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Columnist creates hiking guide

Deborah Wall, outdoor columnist for View Neighborhood Newspapers and a regular contributor to the Cerca Travel Pages, has published a guidebook to the region’s best hikes. Its title, "Base Camp Las Vegas," emphasizes that Las Vegas is perfectly positioned for easy access to some of the best outdoor opportunities in the Southwest.

Wall’s book will debut during a launch party from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Historic Boulder Dam Hotel, 1305 Arizona St. in Boulder City. Books will be available for purchase; Wall will autograph them if requested and answer questions about outdoor adventures, especially hiking. Light refreshments will be served.

Since September 2005, Wall’s column has appeared every other week in the View Neighborhood Newspapers; it also appears in the Boulder City Review. "Readers began asking me if I could publish my columns in a book, so this book answers their wish," Wall said.

"I know from my own experience that when you’re trying to decide where to go have an outdoor adventure, it’s much easier if you have at hand the information about a lot of great possibilities. I tried to bring together the essential details about the best hikes you could take, using Las Vegas as your base of operations, in a way that makes them easy to compare and decide which one you want to try next."

She selected columns about 67 destinations in Nevada and the nearby parts of Utah, Arizona and California. Besides the narrative hike description in each column, she added to each a quick-reference chart giving the best time of year to go, a difficulty rating, the trailhead elevation and elevation gain along the trail, directions and other useful information. A section on "Hiking The Southwest" helps readers, who may be new to the region, deal with its special challenges such as scarce water, flash flooding and hypothermia.

Unlike those in many hiking books, Wall’s narratives delve into the wildlife, plants, American Indian rock writings and even prehistoric ruins one might see along a given trail. "I thought I should try to describe the total experience," Wall explained.

"Base Camp Las Vegas" is a 256-page, 6-by-9-inch softcover, with color photos showing the spectacular country . Priced at $19.95, the book is published by Stephens Press, a sister company to the Review-Journal, View Neighborhood Newspapers and the Boulder City Review, in Stephens Media LLC. Stephens Press also published Wall’s first book, "Great Hikes: A Cerca Country Guide," in 2004.

To purchase the book or for more information, go to BaseCampLasVegasHikes. com.

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