Craig R. Carey grew up hiking and backpacking the southern Los Padres National Forest with his folks, his older brothers, and his fellow Scouts. On any given weekend, he was swimming the narrows along the Sespe, wandering the granite-clad tops of Mt. Pinos, or learning to navigate the trackless pinon forests of the Cuyama badlands. It was — and remains — a huge backyard full of opportunity.

In 2010, Craig began work on a trail guide, Hiking & Backpacking Santa Barbara & Venturawhich was published in 2012 by Wilderness Press. An updated second edition was published in 2021. To ensure the accuracy of the information contained within, he hiked every trail featured in the guide. 

His work has also appeared in New Zealand Wilderness, Islands, Hooked on the Outdoors, Rugby, The Green, and New Zealand Adventure.

Craig has been leading Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts across the Los Padres for years and, as a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger, leads and/or serves on several US Forest Service volunteer crews across the forest — ranging from microtrash clean-ups in condor country to invasive species removal in the watersheds to trail maintenance in remote wilderness corners. This is the land he loves … and loves to share with others.