Hiking and Backpacking Santa Barbara and Ventura: A complete guide to the trails of the southern Los Padres National Forest


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SKU: HWS002Category:


Author: Craig Carey

Publisher: Wilderness Press (June 19, 2012)

Paperback: 406 pages

About the Book: Hiking and Backpacking Santa Barbara and Ventura details nearly 100 of the finest routes through this section of the forest. It 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. Piños 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 entry for the several dozen trail camps along the routes described. Maps are provided for each region covered.

About the Author: Craig R. Carey grew up hiking and backpacking the trails of the southern Los Padres (with “side-trips” across the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand). An active scout leader and rugby follower, Craig holds a BA in History from the University of California at Santa Barbara. His work has appeared in Wilderness New Zealand, Islands, Hooked on the Outdoors, Rugby, The Green, and New Zealand Adventure.

Revised 1st Edition: To accompany the release of this first edition, Carey offers a downloadable pdf of the revision’s changes as well as additional errata/updates that may be of interest to anybody who uses the guide, which can be downloaded here.



Additional information

Weight24 oz