Beware the Ides of May

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

I’m happy to report the trail guide is now available for pre-order at both Barnes & Noble and Amazon. (If you’re keen for a Nook or Kindle edition [Dan], please so inform the respective sites on the book’s page — thanks!) Copies will also be available through this site.

The short description of the guide would be “336 pages of southern Los Padres hiking goodness,” but there’s also the slightly-longer overview, direct from the Wilderness Press promo materials:

Named for the Spanish padres who established a network of missions along California’s southern and central coasts, the Los Padres National Forest is the second-largest National Forest in the state, encompassing approximately 1,950,000 acres — nearly half of which is federally-designated wilderness.

Hiking and Backpacking Santa Barbara & Ventura fills a huge gap in coverage of this great hiking and backpacking destination, leading the reader through the varied terrain of the forest’s southern districts, from the fern-clad grottoes of the Santa Barbara frontcountry to the sweeping vistas and granite-clad ridges of the Chumash Wilderness.

No other guide covers the region in such detail, and not since Dennis Gagnon’s near-legendary guides in the 70s and 80s has the Santa Barbara (and Ventura) backcountry been given the guidebook treatment …… but this book goes even further. Every official trail (and many use trails) in the Santa Barbara, Ojai, and Mt. Pinos districts are covered here, including those in the southern San Rafael Wilderness, Dick Smith Wilderness, Matilija Wilderness, Sespe Wilderness, Chumash Wilderness, the Santa Ynez Recreation Area, Rose Valley, the Santa Barbara and Montecito frontcountry, the Ojai frontcountry, and the Santa Paula/Fillmore frontcountry.

The routes range from easy, family-friendly day hikes of less than one mile to strenuous, multi-day backpacking treks of 20 miles or more (and everything in between). Each trip entry includes detailed route summary and instructions, including trail conditions, navigational considerations, travel hazards, seasonal considerations, geology, flora, fauna, and historical notes (including relevant fire history and any “legacy” comments). The route descriptions also include spur trails, junctions, major river convergences, and other considerations, along with waypoints and detailed entries for the several dozen trail camps along the routes described. Maps are provided for each region covered.

This guide is a must-have for anyone interested in exploring the southern Los Padres.

The official release date is 15 May 2012 … am I allowed to get excited this far in advance?


2 responses to “Beware the Ides of May”

  1. So … The game’s afoot. OK, I’ve always wanted to write that in a hiking-related context. The trails of Southern Los Padres will once again be well served comprehensively in print after a long hiatus. And I think I owe you that bottle of single malt.

  2. Fantastic!!! Let me know how I get a “reader’s only version”!!

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