AMC Books: The First Chapter

April 24, 2017
  • AMC Books: The First Chapter
  • Walks and Rides Around Boston
  • Walks and Rides Around Boston
  • White Mountain Guide, First Ed.

Months after forming AMC in 1876, club officials entered the publishing world with the first edition of Appalachia. The journal, which remains in print today, featured mountaineering narratives, conservation stories, and club news. Despite that success, more than a decade passed before AMC published its first book.

AMC’s inaugural title, Mountaineering in Colorado, was published in 1889. Written by Frederick H. Chapin, an AMC member, mountaineer, photographer, and frequent contributor to Appalachia, the book detailed explorations of the mountains in Estes Park, Colo. While the subject may seem an unlikely topic for a Boston-based organization, it reflects the national scope of the club’s interests at that time. So, too, did AMC’s next book, another collaboration with Chapin: Land of the Cliff Dwellers, about Colorado’s Mesa Verde, published in 1892.

It wasn’t until 1897 that AMC debuted its first guidebook, Walks and Rides in the Country Round About Boston. The author, Edwin M. Bacon, highlighted adventures near AMC’s hometown for visitors traveling by foot or wagon. Many of the sites—Walden Pond, Harvard Yard—remain popular today.

A decade later, AMC published what would become its most enduring title: Guide to the Paths and Camps in the White Mountains, better known today as the White Mountain Guide. The pocket-sized volume, which included hike information and maps, has received updates every few years since. Look for the 30th edition of the White Mountain Guide this summer.


AMC’s new books for 2017 include Mountain Skills Manual; Best Day Hikes Boston, 3rd Edition; and, coming soon, White Mountain Guide, 30th Edition. Get your copies at our store.



Search AMC Outdoors and Blogs

Search for:

Emily Bishop

AMC Outdoors, the magazine of the Appalachian Mountain Club, inspires readers to get outside and get engaged. Learn more.