I am excited to announce that my latest book, Hiking Northern California, is officially released today! The book contains 80 of the best hikes throughout Northern California. It is a showcase for the magnificent natural beauty of this part of America and highlights just how diverse the northern part of the Golden State is! I am truly humbled to have been able to write about such an incredible place.
Tackling such an immense area, so loaded with exceptional hikes and natural wonders was challenging. How do I narrow down an area so densely packed with excellent trails into only 80 hikes? One significant step in this process was to break down the state into 9 regions. Each area has its own distinct character and exciting trails to be explored. I tried to have somewhere around 10 trails per area, give or take a few, so that there was equal representation of each region. I did include the Sacramento Valley as one of the nine sections but only included two trails there, which allowed me to pad some of the other sections. The Sierra Nevada, California’s quintessential mountains range is so vast that I could not leave it as a single region. Instead, it was broken up into four areas. These divisions were based on geology, use and routes of access. By dividing Northern California in this way, it allowed me to distribute the trails fairly evenly around the state. Though there were many trails in each section I was forced to leave out, I think each region is given a chance to shine brightly.
One great feature of the new editions being produced by Falcon Guides is the maps. In early editions by the publisher, maps were black and white and only gave the vaguest sense of how the trail related to the land. When I began writing for them nearly 4 years ago, the maps had improved significantly. They were multi-colored and based on USGS topo maps. Unfortunately, they lacked topolines. Many natural features were still present so orienting the maps was less difficult but still not ideal. Now, with Hiking Northern California, the maps have evolved into their best possible form by utilizing the topo maps and overlaying the other date typically present on Falcon Guide maps. The final result is both beautiful and especially useful.
Speaking frankly, this is a grand book. At 438 pages, it is much larger than my previous two books. Visually, it is a stunning volume, loaded with nearly 300 color images. More than half the trails have three images per hike. Some even have four images. Coupled with the excellent maps, the book just looks awesome. Though it is loaded with excellent beta, I honestly think it works equally well as a coffee table book. You can set it out and let folks sift through it, seeing the best of Northern California. This is true whether you want to show off the Golden State or dream of getting out here. Indeed, I tried to write it in such a way as it will have lots of accurate beta for hikers, but also in a way where readers can experience and enjoy Northern California vicariously through word and image. Hopefully I was successful.
I am very, very proud of this book. It is gorgeous, but more than that, I was able to write about some of the most beautiful places in the world. It is an honor to be able to publish thoughts about places like Big Sur, Lassen, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and beyond. Wherever you are in Northern California, there are going to be nearby trails in the book that will be absolutely amazing and exciting journeys through this wonderful land. It is my sincere hope that this book will contribute to many people building lifetime memories while exploring the wild, beauty of the land of Northern California.
Copies can be purchased here. I will also have a few copies available. If anyone is passing through Mount Shasta and wants a signed copy, let me know ahead of time and I can arrange delivery. Thanks for supporting this site and purchasing a copy. You will enjoy it!