While most of us love watching movies, there are others who love their daily dose of literature. And when it comes to mountains and trekking, there are hundreds of trekking books out there that have been written. Some of them have been made into movies and the others remain close to our heart for various many reasons. Not only do books have detailing, but they also let you experience the thrill of adventure right from where you’re seated.

We’ve compiled a list of 22 of our all-time favorite mountaineering and trekking books that will take you to the edge of your seat and will get you all riled up to head to the hills.

22 of our most favorite Mountaineering & Trekking Books!

Adventure Stories:

1. A walk in the woods

a walk in the woods best trekking books

Written by: Bill Bryson
Written by Bill Bryson, this autobiography highlights the author’s journey of hiking the Appalachian Trail with his friend Stephen Katz at the age of forty-four. The books is humorous and depict the duo’s journey of hiking thorough the vast tangled woods for 2,200 miles on a trail that is everything but easy.
Buy it here: Amazon


2. Wild

wild best trekking booksWritten by: Cheryl Strayed
If you haven’t watched the brilliant movie adaptation of this book yet, we suggest, you read the book first. The author writes about her incredible journey of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail at a point in her life when she lost her mother, her family, and her marriage. Wild is an incredibly emotional roller coaster that will make you reach out to your tissue box and convey a message that there is always hope.
Buy it here: Amazon


3. A thousand-mile walk to the Gulf

Written by: John Muir
Written by one of naturalist and environment philosopher, John Muir, this book talks about his 1,000-mile walk from Indiana to Florida. Muir takes on this journey after going through a traumatic accident that almost costs him his eyesight. After recovering the accident, Muir realizes that the true purpose of life is to go out and explore. It is also said that it was on this hike that Muir realizes his love for the wilderness. Read this book if you’ve been a fan of John Muir and if you’ve read the quotes we’ve been putting up by Muir.
Buy it here: Amazon


4. Into Thin Air

into thin air best trekking booksWritten by: Jon Krakauer
Based on the true story of journalist Jon Krakauer, this book documents one of history’s worst Everest expedition disasters. Led by famed Everest guide Rob Hall, Jon sets out on a journey to summit the world’s highest peak – Mount Everest. What follows is a series of disasters that spins this expedition around. While the teams successfully summit, they lose eight members on the way back as the storm hits. While it showcases the majestic landscapes of Mt. Everest, it also a reminder of how unruly nature can be. This has been adapted into a movie – Everest starring Jake Gyllenhall and Keira Knightly, which went on to be one of the biggest motion pictures of that year. When it comes to trekking books, this book is a definite must-do!
Buy it here:

5. Following Atticus

folllowing atticus best trekking booksWritten by: Tom Ryan
This one of those trekking books for all those dog lovers out there who crave to head out on an adventure with their doggo. Writer Tom Ryan is a regular non-nonsense editor at a newspaper agency, but when Atticus enters his life, his life takes a major turn. He decides to raise funds for his close friend who dies of cancer by climbing the highest peaks of New Hampshire – Twice! With Atticus of course. This book is warm, and will melt your heart and make you go right up to your dog and hug it!
Buy it here: Amazon


6. Lost on the Appalachian Trail

Written by: Kyle Rohrig
Here’s another one for the dog lovers. Based on the real-life experiences of Kyle as he and his little doggo “Katana” head out on the 2,200-mile-long adventure to hike the Appalachian Trail. While this particular trail is never easy, this duo is challenged by extreme weather, injury, wildlife and uncertainty of it all. A brilliant read for those who wish to hike the Appalachian Trail someday as it gives out one of the important messages of all time: It’s not what you bring with you on the trail, it’s what you bring within yourself. This beautifully humorous tale will show you what it takes mentally and physically to accomplish when every cell in your body tells you to quit and yet, you go on.
Buy it here: Amazon


7. Above the Clouds

Written by: Linda Wylie
Above the clouds depicts the journey of Anatoli Boukreev who was one of the greatest adventurers of recent times, who lost his life on the slopes of Annapurna on 25 December 1997. This book edited by Linda Wylie takes us on a journey into Boukreev’s life and his iconic climbs – Mt. McKinley, K2, Makalu, Manaslu, and Everest-including his diary entries of the infamous 1996 disaster on Everest. This book gives you a glimpse of his life and also elaborates on the technical details of climbing along with personal reflections of what life means to someone who risks it every day. Fully illustrated with gorgeous color photos, Above the Clouds is a unique and breathtaking look at the world from its most remote peaks.
Buy it here: Amazon


