Recommended Hiking Guides & Books

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

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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." 

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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."

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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. 

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Get Outside San Diego

GetOutsideSanDiego.org 
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)

 
“Jeff Hester created SoCal Hiker while preparing to thru-hike the John Muir Trail. his goal? Create guides for the best hiking trails throughout Southern California--and occasionally beyond. he personally hiked each trail to create these guides, sharing practical advice on gear and outdoor skills. It’s his hope that sharing these guides will whet your appetite for outdoor adventure, and help you take the next step outside of your comfort zone and into the wild, wonderful outdoors.”

“Jeff Hester created SoCal Hiker while preparing to thru-hike the John Muir Trail. his goal? Create guides for the best hiking trails throughout Southern California--and occasionally beyond. he personally hiked each trail to create these guides, sharing practical advice on gear and outdoor skills. It’s his hope that sharing these guides will whet your appetite for outdoor adventure, and help you take the next step outside of your comfort zone and into the wild, wonderful outdoors.”

“Whether you are a seasoned OUTDOORS PERSON or new to The Great Outdoors, Modern Hiker is your trusted source of information and inspiration. For more than a decade, the site’s in-depth trail reports, authentic gear reviews, and fearless outdoor journalism have helped countless adventurers discover new trails and experiences all over the world — and in their own backyards.  Modern Hiker was founded by Casey Schreiner in December, 2006 as a way to document his explorations around the Los Angeles area as he learned how to hike, transitioning from an indoor kid who actively avoided sunshine to a seasoned hiker who has trekked challenging trails all over the world.”

“Whether you are a seasoned OUTDOORS PERSON or new to The Great Outdoors, Modern Hiker is your trusted source of information and inspiration. For more than a decade, the site’s in-depth trail reports, authentic gear reviews, and fearless outdoor journalism have helped countless adventurers discover new trails and experiences all over the world — and in their own backyards.

Modern Hiker was founded by Casey Schreiner in December, 2006 as a way to document his explorations around the Los Angeles area as he learned how to hike, transitioning from an indoor kid who actively avoided sunshine to a seasoned hiker who has trekked challenging trails all over the world.”