Mountain Images Sierra Nevada CDROM (Jeff Porcaro)

In my quest to seek out new trails to pound and wilderness vistas to gaze upon, I came across Mountain Images Sierra Nevada Trail Guides.  This software serves as your digital guidebook to California's Sierra Nevada mountains, helping you arrive at the trailheads, gauge the trails, and preview the breathtaking scenery that awaits.  While viewing the images in my office I sensed a sudden urge to doff my business casuals in favor of a pack and trekking boots and be on my way to visit these beautiful places.

Mountain Images divides the Sierra into two CDs: northern and southern.  The south area covers the Sierra Nevada Range from the northern portal of Golden Trout Wilderness to the southern boundary of Yosemite National Park, while the north extends from Southern Yosemite National Park to the Desolation Wilderness.

Simple maps show you the trailheads, and allow you to take virtual trips along the trails, even to follow different routes when coming to a junction.  My favorite feature on the trail walkthrough is the ability to view specific images that correspond to highlighted points of interest.  A pointer on the map even shows the direction that the image was taken.

The interface is simple to use, just click the icons to begin your digital journey.  With over 200 trail descriptions covering over 2000 miles of beautiful country, you can find the ideal location for your next trip to the Sierra, be it a weekend jaunt or two week excursion.

Each CD retails for $39.95.

Summary: If you are planning a trip to the Sierra Nevada -- or just have curiosity about what makes the Sierra so alluring to backcountry enthusiasts -- this software will greatly assist your information gathering and trip planning activities.