Best Hikes Near Seattle is more than a guidebook to trails 60 minutes or 60 miles from Seattle. The book also includes short natural history essays on topics as diverse as the sex life of banana slugs, to how plants get their names, and why you should respect but not fear bears and mountain lions. There is also an extensive section of weather, trail etiquette, hiking with dogs, what constitutes the “Ten Essentials,” why judging trail mileage is an art – not a science, the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest, and the value of hikers lobbying for wilderness. The author also presents a history, warts and all, of the drive to operate our hiking trails as profit points for land-use agencies. And of course, as with all of the books in the Best Hikes series, useful trail specs and hike summaries are accompanied by easy-to-read maps and stunning photos.