Hiking Arches & Canyonlands

National Parks

Hiking Arches-Canyonlands National Parks-hiking guide

There are many books about hiking Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

So, why did we decide to go against the big guys and write our own?

We are hikers! We saw a need for a different kind of hiking guide.


So, what exactly did we do differently?

  • Hundreds of photos; all are in full, living color just like the scenery surrounding you
  • User friendly format: our Hikes Chart is revolutionary; important data easy to find; color coding for visual aid
  • We offer more guidance. More difficult or longer trails have easier, shorter options
  • Maps; we have maps for every hike as well as area maps showing relative trails
  • We hiked every trail ourselves. 
  • Guidebooks should excite you.
  • Pictures are worth more than a thousand words. Color pictures equal a million.

    You see color when you hike.

    The colors in Arches and Canyonlands are sublime and thrilling. Massive rock walls, spires, and buttes in shades of red, purple, beige and white stand firmly outlined by the blue sky. The vast open space melts into the haze of extreme distance.
  • In our opinion, such magic cannot be adequately portrayed through black and white photography. Our 200+ photos show you, in color, what you can expect to see on the trail and why you might like to go and enjoy it in person.
  • Guidebooks should be user friendly.
  • The Hikes Chart (Table of Contents) on the first page of the book categorizes every trail by difficulty, hiking miles, total elevation gain, and driving miles! 

    No more flipping through pages to compare hikes!

  • Important Data is quick and easy to find. You don’t need to read through a lot of text.
  • Color Coding: Our books use visual data. All the trails and profiles use colors to define difficulty levels.

Our Table of Contents (The Hikes Chart) on the first page of the book categorizes every trail by difficulty, hiking miles, total elevation gain, and driving miles! No more flipping through pages to compare hikes!

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Hiking-Arches & Canyonlands-Park-Avenue-trail



  1. The important data  (Total Distance, Difficulty Rating, Surface, Gradient, Average Time, Elevations, Maps) are always on the first page and highlighted in a colored box. If the box is green, the hike is Easy, etc!
  2. Next is always a Summary of the highlights of the hike. What will I see!
  3. Then, Directions to the Trailhead follow.

All these important topics are easy to see at a glance.

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Under the topic Difficulty, there is an explanation of how we use different colors to show overall difficulty of the hike.

Easy, Moderate, Moderately Strenuous, Strenuous and Very Strenuous.

Under the topic Gradients, we use the same colors to illustrate the various degrees of steepness.

Green: Easy Gradient. Trail climbs between 0 to 400 feet per mile.
• Cyan: Moderate gradient. Trail climbs between 400 to 600feet per mile.
Blue: Moderately Steep. Trail climbs between 600 to 800 feet per mile.
Orange: Steep gradient. Trail climbs between 800 to 1,000 feet per mile.
• Red: Very Steep gradient. Trail climbs over 1,000 feet per mile.

Our maps and elevation profiles use these colors as visual aids.

  • Guidebooks should guide
  • They should provide a variety of information for all levels of hikers so they can choose the hikes best suited and most rewarding for them.
  • Our guide book gives you options.

     Don’t miss a long or difficult trail because of distance or desire. Choose a shorter, less difficult option for the trail. We break it all down for you and select logical return points.


Arches & Canyonlands-Hikes Chart
  • Guidebooks should have maps!
  • Good maps are the essence of a great guidebook.
  • For each area, Arches, Island in the Sky and Needles, there is an overview map with all the trailheads and scenic overlooks located.
  • Trail mileages as well as road mileage between all points of interest are in red and black italics between arrows.
  • Roads are designated as paved, gravel or 4WD.

  • There is a detailed map for each hike, and elevation profiles for all but the very flat hikes.
  • Good maps bring the trail to life.


  • Guidebooks should be accurate
  • The writers need to have hiked the trails themselves.

Which brings up an important point about our guide book.

Why can’t we find your book for sale at the Park Service Visitor Centers?

