"CANYONEERING: The Northern San Rafael Swell," by Steve Allen and Joe Mitchell, University of Utah Press, $19.95, 252 pages (f)
The updated “Canyoneering: The Northern San Rafael Swell” is an incredible resource and guidebook for anyone who loves Utah and the outdoors.
Steve Allen, co-authoring with Joe Mitchel for this guidebook, says the references in this book both replace and enhance part of Allen’s “Canyoneering: The San Rafael Swell,” which has been one of the standard guidebooks used for exploring the area. The San Rafael Swell is in south central Utah, 30 miles in width and 50 miles in length and about 155 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Updates have been provided to include more detail, greater accuracy and tighter focus on the northern half of the swell. Illustrations include a variety of black and white topographic maps for all routes and roads, elevation profiles and GPS coordinates.
It includes information on 25 hikes, with accessible information on trip length, difficulty, elevation, water sources and skill level.
Also included are tips for protecting the San Rafael Swell, camping techniques that are low-impact, historical information and the swell’s influence on state and federal laws, and historical notes.
The guidebook offers historical notes on different areas and past events that help explain the names. A couple of the names of the trails, roads and other areas do include words that are considered mild swear words.
Allen and Mitchell are both avid hikers of the San Rafael Swell. Allen began hiking the swell in 1972. He is also the author of “Canyoneering 2: Technical Loop Hikes in Southern Utah” and “Canyoneering 3: Loop Hikes in Utah’s Escalante,” both published by the University of Utah Press.
Mitchell is a fly-fishing guide by trade and has been exploring places, especially the outdoors, since his childhood. He is a co-author of “The Hayduke Trail: A Guide to the Backcountry Hiking Trail on the Colorado Plateau.”
Micah Klug graduated with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She lives in Rexburg, Idaho.