SoCal Not All Urban Sprawl
Outdoor Experts Uncover Hidden Wilderness Close to Home
LOS ANGELES — If anywhere in the U.S. defines “urban sprawl,” Southern California unfortunately seems the most likely location. The name “Los Angeles” has practically become the poster child for sprawl as its greater metropolitan area spans five counties, covering nearly 1,700 square-miles (over 1 million acres).
As a result, it can be easy to overlook the almost pristine pockets of wilderness — a defining characteristic of California as a whole — tucked away in Southland.
Originally written by Jerry Schad, and now updated by David Money Harris, the new 101 Hikes in Southern California (Wilderness Press), serves as a tool to resist the spread of urban sprawl and potentially restore a natural balance for local residents
“In hundreds of hidden places just over the urban horizon,” writes Harris in his preface to the new guide, “you can still find nature’s radiant beauty unfettered — or at least not too seriously compromised — by human intervention.”
California is home to over 30 national parks and monuments and nearly 300 state parks. Most of the 101 hikes in this guide can be found in these parks, nestled in the Santa Monica, San Gabriel, San Bernadino, San Jacinto, and Santa Ana mountain ranges and the Colorado and Mojave deserts, among other areas. “Our purpose in writing this book is to entice [readers] to explore some of these hidden places,” Harris explains.
As its title suggests, 101 Hikes in Southern California provides a huge variety of hikes suitable for anyone from the seasoned trekker to a young family looking for a new weekend activity. To ensure readers find the hikes most suitable for them, each of the selected routes provide a geographical overview map, an overview table categorizing each hike by distance, elevation, kid-friendliness, and other criteria, and a summary of each individual hike.
“I physically walked every trail in this book,” Harris explains, “and have enjoyed them all. I hope [readers] will enjoy them, too.”