8. Seven Years in Tibet

seven years in tibet best trekking books

Written by: Heinrich Harrer
Austrian Mountaineer, Heinrich embarks on a journey to summit the treacherous and extremely challenging Nanga Parbat peak in then British India, present-day Pakistan in 1938. After a failed attempt at the summit, and with World War 2 picking up, the expedition team is captured by Indian soldiers and are imprisoned at one of the prison camps at Dehradun. Harrer and a few others succeed in escaping from the camp and split up to set out on individual journeys. Harrer crosses the Himalayas and enters Tibet with his teammate Peter Aufschnaiter who later goes on to become one of his closest friends. Upon entering Tibet, he becomes an advisor and a mentor to the young Dalai Lama and continues to stay in Lhasa. The two grow very close and Harrer becomes a trusted confidant of the Dalai Lama. This book will move you as you will see how the two unlikely duo become friends and learn about life from each other. The movie Seven Years in Tibet starring Brad Pitt is based on this book and did immensely well in the theatres.
Buy it here: Amazon

9. Neon Pilgrim

Written by: Lisa Dempster
Based on her own experiences, Dempster writes about her experiences of moving to Japan for an exchange year, experiencing a culture-shock who dreams of hiking the 1,200 Km long Japan’s Buddhist pilgrimage tale – Henro Michi. She promises to come back one day and do the hike. This was when she was 15, fast forward thirteen years and Lisa is overweight, unmotivated and severely depressed. All at 28! She then decides to turn her life around and walk her way back to health by hiking the Henro Michi trail. This book is all about laughs, cries and a bitter-sweet journey of how in the wilderness, a young woman finds her way back to life.
Buy it here: Amazon


10. The Long Walk

the long walk best trekking books

Written by: Slavomir Rawicz
The long walk remains one of the most remarkable escape adventures of all time. Rawicz, this book depicts his journey along with six other prisoners who escape a brutal and inhuman Soviet labor camp and walk to freedom. They walk on foot passing Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, over the Himalayas and finally into British India. This book is more than just about seven people hiking, it’s about man’s will to be free and how far he can go to attain the true sense of freedom. Known to be hauntingly detailed, this is a must-read for all of you who can endure gory details. The much appreciated and celebrated movie – The Way Back with renowned actors like Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, and Ed Harris is based on this book and was released in the year 2011.
Buy it here: Amazon

11. She Explores: Stories of Lifechanging Adventures

Written by: Gale Straub
This one’s specifically chosen for all those daring ladies out there who defy the stereotypes and have dared to venture out into the wild. This book is all about exploring the various inspiring journeys of various women that will inspire you to let it all go and pursue your passion to travel and trek. Along with stories, this book also showcases brilliant narratives, breathtaking photography and the lives of 40 women who’ve ventured out on unforgettable journeys in nature. The books also aims at educating women on various topics like prepping for solo hikes, must-haves for a road-trip kitchen, planning ahead for unknown territory, etc. This book will definitely inspire you to leave your couch and get out there and celebrate every bit of nature.
Buy it here: Amazon


12. The land of Moonlit Snows

Written by: Gaurav Punj
The land of moonlit snows is a beautiful set of real-life stories of the authors as he sets out to explore the Indian Himalayas. From escaping the remote valleys to chance encounters with the wild, and understanding the cultures and traditions of the Himalayan dwellers, this books is entertaining and all about turning your explore mode on.
Buy it here: Amazon



13. Summit

summit best trekking booksWritten by: Harry Farthing
In the autumn of 1938, Germany’s reichsfuhrer, Heinrich Himmler, is growing frustrated at the British using their regional power in India to block the passage of an SS expedition to Tibet. Determined to spite them, he plots to steal something the British hold dear and have failed for the seventh time that spring to achieve — the first summit of Mount Everest. Seventy years later, seasoned mountain guide Neil Quinn’s ninth visit to the top of the world’s highest mountain, this time in charge of the sixteen-year-old son of a Long Island billionaire, begins to unravel. As a desperate fight for their lives begins in the freezing air high above Tibet, Quinn stumbles across a clue to a story that challenges everything he thinks he knows about the great mountain.
Buy it here: Amazon

Trekking Books on Expeditions:

1. Facing Up: A Remarkable Journey to the Summit of Mount Everest

Written by: Bear Grylls
Ever wondered what Bear Grylls did before he became “Bear Grylls”? For one – he summitted Mount. Everest. 2 – He became the youngest Briton to reach the summit at the age of 23! Join him on this heartfelt roller coaster journey on what went on to become the adventure of a lifetime for this multi-talented man. Grylls is said to have summitted the world’s highest peak two years after breaking his back in a freefall accident. This book is all about friendship, overcoming fears and obstacles and having relentless faith.
Buy it here: Amazon


