most of these deaths didn’t have to happen. In Death in the White Mountains, author Julie Boardman studies past fatalities and identifies the mistakes that caused them in the hope that readers can all learn to survive in the mountains.

Not Without Peril: 150 Years Of Misadventure On The Presidential Range Of New Hampshire

Among the most dangerous mountains in the world, Mount Washington has challenged adventurers for centuries with its severe weather. From the days when gentlefolk ascended the heights in hoop skirts and wool suits to today’s high-tech assaults on wintry summits, this book offers extensive and intimate profiles of people who found trouble on New Hampshire’s Presidential Range, from the nineteenth century through present day. Veteran journalist Nicholas Howe draws on his investigative skills and familiarity with the mountains of his childhood to create this gripping collection. The result is a compelling story about our changing relationship with the mountains we love and the risks they pose. This Tenth Anniversary Edition includes a new afterword by Nicholas Howe, with commentary on how our relationship with the Presidential Range has evolved over the last decade.

Death on Mount Washington: Stories of Accidents and Foolhardiness on the Northeast’s Highest Peak

On Mount Washington, it’s lack of preparation, not the mountain, that kills. The weather is highly changeable with wind gusts of 140 mph and -35 degree temps. Then there are the avalanches and icefalls. Combine this with inexperienced hikers in t-shirts and flip flops and things can get ugly fast.
Death on Mount Washington describes the circumstances behind the tragic tales of those who have lost their lives on the mountain. No one–not even the most experienced mountaineer or pilot–is safe from the mountain’s mercurial weather conditions. Learn from the mistakes of others in the comfort and safety of your armchair and remember to respect Mount Washington on your next ski trip.

White Mountains Hiking History: Trailblazers of the Granite State 

Since the time of pioneer settlers Abel and Ethan Allen Crawford, explorers and adventurers have been lured by the stunning peaks and lush valleys of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. In the nearly two centuries since the Crawfords constructed their first crude footpath onto the heights of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range, the White Mountain trail system has evolved into an intricate network featuring more than 1,400 miles of marked paths. Retrace the steps of early mountain guides such as Charles Lowe and Allen “Old Man” Thompson and learn how these early path-makers made New England’s most popular and extensive mountain trail system possible. Longtime northern New Hampshire hiking columnist and guidebook author Mike Dickerman traces the fascinating story of this evolution with this new collection of profiles and reflections on the early trails and trailblazers of the region.

Following Atticus: Forty-eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship

After a close friend died of cancer, middle-aged, overweight, acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan decided to pay tribute to her in a most unorthodox manner. Ryan and his friend, miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch, would attempt to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. It was an adventure of a lifetime, leading them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. At the heart of the amazing journey was the extraordinary relationship they shared, one that blurred the line between man and dog.

Following Atticus is an unforgettable true saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family, as one remarkable animal opens the eyes and heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman to the world’s beauty and its possibilities.


Like this list? Check out these others:

70 Books on Thru Hiking

 Books for Adventurous Women

 Reference and Children’s books for Exploring the Outdoors


Is audio more your style?

Here are 10 Great Outdoor Podcasts to give a listen to!


Or grab the popcorn!  Check out our Hiking Documentary Lineup

Last modified: July 1, 2019

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