  • We submitted our book for review with the Park Service. They rejected it.
  • The primary reason was: our mileages and elevations differed from theirs.
  • We pondered this issue for quite a while.

    We could copy their figures and resubmit the book,

     or, we could stay with our own figures.
  • We collected our data for every hike with a GPS. After hiking some trails and plotting the GPS data on a map, we realized that the route on the ground and on the existing maps did not coincide. Nor did some of the distances and elevations. 

    So we re-hiked those trails some of them 3 times!

  • No GPS is 100% accurate. But, we decided to stay with the data we collected rather than simply copy the data already published.
  • We stand by our figures.

  • Back of Beyond Book Store in Moab believes our hiking Arches-Canyonlands National Parks guide book has something special to offer their clients. They are the only store in Moab to carry this book.

This is our printed version. Click on “Amazon” button to go directly to Amazon

Utah_Front Cover & Spine_web copy


You can  buy it on Amazon.com


Now you can also buy our books in PDF digital format. PDF is compatible with all PC computers, IOS systems and Androids such as your tablet or phone. Click on “Digital Store” button to go to our download page.


This is in PDF digital format. It is exactly the same style as the printed book. You can download it to your computer and read on your tablet or phone.

Utah_Front Cover & Spine_web copy

Digital Store
Hiking Arches-Canyonlands National Parks-Ladders are essential parts of the trails in Arches & CanyonlandsHiking Arches-Canyonlands National Parks-Hiking Island in the Sky-Gooseberry TrailHiking Arches-Canyonlands National Parks-Hiking Needles District

Read the reviews that buyers have written about us. We appreciate their honesty! Then, if you already have used our book, share your opinions and write your own review. We welcome all comments.

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, October 18, 2014


The best trail guide I have ever seen. Too bad they don’t write books for trails everywhere.

5.0 out of 5 starsA new admirer of the Poe’s, April 21, 2014


This hiking guide is awesome. At first it confused me a bit: the cover layout made it fill old – it’s from 2013. And it feels cluttered – but it’s not. It’s not even disorganized, it’s just brimming with details. You just have to get used to it. Overall so much better than the more modern looking Falcon guide which I came to completely ignore (see review there).These folks walked every foot, analyzed different return points for every route to provide a selection of distances. They provide a general map of each of the areas complete with rough location of each trailhead, and a detailed topo map of each hike, along with elevation plots and tables. What more can you ask for?I have but a handful wee suggestions: the color coded difficulty level in the all hikes summary table at the beginning was, well, difficult to make intuitive. I also think that if the Poe’s organized the book a tad more its quality would leap out at you rather than creep up on you. Last but not least, as a firs and short-term hiker I wanted to fish out the best hikes in each area. To do so I had no choice but to wade into the full verbose and pull out what the authors thought was prettiest. I suppose a rank for beauty is something the authors shy away from consciously. Could have helped (but then again might have sent ‘everyone’ down the same trails I picked. Overall I’d say the Poes have a new admirer.



5.0 out of 5 stars Another must for the travel addict, September 4, 2013

I have all the Poe hiking guides and this one on Arches and Canyonlands is just as beautiful and detailed as the others. They offer a refreshing change to the standard Falcon Guides that have been available for years. The book is all color with excellent maps and profiles for every hike. The photos capture the heart of each trail. I like the new options they give for long difficult trails. If you are going to Utah, this book should be in your pack.

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome guidebook, July 9, 2013

This is a must-have for anyone looking to do some great hikes in both Arches and Canyonlands National Park. The trail descriptions are spot-on, the maps are helpful, and the pictures make you want to get out and see them in person. I would recommend to anyone looking for a guidebook for this area.

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing detail, July 6, 2013

The Poe’s have outdone themselves in this book. Their attention to detail, the accuracy of the information, the ease of locating the trailhead and the photographs are all incredible. We have all of their other books and wouldn’t be without any of them. Obviously, we highly recommend this book.


Hiking Arches-Canyonlands National Parks-Hiking Needles District-Chesler Park Trail

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