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Guide to California Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails Spiral-bound – April 7, 2014
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In other words, the book is thin on useful information about remote trails and wastes too much space on freely available information about enclosed parks. Covering the entire state of CA sounds nice but it means most areas are barely covered, and especially when you add in all of the unnecessary OHV and SVRA information.
The CA Trails series is much more useful, even though you need to purchase different regional books. As a result, they are much more detailed and informative when you're planning an off-road adventure in a certain area. You get what you pay for.
When i took it to Salton Sea, it was nice to see an accurate detailed trail map on paper.
No worrying about battery, glare, or electronics.
It is worth it if you want to go offroading in southern California, just don't expect it to include every possible spot.
The color photos are great and the maps well drawn. They are not detailed enough to be a single source of navigation, however as long as you stick to the trails as shown, finding your way around will not be a problem. It is helpful to have a GPS and a detailed hardcopy topographical map and/or road map as well anytime you head off-road, just as a general safety measure.
While this book is a good overview, I would highly recommend looking up the current status of any trails you're thinking of visiting, as road closures do happen. There are a number of excellent on-line trail guides that will supplement this book.
Wells does an excellent job of describing and rating the trails.
If you are planning a trip to any area that he has a guide for, get one. The book is very useful for planning and also as a mile by mile guide while actually on a trail.
He rates trails by difficulty and also notes his favorites for scenery. Using those two criterion, I have planned two trips with great success.
I own and have used five of his guide books - Moab, Colorado North and Central, California and Arizona.
I am not a fan of the spiral bound pages. They will likely rip out more easily. The trade-off is that the book lays flat on your truck/car seat to any page. Also, while this version has nice color trail maps, the maps no longer highlight the changes of terrain difficulty along a particular trail (from easy to moderate to easy for example). That was a nice feature of the previous edition.
Overall, this still is a great book and well worth the price.