Ten Hiking And Climbing Beta Resources

North Face Eiger

As I get ready for my upcoming trip to Colorado and Utah, I have been curious about your go-to sources of route beta for climbing, hiking or even backcountry skiing. Below are ten sources, both online and in book form, that I consult quite regularly. I would love to hear from you which websites or guidebooks you use, as I know many are about personal preference and also regional. 

First up are a few of the websites I visit often for both climbing and hiking route beta. 

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14ers.com: This is my absolute go-to source for any 14er I climb in Colorado. The site is a wealth of information on all the different possible routes and their difficulty rating, detailed route finding descriptions with pictures, current trail head conditions, etc. 

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supertopo: Both the website and the guidebooks are great for rock climbing route beta and I love the video reviews they regularly conduct on various climbing gear.  

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mountainproject: Great forums and fantastic route beta for climbing all over the US and even some international. 

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everytrail: This site has a guide for almost any hiking trail you can think of and best of all, you can download the details to your phone. 

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ukclimbing: I love the forums on this website as well as the beta for over 11,000 climbing crags worldwide. You can find photos, locations, access notes, rock type, guidebook suggestions, etc. for each crag. 

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summitpost: This is my go-to website to read mountaineering trip reports and plan upcoming mountain climbs.

Now for a few guide books that I also consult on a regular basis. 

Ouray Ice Park

Ouray Ice Park Guide: This guide book shows all the routes in the park along with their difficulty ratings. I can't wait to use this again to plan some ice climbs over the next few weeks!

Cicerone Press

Cicerone Press: When I lived in Europe I could not get enough of these guide books. Whether you want to go ice climbing in Scotland, mountaineering in Morocco or even hike around Mont Blanc, there is a guide book for you. The company has even produced guides on hiking the John Muir Trail and climbing Aconcagua. You can get Cicerone books off of Amazon here in the US. 

Falcon Guides

Falcon Guides: Great rock climbing, mountaineering, hiking and even National Park guide books for all the major areas of the US. 

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The Mountaineers Books: Tons of great guide books for everything from the Best Hikes With Dogs series to climbing routes in Ecuador. They are also the publisher of the yearly American Alpine Journal. 

So what are your go-to sources of hiking, climbing or any kind of outdoor sport route beta?

  1. I live in the Washington, D.C. metro area, and I do most of my hiking and backpacking in the Virginia and West Virginia area. This website: http://www.hikingupward.com, has been better than any other resource I have ever used for any hike, anywhere.

    Routes are linked to a large map, and listed by region. Trail reviews have distance listed and are rated (accurately) by difficulty, streams, views, solitude and camping. There is a link with directions to the lat&long of the trailhead on google maps. Driving directions, trail descriptions, a topo map with the trail outlined and pictures along the route, good hiker reviews and a bunch more stuff.

    The breakdown of the ratings (difficulty, etc) is the best part of the site, because I get to look for exactly the hike I want, instead of sifting through hundreds of 4 or 5 star rated hikes on other sites.

    Unfortunately, it’s only for hiking in Virginia and areas immediately adjacent to Virginia’s borders.

    If only this type of site existed for more areas, if there is I haven’t found it yet.

  2. Hi Steve,

    Super cool! I hadn’t seen this site before. All you Virginia people check it out! If I make it over that way hiking at some point I will definitely use the site to plan some hikes.

    Thanks for sharing!


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