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Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors Paperback – September 1, 2016
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I am the visionary and lead editor of this book that is a compilation of articles written by 60 Canyoneers from the San Diego Natural History Museum. I am also a major contributor to the book. My role as lead editor was to bring all articles together in one voice with major editing and corrections of facts in the book. Note my name in many of the book endorsements listed below. In every sense of the word, this is my book:
"Diana has done it again! Like all of her books, this one also raises the bar on the subject. San Diegans and anyone visiting the region's wilder side will greatly benefit from her latest work. The book shares her wide-ranging knowledge about hundreds of our most notable trails in a style that is both interesting and easy to reference. I plan to own several copies: one to hold, one to go, and at least one to give." --John D. Mead, President, Adventure 16
"Diana Lindsay and her team of authors/Canyoneers have compiled the finest collection of San Diego County hikes, along with the regional habitats, plants and animals ever put together in one guidebook. What an accomplishment!" —Mark Jorgensen, Retired Superintendent, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
"This book is truly indispensable to anyone hoping to gain the most out of their back-country adventures! Diana Lindsay's guide is sure to become the essential "pocket naturalist" for all San Diego trail explorers striving to get more out of their outdoor experiences!" —Davin Widgerow, Chair, Steering Committee, Sierra Club San Diego
"The title of this book as a Trail Guide belies the mind-bendingly comprehensive content within. Diana Lindsay and her team have crafted a beautifully written introduction to the natural history of San Diego County as well as a trail guide. The authors describe in detail the marvelous geology, plants, birds, large and small mammals and invertebrates that make their homes or migrate through San Diego’s habitats from the coastal marshes through the low Colorado Desert habitat of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. If you are generally interested in nature, you will find this book fascinating and useful whether or not you plan to set foot on a single hiking trail. It is hard to imagine, though, that the beguiling descriptions of the nature in our own back yards would not lure you to head outdoors and explore some of these wonders for yourself." —Terry Weiner, Conservation and Projects Coordinator, Desert Protective Council
"This trail guide is a wonderful resource to help people explore our local wilderness and discover its unique treasures. It's replete with trail information and different habitat descriptions definitely a key to finding the right hike and the right place to enjoy and learn from San Diego's remarkable natural diversity. "--Duncan McFetridge, Director, Cleveland National Forest Foundation
"This is a book that should be owned by all who enjoy getting out into nature in San Diego County. The descriptions of the plants, birds, and other features encountered on each walk should deepen ones awareness of the beauty and diversity of our county's environmentally rich areas." --David Kimball, President, San Diego Audubon Society
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The amount of information and the organization of the hikes is quite remarkable....and all in color. One may see at a glance, distance, difficulty level [yes, this is subjective, but I would far rather have a level [4 as listed really be level 2 for me, than vice versa!], elevation change, probable time to complete, how the trails are used [bikes, dogs, horses, etc.] what optional topo map may be used, trail-head geographic coordinates, directions to the trail-head and any special information such as opening and closure times. And all of that is viewed at the beginning of every hike listed. Following that information is a local map and a list of symbols showing the habitats one will encounter. That is followed by background/historical information, how the trail proceeds, and what one will encounter as flora and fauna....including color images illustrative of the habitat/s. Too, 'tips' are included to make the jaunt more enjoyable and/or safer.
Is every single, imaginable trail in San Diego County listed and described? Of course not, but with more than 250 hikes described, as per above, no one should complain one iota. This is truly a gem of a book and I am thrilled to have a copy....so much so that I will be giving a copy to a student with the highest grade, for outstanding academic achievement. That should tell you something!....Highly recommended, indeed!
I was looking forward to this, even pre-ordered it. Unfortunately, it's not all it's cracked up to be.
The overview maps are all but useless, there's no table of contents for each section, The sectioning out of the county seems rather random, and for areas with a lot of trails (mission Trails, Daley Ranch as examples) they only have entries for a couple of the trails and don't include a full map of the area- only of the trails they specifically address and the ones immediately adjacent to them. There are no indexes except for alphabetical. It's also physically big and unwieldy.. I think there's a couple of more things but that's just off the top of my head.
I do like the detailed descriptions of the flora and fauna near the trails, but that said, if you're looking for a guide to hikes around the county it falls short in many other areas.
Overall, I'm not finding it terribly useful or easy to peruse/find stuff. I actually wish I hadn't bought it. Will be sticking to Afoot and Afield (maybe using this as an addendum for the biological stuff) and online stuff.