Recommended Hiking Guides & Books

We trust the following resources below and highly recommend these guides to help plan your hiking adventures. 


Afoot & Afield: San Diego County
(5th Edition) 

Jerry Schad & Scott Turner

"Since 1986, Jerry Schad’s Afoot & Afield: San Diego County has been the premier trail guide for hikers, backpackers, and mountain bikers. In fact, the Los Angeles Times called it the “bible of San Diego hiking.” This fifth edition features 282 trips, ranging from short, self-guided nature trails to challenging peak climbs and canyon treks. Coauthor Scott Turner has fully updated this edition, which includes new maps and more than 30 new hikes." 


Coast to Cactus

Diana Lindsay, Paula Knoll, Terri Varnell

"Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors is much more than a hiking guide. It is a field guide too. Written by citizen scientists trained by the San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers. There are 525 species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates that are described in detail. Each hike has a focus on a species or natural/cultural history feature associated with that hike."


Hiking SD County 

Sarah provides detailed descriptions of the trails she visits so you can get a full sense of what you will find. Her trail write-ups attempt to bring you with her as she hikes, with numerous pictures and descriptions of both the good and the bad. She will show you not only the fabulous views from the top of the mountain or the silky cascade of the waterfall, but the entirety of the trail that brought us there. 


Get Outside San Diego 
allows you to:

Find any of the 1,100 parks in San Diego County near your location, close to an address, in your neighborhood zip code, or by park name

See major trails in most parks, as well as parking

Access direct web links to park managing agencies to get much more information

Share park maps and searches with others on social media

Download high quality maps of most parks over 10 acres (use them in emails, web posts, newsletter articles, reports, or in flyers for group outings)