2. No Way Down: Life and Death on K2

Written by: Graham Bowley
No Way Down is a grappling story of thirty climbers who struggle for survival on their journey descending down from one of the deadliest mountain terrains in the world – K2. After a successful summit of the most ferocious mountain on Earth, these mountaineers are welcomed by one of the worst disasters where an ice shelf collapses, taking with it, their ropes. This is one of those trekking books that gives you an hour-by-hour account of what follows for the next three days as the team braves their ill fate and overcomes the unthinkable.
Buy it here: Amazon


3. Everest – The West Ridge

Written by: Tom Hornbein
Known to be one of the most extraordinary feats in the history of mountaineering, this trekking book shows you the journey of Hornbein and two of his teammates as they went on to become the first to summit Mt. Everest via the dangerous and perilous West Ridge. The story follows the team as they head out on this journey two weeks after Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit Mt. Everest through the South Col route in 1963. The latest edition of the book is filled with colored photographs from the climb.
Buy it here: Amazon


4. No Shortcuts to the top

Written by: Ed Viesturs
No Shortcuts to the top is the real-life experience of Ed Viesturs who was the first American man to climb all 14 8,000 meter peaks in the world. It took him eighteen years to complete this extreme mountaineering challenge but he did it with one intention in mind, he wanted to stand strong over each peak without the help of bottled oxygen and so he did. The story is gripping and also gives you a first seat account of his experience on the disastrous Everest expedition that he was a part of in 1996. Read the story of Viesturs who lives by his motto –“Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
Buy it here: Amazon


5. The mountains of my life

Written by: Walter Bonatti
The mountains of my life circles around the story of Bonatti and first-hand account of his years spent in conquering some of the world’s most challenging peaks. The book is a classic piece that includes his writings, details of his expeditions and also outlines the challenges and controversy that came after his ascent of K2 where he led the Italian expedition team up to K2 in 1954 for the very first time. Read this book to know more about the journey about this alpinist turned mountaineer turned photojournalist.
Buy it here: Amazon


6. Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8000-Metre Peak

Written by: Maurice Herzog
Herzog documents his journey as he and a few of his teammates resolve to summit never-before-attempted peaks that are over 8,000-meters in 1950. The book describes the very first step in the world of mountaineering where he and his team summitted Annapurna and the harrowing journey that followed on their way back to the base. With unseen adventures and challenges, extreme weather conditions that were never really known of, this story is all about grit, determination and the courage that made this summit one of the greatest stories for mankind.
Buy it here:  Amazon


7. Nanda Devi: Exploration and Ascent

Written by: Eric Shipton & H.W Tilman
The Nanda Devi peak is inarguably one of the most mysterious mountains in the world. Hundreds have tried to summit it and failed. This is a must-read in the list of trekking books that takes you through a journey that depicts man’s urge to explore and try. For nearly a century, mountaineers had been trying to access the inaccessible Nanda Devi Peak, which is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the Indian Himalayas. Some explorers failed to even reach the foot of the mountain and it is during 1934 that authors Shipton and Tilman sought the help of a couple of Sherpas and finally found a way in. Not only did they successfully summit Nanda Devi, but they also explored valleys nearby and remote routes, which went on to be the epitome of mountain expeditions of all times.
Buy it here: Amazon


8. Naked Mountain: Nanga Parbat, Brother, Death, Solitude

A list of the best trekking books is incomplete without this one. The ascent of Nanga Parbat in 1970 marked the beginning of Reinhold Messner’s remarkable career in Himalayan climbing. But this expedition has always been shrouded in controversy and mystery; his brother Gunther, who accompanied him, met his death on the mountain. In The Naked Mountain Messner gives his side of the story in full for the first time. This personal account is a story of death and survival and for those who want to understand what is the force that drives Messner on, this book is the key. ‘Nothing if not passionate, Messner writes of the Himalayan experience with a nearly mystical fervor.
Buy it here: Amazon


9. Freedom Climbers

Written by: Bernadette Mcdonald
This book is probably the most honored piece of literature in the world of mountaineering. Freedom Climbers depicts the story of a group of courageous polish adventurers who became the world’s leading Himalayan climbers after facing the oppression that followed the Second World War. With the war-torn life around them, these climbers did not lose hope and did all they can to create a meaningful life. At a time when Polish citizens were locked behind the Iron Curtain, these intrepid explorers found a way to travel the world in search of extreme adventure – Alaska, South America, and Europe, but mostly to the highest and most inspiring mountains of the world. To this end, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Nepal became their second homes as they evolved into the toughest group of Himalayan climbers the world has ever known.
Buy it here: Amazon


This was our list of top mountaineering and trekking books that you must read! What’s your favorite? Drop in a comment below with your favorite trekking books and we’ll add that in!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here