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National Outdoor Book Awards

The Prize

The National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) is one of the outdoor world's largest and most prestigious book award programs. Click here for our index and the current award winners.

The purpose of the Awards is to recognize and encourage outstanding writing and publishing for books relating to the outdoors, nature, the environment. The National Outdoor Book Awards are administered by a non-profit, educational institution.


Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category: Winning titles will include trail, river, and mountain guidebooks for outdoor adventure activities.

Award Year Title and Author(s)
2005 100 Top Trails Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks by Andrew Dean Nystrom
If this year's winner of the Guidebook Category is any indication, Top Trails are top notched guidebooks. Top Trails Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is a guidebook with a lot of moxie. It's exceedingly well organized. The maps are uncluttered and easy to use. And introductory charts help you identify suitable trails. In addition to the book's smart design, Andrew Dean Nystrom has done a splendid job of researching and writing about the trails.
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2004 100 Classic Hikes in Oregon: Oregon Coast, Columbia Gorge, Cascades, Eastern Oregon, Wallowas by Douglas Lorain
You can always tell when a guidebook author knows his stuff. Douglas Lorain, who literally lives on the trail, was the perfect person to author this book. Combined with a stylish design, full color photographs, and very useable maps, this is the cream of the crop of this year's guide books.
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2003 100 Hikes in Yosemite National Park by Marc J. Soares
Yosemite is a thoughtfully designed, full-color guide to Yosemite National Park and surrounding areas. The book's colorful, three dimensional maps aid in planing your hikes and give you a birds-eye view of the lay of the land.
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2002 Lonely Planet Hiking in the Sierra Nevada by John Mock and Kimberley O'Neil
Hiking the Sierra Nevada is a user friendly, rock-solid guidebook with clear writing, useful topographic maps, inviting photos, and it's conveniently sized to fit in the side pocket of your pack.
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2001 Fifty Favorite Climbs: The Ultimate North American Tick List by Mark Kroese
This splendidly done, full-color treat-for-the-eyes blends personality and place, showcasing fifty accomplished climbers and their favorite climbs. Each section includes a biographic sketch of the climber, a story about his or her chosen climb, and a route description clearly illustrated by a photograph and accompanying schematics.
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2000 Guide to Sea Kayaking Central and Northern California by Roger Schumann and Jan Shriner
Well designed and written, this is a splendid sea kayaking guide. The authors do what should be done in all guidebooks: show they're having fun! Even if you've never dipped a paddle, you'll be drawn in by the book's cheery personality. And then there's the maps. Created with the reader in mind, they are gems--pleasing to look at, easy to grasp, and accurate.
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1998 Colorado's Continental Divide Trail: The Official Guide by Tom Lorang Jones
This guidebook covers the 759-mile stretch of the Continental Divide Trail through the state of Colorado and includes trail descriptions, history, conservation information, and route finding hints. It's an outstanding resource for hikers and mountain bikers. From brilliant color photography to colorful maps and graphics to insightful writing, this is a model guidebook.
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1997 Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams by John Ross
These are the streams that fire an angler's imagination: 100 of them in 30 states across the US, voted the best places to catch trout by members of Trout Unlimited. The writing in this well organized guide is strong, lively and stylish. It makes you want to grab your rod and hit the road.
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Honorable Mentions
bulletIdaho's Salmon River: A River Runner's Guide to the River of No Return by Eric and Alison Newell (2005)
bulletRed Rock Canyon: A Climbing Guide by Roxanna Brook and Jared McMillen (2005)
bullet100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest: Eastern Washington, Northern Rockies, Wallowas by Rich Landers (2003)
bulletTrekking Washington by Mike Woodmansee (2003)
bulletAlaska: A Climbing Guide by Michael Wood and Colby Coombs (2002)
bulletHike America Virginia: An Atlas of Virginia's Greatest Hiking Adventures by Bill & Mary Burnham (2001)
bullet101 Hikes in Northern California: Exploring Mountains, Valleys, and Seashore by Matt Heid (2001)
bulletMontana and Idaho's Continental Divide Trail by Lynna Howard and Photography by Leland Howard (2000)
bulletVermont and New Hampshire Winter Trails by Marty Basch (1999)


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The National Outdoor Book Award Categories
This is a non-profit, educational program. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges consisting of respected outdoor columnists, authors, educators, and book reviewers from throughout the country. In early November, the NOBA committee announces the winners of the nine categories that make up the awards program plus a set of books that achieved honorable mentions. The NOBA awards are given in nine different categories.
bulletChildren's Books
bulletDesign and Artistic Merit
bulletHistory and Biography
bulletInstructional and How-To
bulletNatural History Literature
bulletNature and Environment
bulletNature Guidebooks
bulletOutdoor Adventure Guidebooks
bulletOutdoor Classics
bulletOutdoor Literature

If you like this list of outdoor award winners, you may enjoy these additional lists of award winning books on mountaineering. Check out the winners (and finalists) of the following awards:

American Alpine Literary Award


Banff Mountain Book Awards


Boardman-Tasker Memorial Award for Mountain Literature


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